Golf Digest (South Africa) - - The Gallery -

THE FIRST CON­CERN and prob­a­bly the big­gest dis­ap­point­ment of your Top 100 course rank­ings (March) is the omis­sion of the ac­tual score each club achieved. Whilst the ac­tual score is a sub­jec­tive as­sess­ment by a num­ber of peo­ple rat­ing cour­ses, once that score is set one can then ex­tract some mea­sur­able and com­par­a­tive value be­tween clubs.

In this re­gard a club may show a dip in rank­ing, but on the other hand the score may in­di­cate a very small vari­ance. For ex­am­ple Glen­dower im­proved eight places whilst Blair Athol de­clined 10. It would have been in­ter­est­ing to see the changes in the ac­tual scores. The sec­ond con­cern is that one gets the im­pres­sion that the South African panel mem­bers are ei­ther far too gen­er­ous or have an inated view of the qual­ity of our golf cour­ses. First place went to Fan­court Links, no pub­lished score for 2016, but in 2014 the club scored 79.74 points. In com­par­i­son, Amer­ica’s 100 Great­est Cour­ses 2015-2016 do dis­close the scores. First place went to Au­gusta Na­tional with 72.15 points. Does this mean that your panel mem­bers be­lieve the top course in South Africa is bet­ter than Au­gusta? Golf Di­gest’s World 100 Great­est Golf Cour­ses puts it all into per­spec­tive. First place went to Royal County Down and sec­ond place Au­gusta Na­tional. Fan­court Links came 43rd (down from 34), Leop­ard Creek 88th (down from 84) and Gary Player CC 99th. It is sug­gested that High­land Gate’s en­try at 21st is a lit­tle early and prob­a­bly they should have sat out for the next round when the course will have set­tled down some, and then prove it­self. There are many ex­am­ples of new cour­ses emerg­ing on the scene but not hold­ing on to the ini­tial hype. Pin­na­cle Point down to 23 and The Els Club down to 36. I look for­ward to Steyn City’s en­try next time around.As re­gards re­cent up­grades of cour­ses I won­der if the com­mit­tees and mem­bers of Coun­try Club Jo­han­nes­burg (Wood­mead course up 5 places to 20) and Rand­park (Firethorn course up 9 places to 30) are happy that their large in­vest­ments have been suit­ably recog­nised. John Col­lier, Gaut­eng While many of Golf Di­gest’s course raters have never been to Au­gusta Na­tional, and thus can­not com­pare it with our best cour­ses, they are not in­clined to be­lieve that our cour­ses are bet­ter than any­thing in the United States. While Golf Di­gest USA and GDSA use mainly the same cri­te­ria in which to rate cour­ses, in 2014 we changed our points sys­tem. Au­gusta’s score of 72.15 is cal­cu­lated out of a to­tal mark of 80. Fan­court’s score of 79.74 in 2014 was out of 100. In 2012, when Leop­ard Creek was the No 1 course, its mark was 64 out of 80.That score would have been good for No 31 in the USA Top 100. This year we omit­ted the av­er­age scores of each course, for var­i­ous rea­sons, but these are still avail­able to clubs if they want them.

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