Australian Golf Digest has just released their definitive list of Top 100 golf courses in Australia. The undisputed first place once again goes to Royal Melbourne West Course, the benchmark against what all other courses are ranked from. The layout is timeless and though it has been shortened over the years through improvements in equipment that fly the ball further, this gem is still the best. There has been no change since 2012 in the top 6 courses, Kingston Heath in 2nd place must come close to perfection, and is my personal favourite course in the country. Ellerston in 3rd is said to be an amazing track, its a pity that it is so exclusive that few get the chance to play. Barnbougle Dunes and Lost Farm continue to be the destination of choice for golf trips, as the 4th and 6th ranked courses respectively, Im lucky to have just played the courses again, and each return visit makes them even better as you begin to understand the layout. Another recent ranking had the two Barnbougle courses ranked 2nd and 3rd, these are great courses, but they are not better than Kingston Heath. The amazing New South Wales Golf Club sits at 5th, perhaps unlucky not to be higher than Barnbougle. Rounding out the top 10 are Royal Melbourne East, The National Moonah, Lake Karrinyup and The National Old. Unlucky to be pushed out of the top ten are Melbourne sandbelt courses Victoria (11) and Metropolitan (13).
The ranking system may need to be reviewed as AGD acknowledge that their is very little separating the majority of layouts. This can explain some of the courses improving in score but dropping in rankings, and other course falling/rising in the rankings for no apparent reason. But regardless, its an impressive list of golf courses, and shows what a fantastic range of courses there are in Australia.
The full Top 100 is now out in the March 2014 issue of Australian Golf Digest, grab a copy and see how many you have played.