|Strolling down the 18th at North West (new entry at 94).|
The great thing about rankings is not the top 20 courses or so - everyone knows which they are and we simply quibble over the order - but the courses below that. It's the courses we haven't heard of or haven't
yet had the chance to experience... the ones that make you pick somewhere new to visit on your next golfing adventure - be it on a family holiday or a dedicated golfing trip with friends.
Rankings are always getting slated because 'how could X be higher than Y... these guys don't know their arse from their 7 iron...' but, again, it slightly misses the point of introducing a list to a community of golfers who can create new experiences, discuss merits, be more informed, feel aggrieved... or just vent. Rankings are opinions and we all have plenty of those.
|Views over the 8th hole at Macreddin, in Co. Wicklow (no. 54).|
The Golf World list is one that I have been heavily involved with - this year more than ever. And while the top 15 have already been preset by the GB&I top 100 ranking, there was a lot more flexibility for those courses between 16 and 100. Six very passionate Irish golfers got stuck into the rankings and, while there were the inevitable disparate views*, the final ranking is - in my opinion - a good one. I might not put Killarney (Killeen) ahead of Concra Wood, but the combined wisdom of the panel suggested that Killarney was one place better. That's the way panels have to work.
|Views over the 2nd green at Enniscrone (no. 16)|
However, I will tell you this: there are 4 new entries and only 13 courses (between 16 and 100) remain in the same spot as last year. There are some big falls and rises, too (such as K Club (Smurfit), Castle, Bantry Bay, Bunclody, Headfirst New, Druid's Heath, Killeen Castle and Portsalon). It certainly makes things interesting... and opens things up for 'debate'.
|Views back down the 12th at Birr (new entry at 92).|