A new player to the ratings game

Cypress Point: Betters Pine Valley in Links magazine's list

A couple of months ago my former editor at T&L Golf (RIP) asked me about participating in a new world Top 100 panel for course rankings. I was delighted — I’ve never been part of a world panel, though I’ve participated in Ontario and Canadian ones, as well as Golf Digest’s panel.

At the time I recognized I’ve now played more than half of the World Top 100 as listed in Golf Magazine, so it was fun to work through the new list for Links magazine. 

The list is now posted online and comes with a lot of interesting picks.

Three Canadian courses makes the list: St. George’s at 52 (likely too high), Highlands Links at  56 (about right) and Hamilton at 79 (also probably too high, but nice to see it appear). I’ve seen 8 of the Top 10 in the Links list, and 19 of the Top 25. I voted Pine Valley No. 1, followed by Cypress Point and Shinnecock Hills. This list is also a bit more intriguing than some of the others — listing a course like Yale well up the ranking, while it doesn’t even appear on the Golf Magazine list.

Interestingly, I had a conversation last week with Bandon Dunes owner Mike Keiser where we spoke about great courses with weak holes. Some would argue that the 18th at Cypress, a mid-length par four that is tight between trees and seems somewhat out of place, holds the course back, but it made No.1 Keiser argued very few courses have 18 great holes — though we both agreed that Pine Valley was one of them.


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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Pretty darn good lists. I think St. George’s is about right, Hamilton a bit too high in its current state, and Highlands should be higher once Ian’s work is complete.

    I’d be curiuos to see the ‘next 100’, I think there are at least a few Canadian courses that could fall into catagory.

  • The National is the best course in Canada. This new top 100 list is flawed if three other Canadian courses rank ahead of it.

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