Here are the 11 courses that jumped into this year’s Top 100 in the World

November 25, 2019

There are plenty of familiar names on this year’s list of Top 100 Courses in the World. But it’s good to have some new blood too, right? Our brand-new list features 11 courses that jumped inside this year’s Top 100, reflecting changing trends and a revamped ranking. That doesn’t mean they’re all newly-opened — they range from 1895 to 2018 — but these 11 tracks are decidedly in vogue.

H.S. Colt is the big winner from this list; three of his designs have made their way back onto the list. Those additions — Rye, St. George’s Hill and De Pan — helped Colt to his spot as the most-represented designer with 11 credits in the top 100.

Gil Hanse seems to be everywhere these days, and he’s represented here with a restoration (Sleepy Hollow, which leads the U.S. additions) as well as an original design (Ohoopee Match Club). Seth Raynor gains two credits as well with Sleepy Hollow and the emergence of Yale at No. 83.

Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw hop onto the list (again) with Bandon Trails at No. 87., while Tom Doak’s decade-old Montana design Rock Creek Cattle Co. rounds out the list at No. 99. Check out the courses below — and start dreaming up your next golf adventure.

No. 67: Rye (Old)
Camber, England
H.S. Colt, 1895/Tom Simpson/Herbert Tippett/Guy Campbell, 1907-1940s

Camber, England H.S. Colt, 1895/Tom Simpson/Herbert Tippet/Guy Campbell, 1907

The opener is the easiest hole (and the course’s only three-shotter) and then … hold on! What follows are 12 par-4s, 10 (!) of which measure more than 420 yards, and a famously diabolical group of five par-3s that have this 6,503-yard course weighing in yard for yard as one of the most difficult on our list. The fact that you can walk it in two and half hours makes you question the merit of courses that are so much longer. (New)

Courtesy Photo

No. 76: Sleepy Hollow
Scarborough, N.Y.
C.B. MacDonald/Seth Raynor, 1913/A.W. Tillinghast, 1929/Gil Hanse, 2017

Scarborough, NY C.B. Macdonald/Seth Raynor, 1913/AW Tillinghast, 1929/Gil Hanse, 2017

This Westchester County course has always enjoyed a spectacular component to it, courtesy of breathtaking views of the Hudson River. What it never enjoyed was playing interest 50 yards and in to its greens. That changed in 2016 when Hanse embarked on a two-year project to imbue the greens with a C.B. Macdonald flair that, well, even Macdonald would appreciate. (New)

Evan Schiller

No. 83: Yale
New Haven, Conn.
Seth Raynor/Charles Banks, 1926

New Haven, CT C.B. Macdonald/Seth Raynor/Charles Banks, 1926

A herculean building effort by Raynor, Yale embodies the maxim that a world-class course must possess — you guessed it — world-class holes. There are plenty to pick from here, including the 1st, 4th, 8th, 10th and the love-it-or-hate-it 18th, but the hole everyone needs to see at least once in their life is the famous downhill Biarritz 9th. Who knew inland golf could be this exciting? (New)

Steve Musco

No. 86: St. George’s Hill (A&B)
Weybridge, England
H.S. Colt, 1913

Weybridge, England H.S. Colt, 1913

From London’s heathland to the cliffs of Northern Ireland to sandy sites in the Netherlands, Colt enjoyed many fine sites in Europe over his extended career. One of the best is this property, where Colt teased a diverse collection of holes from the rolling landscape. His placement of the green sites — some on knobs or plateaus, some at ground level and the magnificent 10th green at the hole’s low point beyond a hillock define the challenge. (New)

Courtesy

No. 87: Bandon Trails
Bandon, Ore.
Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw, 2005

Bandon, OR Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw, 2005

Several of Coore & Crenshaw’s finest designs are located at hard-to-access private clubs but many of their works are available to the public, courtesy oftentimes of Mike Keiser. This is one of their best — public or private — and the fact that you don’t miss the sight of the water for most of the round speaks volumes to its design quality. (New)

Evan Schiller

No. 88: De Pan (Utrechtche)
Utrecht, The Netherlands
H.S. Colt, 1929

Utrecht, The Netherlands H.S. Colt, 1929

Modern architecture did itself no favors by pursuing holes that constantly scream at the golfer, because at some point the golfer goes tone deaf. Colt never went down that path and he achieved the best possible result here in that he produced a course that would be a delight to play every day. De Pan doesn’t have the topography of St. George’s Hill but it does have sand dunes sprinkled throughout the property. A master router, Colt incorporated them in every possible manner. (New)

Courtesy

No. 91: Peachtree
Atlanta, Ga.
Robert Trent Jones Sr/Bobby Jones, 1947

Atlanta, GA Robert Trent Jones Sr./Bobby Jones, 1947

Though Valderrama dropped off our ranking this time, Robert Trent Jones’s work is still represented with the return of Peachtree to the list. Built in the late 1940s, this design came before Jones had acquired his Oakland Hills “monster” rep. Here, we even find a punchbowl green (at the 10th) among a host of other imaginative green contours. (New)

Dave Samson

No. 92: Myopia Hunt Club
So. Hamilton, Mass.
H.C. Leeds, 1898

South Hamilton, MA H.C. Leeds, 1898

Some critics of rankings sniff that hosting a major unduly elevates a course. Is that true for Myopia Hunt, given that it has hosted four U.S. Opens? Probably not, given its last one was in 1908. What helped Myopia was recent restoration work during which trees came down, allowing for the fairways to be reconnected to Leeds’s famous bunkers. With the wind again evident and the playing surfaces firm, the course’s thorny playing attributes are once again on full display. Fun fact: the winning score at its four U.S. Opens averaged nearly 324, or 81 strokes per round. (New)

Courtesy

No. 96: Royal Melbourne (East)
Black Rock, Australia
Alex Russell, 1932

Black Rock, Australia Alex Russell, 1932

Ever confident in his own work, Alister MacKenzie was quick to praise the talent of others. In the United States, he considered Perry Maxwell to be as talented as anyone; in Australia, his man was Alex Russell. Another of Russell’s creations, Paraparaumu Beach in New Zealand, just missed out inclusion this year but the panel’s appreciation of the East Course raises the question: What is the best 36-hole day in golf at one site? Winged Foot, Cabot, Bandon, Sunningdale or here? (New)

David Cannon/Getty Images

No. 98: Ohoopee Match Club
Cobbtown, Ga.
Gil Hanse, 2018

Cobbtown, GA Gil Hanse, 2018

Set on the east side of the Ohoopee River where sand accumulated for centuries, Hanse finally got a dream site upon which to build an original design. His own sense of aesthetics complemented the rustic site’s color palette of browns, rusts and tans and the end result is a low-profile design that beguiles. Be careful of its short par-4s: the 4th, 9th and 14th holes all tempt you with driver off the tee — and can punish you with a big number for such rash thinking. (New)


No. 99: Rock Creek Cattle Company
Deer Lodge, Mont.
Tom Doak, 2008

Deer Lodge, MT Tom Doak, 2008

Tom Doak’s works along large bodies of water populate our list but some contend what he did in the American West at Rock Creek is just as exhilarating as his more photographed courses in sandy soil. Though Montana’s rocky conditions made for a tough build, the end result are wide fairways that flow over the tumbling land with a grace and ease that is hard to fathom. The same design principles — fairway contours that either shunt you out of position or send you to the ideal location, hazards that appear ageless and greens that offer a wide range of hole locations — demand you reassess how to best play each hole from one day to the next. Hard to find better playing angles. (New)

Larry Lambrecht