Compiling our lists of the Top 100 Courses in the U.S. and the World involves lots of math—and plenty of play.
Our rankings are determined by a 100-member-strong international panel representing 18 countries. Voters include major championship winners, Ryder Cup players, architects, leading amateurs, administrators, journalists, photographers, and more than a dozen connoisseurs who've managed to play all of the world's Top 100 courses. Although there are no set-in-stone criteria they must follow, GOLF lends confidence in the panel's sense of what constitutes "greatness" in a course. Each panelist evaluates a ballot of 522 courses, and points are accrued based on how the panelists rank them. (For example, every course in a panelist's top three earns 100 points.)
Any course that receives a "remove from ballot" vote has 10 points deducted. Architects cannot vote for their original designs, and course owners cannot vote for their properties.