Pretty soon, though, there'll be a new kid on the block. Golf Course Architecture magazine is working now to create its own ranking of golf courses, to be called Architects' Choice Top 100. The voting for this ranking is being done exclusively by professional golf course architects.
''With most professional golf course architects having visited a large number of golf courses throughout the world, and having a very specific eye for quality that comes from their full time work on golf design, we believe these rankings will be the most insightful evaluation into golf course design quality there has ever been,'' says Golf Course Architecture.
The course designers get to decide their own criteria for their ranking – factoring in merits such as strategic value, beauty, fun and history – and then they'll weight those attributes as they see fit to create their individual top-10 lists. These lists then will be combined to produce the full GCA Top 100 ranking.
And in addition to creating this full top 100 list, the magazine plans to analyze data to deliver more insight on the architects' selections, looking at regions, types of golf course, prevalence of particular architects' work and the balance of modern and historic designs.
Voting is taking place now, and GCA plans to release its inaugural Top 100 list in its July issue. It'll be very interesting to see how much difference there is between this list and the existing ones.