For the second time, I have participated in Score Golf’s much discussed, much maligned, Top 100 in Canada ratings. I had such mixed feelings on the last ratings that architecture buffs Jeff Mingay, Ben Cowan-Dewar, Ian Andrew and myself gathered together to do our own Top 25 in Canada. The rationale was that once you get past 25 clubs in Canada, the pickings get pretty thin. I’m not saying there aren’t good golf courses outside that list — but they aren’t great golf courses. Our ratings offered some insight into why we felt the courses were placed in their respective locations on our list.
Anyway, I’m still involved in Score’s ratings this year, which are now using a web-based system to track various criteria to determine the Top 100 in the country. In 2004 I had played 18 of the top 20 (I was missing Salmon Arm and Royal Colwood, both of which I have still not played), and 64 of the Top 100. I’ve added a few in the past two years and in an effort for disclosure, I’ll let you know I rated more than 120 courses this time around.
The top ranked courses for me, with a point scale out of five, turned out to be:
- Highlands Links
- St. George’s
- Devil’s Paintbrush
- Toronto Golf
- (a number tied at 4.1 total points)
Now a couple of those that would have found a home in the list (Eagle’s Nest, Blackhawk) are up for best new and won’t make the Top 100 list. As mentioned, I had lots with ratings around 4 to 4.1 out of five that would round out my Top 25, that included the likes of Bigwin Island, Oviinbyrd (also up for best new) and others.
I’ve always been disappointed that Score wasn’t more open about the way its raters voted in the panel. I always wanted to meet the people who actually though Silver Tip was a great golf course, or who really felt Hecla was in the Top 20 in Canada. Had they truly played coast to coast?
My great failing when it comes to the Top 100 list is that I’ve never been to Victoria to see Colwood. Hopefully I can fix that for the next time. Anyway, Score’s official list will appear next month.