Scottish golf courses remain some of the best in the world with a total of 12 making it onto the latest Golf.com list of World Top 100 Courses.
Top scot unsurprisingly went to The Home of Golf, the Old Course, St Andrews which entered the rankings 3rd behind Cypress Point and Pine Valley. The only other Scot to make the top 10 at number 9 was Muirfield. With all of Scotland’s entries being links courses one of the oldest and most visited, Royal Dornoch placed 14th.
Hamilton Grand behind the 18th green of the Old Course (Image Graylyn Loomis – www.graylynloomis.com)
One course that is sure to rise (or fall, it’s confusing I know) as it undergoes an extensive course redesign is the Ailsa Course, Turnberry which entered the rankings at 23 just ahead of fellow Open Championship venue Carnoustie which ranked 26.
The best ranked modern course in Scotland went to Trump International in Aberdeen which pipped Kingsbarns (65th) and Castle Stuart (69th) after listing 48th best golf course in the world.
Trump Scotland (Image Credit Caspar Grauballe)
Next year’s Open Championship venue Royal Troon was the highest Scottish ranked Open venue at 49.
The remaining Scottish golf courses which made the coveted list could be said to the most enjoyable of all. North Berwick‘s West Links came in 63rd ahead of two Tom Morris designs in Cruden Bay (77) and Machrihanish (93).
Cruden Bay ranked 77 in the latest World Top 100. (16th green)
Testament to Scotland’s golfing culture is the fact that each course listed is open for public play meaning you or I can tee it up and rank it for ourselves which can’t be said for around a third of the World Top 100 Golf Courses. The average green fee of the Scottish courses listed based on 2015 green fees worked out to be £167 ($257) which weirdly enough is almost the exact amount charged by the St Andrews Links Trust to play the Old Course, St Andrews. Coincidence?
Undoubtedly this figure is inflated by the ‘new’ or modern links courses of Kingsbarns, Castle Stuart and Trump International who offer an average green fee of £210 ($324). In comparative terms the Open rota courses average greenfee was £200($308) which backs up the notion that visiting golfers can expect to pay top dollar for some of Scotland’s best ranked courses.
Another interesting observation is the close locality of these courses with almost all, with the exception of remote Machrihanish are close enough to quite comfortably allow 36 holes across two different World Top 100 Golf Courses on the same day! These include Cruden Bay/Trump International within 13 miles of each other, Kingsbarns/Old Course, St Andrews just 7 miles apart and friendly neighbours Muirfield/North Berwick just 4 miles drive.
Royal Aberdeen’s Front is often said to one of the best in the world. (Image Credit Visit Scotland )
Certainly Royal Aberdeen can rightfully feel aggrieved at being excluded from the latest rankings. A regular in such listings the 2014 Scottish Open venue is believed by many to be the superior to it’s two neighbouring northeast courses of Trump International and Cruden Bay. As too can Prestwick, home to the first 10 Open Championships and a must play for thousands of visiting golfers every year.
Subjective of course but interesting reading..
View the full World Top 100 Golf Courses 2015 by visiting www,golf.com.
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