One of the most vital, and indeed most exciting, elements of the Top 100 criteria is risk and reward. Rob Smith picks his target…
n putting together the Top 100 rankings and selecting the courses that make it into the Next 100, there is a well-defined and time-proven formula in which the quality of the test and design is paramount.
Within this, we ask if there is good variety throughout the course, whether golfers are tested with every type of shot and whether they need to use every club in the bag. Connected to this is risk and reward – are the hazards in a fair position to punish only the poorly executed or ill-advised shot, and are the natural hazards used to the best effect? Most importantly, does the design reward good golf?
While our leading courses all provide a thorough examination of ability from start to finish, golfers want, and indeed need, respite and
Idiversity; the opportunity to get one back on the card. But these are holes where the wrong club, the mishit or the incorrect choice of shot can lead to many different punishments. Most costly, the ball can end up out of bounds or in a water hazard. Alternatively, it may finish in a bunker from which progress is difficult, stuck in the trees or simply out of position with no chance to play towards the pin. Harry Colt was an early proponent of the risk-and-reward concept. It has become ever-more popular in recent times, with holes such as the 14th at Loch Lomond designed with this as its key element. One of the most famous modern examples is the 10th on the Brabazon at The Belfry – a short par 4 where the green entices you from the tee, but a pervasive ditch and water