Golf Digest Magazine have released their 2013-2014 ranking of America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses, and yet again the list is sure to stir plenty of controversy and debate.
At the top, Pine Valley has returned to the number 1 position after losing out to Augusta National in the previous two surveys. There were only minor shuffles among the other top 20 courses, with the biggest surprise being the fall of Pacific Dunes to 19 and beneath such courses as Muirfield Village (14), The Alotian (15) and even Chicago Golf Club (18). Those who have played each course are likely to be scratching their heads right now. Another oddity is the ranking of restored golden age gems Pinehurst No. 2 (40) and Los Angeles CC (41), which both seem harshly treated – given a course like Canyata is ranked ahead of them at 37.
In terms of new additions, the Old Macdonald course at Bandon Dunes made the Top 100 as expected, although in 49th place and surprisingly below other newcomers Gozzer Ranch (27) and Pikewood National (45). The Upper Course at Baltusrol (59) and the Gil Hanse-restored Quaker Ridge (69) both returned to the Top 100 after missing the list back in 2011.
Those on the slide include The Golf Club at Black Rock (58) and Rich Harvest Links (73), which we believe have no place in any discussion on great golf courses yet, criminally, remain somehow ranked ahead of a true world-class layout like Ballyneal (78). Until Golf Digest can address such obvious ranking oddities their list will struggle for credibility.