Who’s break­ing in for the first time and who’s on an up­ward curve? Jeremy Ell­wood takes a look…

Golf Monthly - - Florian Fritsch -

ur de­ci­sion to drop ex­clu­sive clubs from our lat­est rank­ings (see p66) means we have more cour­ses go­ing up than ever be­fore. Here, we fo­cus on some of the biggest climbers, along with the six new en­tries this de­ci­sion has fa­cil­i­tated.

OCom­ing up Trumps First, though, let’s look at the most sig­nif­i­cant up­ward moves within the top ten. It’s been a great year for Trump, not just in terms of the US pres­i­dency but also our Top 100 rank­ings. This should come as no sur­prise, for what­ever you think of the man, he has cer­tainly never been afraid to put his hand in his pocket and make bold calls when it comes to his cour­ses.

The in­cred­i­ble work car­ried out at Turn­berry’s Ailsa course, un­veiled to the golf­ing world in the sum­mer, has drawn a col­lec­tive gasp of as­ton­ish­ment. When a course al­ready ranked 4th im­proves to the de­gree that the Ailsa has, it’s lit­tle sur­prise that it should rise to the very pin­na­cle as a re­sult, re­turn­ing to No.1 for the first time since 2006.

As for his spec­tac­u­lar Aberdeen links, it con­tin­ues to draw near-uni­ver­sal praise from all who visit, with even many hard­ened tra­di­tion­al­ists won over by its sheer ‘wow’ fac­tor. Af­ter en­ter­ing our rank­ings in 14th place last time, it now climbs to 8th, with the only real crit­i­cism the sever­ity of the test. Climb­ing high Beyond the top ten, sev­eral cour­ses have re­ally ben­e­fited from our de­ci­sion to re­move ex­clu­sive clubs, and the lower down the rank­ings you go, the greater some of the climbs. Sher­wood Forest and Wok­ing are among the most no­table with their jumps up to 84th and 86th places re­spec­tively.

Oth­ers have climbed steeply as a re­sult of sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment works, with Cru­den Bay, our high­est climber over­all, ris­ing 13 places to 76th. The Aberdeen­shire club has reaped the ben­e­fit of im­prove­ment works to its 9th, 10th and 16th holes un­der the guid­ance of renowned course ar­chi­tect Tom Macken­zie. Park­stone is up nine fol­low­ing the re­mod­elling of its 2nd and 14th holes along with fur­ther work, while Royal Troon has ben­e­fited enor­mously from im­prove­ment works over­seen by Martin Ebert ahead of this year’s Open.

With six cour­ses de­part­ing courtesy of our new stance, at least six more were al­ways des­tined to get in for the first time, with some of them – Fern­down, Broad­stone and Tan­dridge – in­vest­ing heav­ily in re­cent years. Com­plet­ing our sex­tet are En­nis­crone in Ire­land, Pen­nard on The Gower and Mur­car right next door to Royal Aberdeen. The 3rd at Trump In­ter­na­tional Golf Links Cru­den Bay has made the biggest leap this year

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