how we rank the courses
Our panelists play and score courses on seven criteria:
How well do the holes present a variety of risks and rewards, and test accuracy, length and finesse without overemphasizing any one skill over the other two?
resistance to scoring
How difficult, while still being fair, is the course for the scratch player from the back tees?
How varied are the holes in terms of differing lengths, configurations, hazard placements, green shapes and green contours?
How well do the design features (tees, fairways, greens, hazards, vegetation and terrain) provide both individuality to each hole and a collective continuity from first tee to last green.
How well do the scenic values of the course (including landscaping, vegetation, water features and backdrops) add to the pleasure of a round?
How fast, firm and rolling were the fairways, and how firm, yet receptive, were the greens on the date you played the course?
How well does the overall feel and atmosphere of the course reflect or uphold the traditional values of the game of golf? ▶ To arrive at a course’s final score, we total its averages in the seven categories.