Architects' Surprising Picks for "World's Best Golf Courses

I normally wouldn't alert you to another top-100 list, but the one about to be published by Golf Course Architecture magazine is interesting for two reasons:

1. Its 240-person ratings panel is composed only of golf course architects (a group that might know a thing or two about the subject)...

2. From what I've seen so far, their list is making some pretty bold statements.

For example, here's what jumped out at me regarding the courses they ranked 91-100:

100. Woking Golf Club (Surrey, England)
I never even heard of this course before, and it does not appear on Golf Magazine's or Links Magazine's lists of "world's best" courses. (Golf Digest's list focuses only on, "best outside the U.S.," but it's not on there, either.)

99. The Honors Course (Ooltewah, Tennessee)
This one I have seen, but only on lists of "America's best," not "world's best." Is it truly this underrated?

98. Shadow Creek (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Same here, although I'm guessing this one received extra credit for its early architectural feat of turning desert into a stunning oasis.

92. Fishers Island (Fishers Island, New York)
This one cuts the other way: Links Magazine's readers ranks this Seth Raynor classic as the 16th best course in the world. Golf Magazine has it 28th. Ninety-two? Yeah, I'm going to have to go-ahead and disagree with you...

91. Capilano (Vancouver, B.C., Canada)
This 1937 Stanley Thompson design is another potential "find" that doesn't appear on Links' or Golf Magazine's lists.

Now, I realize every list has its own methodology, biases (and potential statistical shortcomings), therefore making them totally subjective, so I'm not saying this is gospel.

But it is interesting to see golf architects' opinions of "the best" and how much they differ -- often wildly -- from what we're usually told by the major magazines.

Granted, this is only the final 10 of their top-100. The rest of the list will be released, ten at a time, over the next two weeks, culminating with the architects' world-No. 1 on Friday, July 12.

While we wait, I'd love to know what you think:  when it comes to ranking the world's best golf courses, whose opinions do you value the most: golf course architects, golf magazine ratings panels, or golfers like you and me?'

Please share your thoughts or read what others are saying below.

Craig Better is one of the founding editors of Golf Vacation Insider. In addition to traveling to 15 foreign countries, he has twice traveled across America to play golf courses in all 50 United States. Prior to joining Golf Vacation Insider, Craig was a freelance writer who contributed to GOLF Magazine, Travel + Leisure Golf, Maxim Magazine, USAToday.com, and co-authored Zagat Survey’s book, America’s Top Golf Courses.
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Architects' Surprising Picks for "World's Best Golf Courses
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