Top 100 Golf Courses of England 2014
The five national ranking lists within Great Britain and Ireland have all just been updated and the English chart – like the others – shows little course movement of any real significance, particularly at the top end of the table.
There’s nothing wrong with that situation, mind you, as it might just confirm that – after a decade of ranking golf courses – we’re on the way to getting things right, with courses now settling into their rightful positions in relation to each other.
Interestingly, since we first produced a Top 100 for England in 2006, only a dozen courses have ever appeared in the elite national Top 10 tier of the table and this 5th biennial edition of our English rankings certainly endorses that situation.
The new chart rubber stamps Royal St George’s in Kent as the finest golfing layout in the land, as well as confirming Sunningdale (where the Old Course rises one place to number 2 and the New course climbs three slots to position 4) as the undoubted premier 36-hole golf facility in the country.
Yorkshire’s Alwoodley was identified as a real rising star when we paid a visit earlier this year so it’s no surprise to see this classy heathland layout continue its steady progress up our chart. First ranked at number 29 in 2006, it edged up a couple of spots in subsequent updates before shooting up a substantial seven places to number 15 this time around.
Other significant upward progressions include those made by a handful of top Surrey courses: Hankley Common (up seven to 27), Wentworth (East) (up nine to 32), Hindhead (up twenty to 48), Wisley (Church & Mill) (up sixteen to 57) and Coombe Hill (up seventeen to 72).
On the down side, falls for Royal West Norfolk (to number 19), Notts (to number 21) and Burnham & Berrow (to number 23) will no doubt dismay the many knowledgeable golfers who hold these fine old courses in great esteem.
Similarly, those who play in Cornwall will not be so thrilled to see Trevose (Championship) plummet twenty places to position 51 and St Mellion (Nicklaus) plunge sixteen spots to 63 whilst Devonians in the neighbouring county will also be rather dismayed to discover that Royal North Devon falls eight positions to 54 and East Devon drops fourteen slots to 74.
There are six new entries in our latest English Top 100, all of which ease their way into the lower reaches of the national chart. It should also be noted that the first five of these all appeared in the 2010 edition of our rankings, when the chart extended to 200 courses, so this handful of top tracks has been on our radar for a while.
Two of the other new tracks bear the design stamp of Alister MacKenzie and they are the heathland track of Crowborough Beacon in Sussex (in at 93) and the parkland layout at Hadley Wood in Hertfordshire (new at 98).
The remaining newbie, Centurion Club at number 99, is the lowest ranked of the new layouts to make it into the Top 100 chart for England but many are tipping this course to climb a lot higher in times to come. Fashioned by Simon Gidman and only unveiled in the summer of 2013, it’s certainly one to watch.
We genuinely welcome all sorts of feedback – both good and bad – at Top 100 Golf Courses so tell us what, in your view, we’ve got right and where we’ve gone wrong with our new Top 100 for England. Are we having a laugh with one or two of the chart positions or have we been sleeping when it comes to a course that really should have made it into the chart? Please let us know your thoughts.
Top 100 is not in the business of creating “definitive” golf course listings though we do believe we produce the most “informed” golf course rankings in the industry. If you’ve teed it up at any of our featured English layouts then we’d love to find out what you made of the experience, so why not post a course review?
Click to explore in detail our new 2014 England Top 100For those wondering, the six courses that leave our last English Top 100 are: East Sussex National (West), Mannings Heath (Waterfall), Brocket Hall (Palmerston), Bovey Castle, Woodbridge and Seascale.
23 December 2013 Respond to this article