Thursday, November 27, 2014

Golf Monthly Top 100 GB&I Courses

Another golf course rankings hit the shelves with Golf Monthly’s 2015 Top 100 list. The magazine proudly claims that it is a list produced by golfers for golfers. Fair enough – you can’t say simpler than that.

From an Irish perspective there are a couple of interesting things to note: 21 courses from this island make the cut. The rankings are as follows:

2 Royal County Down – no change
11 Royal Portrush – up 1
15 Waterville – down 4
16 Ballybunion – down 3
20 The European – down 3
25 Portmarnock – up 4
26 Lahinch – down 3
32 Trump International (Doonbeg) – down 10
39 Old Head – down 6
45 Rosapenna – down 3
53 Tralee – down 2
59 Co Louth – down 3
73 Ballyliffin (Glashedy) – up 1
75 The Island – up 4
76 Druid’s Glen – down 5
78 Lough Erne – down 15
82 Mount Juliet – up 1
84 K Club (Palmer) – down 19
93 County Sligo – New Entry
98 Portmarnock Links – down 8
98 Carne – down 3

Approach to The Island's 5th hole.
There will be few Irish courses celebrating: The Island sees the biggest jump (deservedly so) alongside Portmarnock, as both jump 4 places, and County Sligo has pushed back into the Top 100.

However, there are some significant falls: Waterville has fallen from 11 to 15… although the pain will be lessened by their award from the World GolfAwards last week, as the best course in Ireland; Trump’s new course, aka Doonbeg, has fallen 10 places; Old Head by 6; Druid’s Glen by 5; Lough Erne by a massive 15; and Portmarnock Links by 9 places.

But the K Club has been completely thumped, dropping 19 places to 84. Overall, it’s a tough return for Ireland’s top courses.

Views back down the 13th at Royal County Down
Overall, 6 Irish courses go up, 1 stays the same, and 14 have fallen.

A further 15 courses make the second 100, although I remain somewhat bemused as to why Enniscrone, Portstewart (Strand) and Adare don’t make the top 100. I would swap those with three top 100 Irish courses in a heartbeat.
The Island's par three 16th, with Malahide beyond

Green Fees

The other interesting thing to note is that if you take the top 30 courses, the average green fee is Sterling £166 per round. Three of these – all British and ranked 18, 19 and 28 – are the only courses with a green fee below £100. Even so, the five Irish courses south of the border fare very well. In fact, apart from Old Head and the K Club – two courses renowned for their high green fees – the green fees in Ireland are better value than their GB counterparts… completely at odds with the oft perceived view (in GB) that Irish green fees are higher.
Mount Juliet's charming par three 14th
The number 1 course is Muirfield. Buy the magazine and read how the ranking works.

No comments:

Post a Comment