Meet GOLF’s Top 100 Course Raters: 80 well-traveled (and well-connected) golf aficionados

November 23, 2019

Any “best” or “greatest” list is, at its core, a study in subjectivity, our Top 100 Courses in the World rank being no stranger to the whims of human taste. We’re more than fine with that, if for the only reason that the folks who rate courses on GOLF’s behalf have the keenest eyes in golf architecture. We empower and hold accountable a group of 80 well-traveled — and well-connected — golfers/aficionados, each capable of expressing their own sense of design excellence at the highest level.

The group is seasoned and experienced —  we look for raters who know what’s out there, what’s changing and what’s coming down the pike. And from judging posts across four continents, our panelists are positioned to place courses from different regions around the globe into proper context, one of the main reasons GOLF’s world list is the most esteemed in the game. Here are the 75 raters who weighed in on our most recent ranking. (The five panelists who abstained from this year’s ranking are unlisted.)

HOYT McGARITY
Chairman, GOLF Rankings Panel
Scottsdale, Ariz.

RAN MORRISSETT
Architecture Editor, GOLF
Southern Pines, N.C.

IAN ANDREW
Brantford, Ontario, Canada

JOSEPH ANDRIOLE, MD
Orlando, Fla.

DAVID BAUM
Short Hills, N.J.

JACK BONNER
Myrtle Beach, S.C.

BART BRADLEY
Bristol, Tenn.

THOMAS BROWN
Los Angeles, Calif.

FRANK CASEY JR.
Letterkenny, Ireland

MACK CLAPP
Missoula, Mont.

GOLF’S TOP 100 COURSES: HOW WE RANK THEM


TOM CLASBY
Seal Beach, Calif.

MIKE CLAYTON
N. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

CHRIS COCHRAN
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

JOHN CORNISH
Brighton East, Victoria, Australia

BEN COWAN-DEWAR
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

BRIAN CURLEY
Paradise Valley, Ariz.

GORDON DALGLEISH
Wilmington, N.C.

MIKE DAVIS
Liberty Corner, N.J.

TRIPP DAVIS
Norman, Okla.

JOHN DEMPSEY
Pinehurst, N.C.

TOM DOAK
Traverse City, Mich.

CHRISTIAN FAERGEMANN
Hellerup, Denmark

NOEL FREEMAN
Lafayette, Calif.

DANA FRY
Naples, Fla.

TIM GALLANT
Edinburgh, Scotland

GOLF’S TOP 100 COURSES: A DEEP DIVE INTO THE RANKINGS

Ohoopee Match Club is as private as private gets for a golf course, and it's ranked No. 98.
Andy Johnson/The Fried Egg

PHILIP GAWITH
London, England

KYE GOALBY
Webster Groves, Mo.

HINDRIK GOMMER
Voorburg, The Netherlands

GIL HANSE
Malvern, Pa.

WALTER HARRIS
Naples, Fla.

ROBIN HISEMAN
Fleet, England

BILL HOGAN
Austin, Texas

SIMON HOLT
Edinburgh, Scotland

BARRY HYDE
Neshanic Station, N.J.

ALLAN JAMIESON
Burlingame, Calif.

SUNIL KAPPAGODA
Hillsborough, Calif.

MICHAEL KEISER
Chicago, Ill.

JEFFREY LEWIS
New York, N.Y.

HONG-SEH LIM
Los Altos Hills, Calif.

GARY LISBON
Malvern East, Victoria, Australia

BROOKE MACKENZIE
Boulder, Colo.

DON MAHAFFEY
Edna, Texas

SALLY MARKIEWICZ
New York, N.Y.

ASHLEY MAYO
New York, N.Y.

TOM McBROOM
Toronto, Canada

HERE ARE THE TOP 100 WORLD COURSES YOU CAN PLAY

STEPHEN McHUGH
Santa Barbara, Calif.

DAVID MCLAY KIDD
Bend, Ore.

ADAM MESSIX
Cashiers, N.C.

LUKAS MICHEL
Oakleigh South, Victoria, Australia

KELLY MILLER
Pinehurst, N.C.

ADRIAN MITCHELL
Kew, England

ADRIAN MORROW
Dublin, Ireland

KRISTEL MOURGUE D’ALGUE-LAWTON
Bordeaux, France

NICK MULLEN
Morristown, N.J.

KOTARO NAKAMOTO
Kobe, Japan

GREG NATHAN
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

ZACH NELSON
Hillsborough, Calif.

MASA NISHIJIMA
Tokyo, Japan

SANG JUN OH
Seoul, Korea

HAL PHILLIPS
New Gloucester, Maine

MIKE POLICANO
Glen Rock, N.J.

FRANK PONT
Den Dolder, The Netherlands

TYLER RAE
Wilmington, Del.

BOB RANUM
Southampton, N.Y.

LUKE REESE
Chicago, Ill.

MITCH REESE
Vero Beach, Fla.

JAVIER REVIRIEGO
Cádiz, Spain

PAUL RUDOVSKY
Pinehurst, N.C.

JOSH SENS
Oakland, Calif.

SHO TOBARI
Tokyo, Japan

JIM URBINA
Littleton, Colo.

CHICK WAGNER
Oakmont, Pa.

PETER WEBSTER
Dublin, Ireland

PAR WIDMARK
Båstad, Sweden

PETER WOOD
Lower Plenty, Victoria, Australia

GOLF’S COURSE RATING PANEL BY THE NUMBERS:

Average age: 52.4 years 

Percentage of raters who placed Pine Valley in their top 3: 57.3

Average years rating courses: 9.8

Average number of courses rated in 2019: 191

Average number of Top 100 Courses played: 69 

Countries represented: 13

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