Since this blog is all about Irish golf I assessed the rankings with great interest. My conclusion is this:
There's a cynic in me that says this was Golfing Magazine's way of highlighting how amateur golfers don't really have a clue about the great and the good courses of our island... leave it to the professionals it might suggest. You only have to look at the results to conclude that this is probably true. Strandhill comes in at 48th while Royal County Down - revered as one of the greatest courses on the planet - fails to make the Top Ten.
Now, it is refreshing to see the common golfer given free rein in such matters, but the major issue - the major flaw - is that people were voting on courses they may not have played. And even if someone only voted for the courses they played - let's say 20 - how badly did that affect the ranking of a course such as Royal County Down, if the Newcastle course wasn't one of those 20.
|My photo of Narin and Portnoo's 8th hole (and 8th wonder of the world)|
I only had to get as far as 48th (Strandhill) to realise that this was not something to be taken too seriously. Arklow, Bundoran, St Anne's and Seapoint rated above Narin and Portnoo and Portsalon! Ballyliffin (Glashedy) at 5 but Ballyliffin (Old) at 23? Cruit Island, Dunfanaghy and Mulranny (all genuine links) aren't even on the list.
|Ronan hits into the 5th green at Strandhill|
The magazine's a good read - this month there are articles on Gavin Moynihan, Golf in Ghana (McGinley is heavily involved, as is Tom Kennedy, formerly from Mount Juliet), The Walker Cup and a review of The Island.
Oh yes, and they've used one of my photographs (Narin and Portnoo above)... again... without crediting me.