One of the most vi­tal, and in­deed most ex­cit­ing, el­e­ments of the Top 100 cri­te­ria is risk and re­ward. Rob Smith picks his tar­get…

Golf Monthly - - Rory Mcilroy -

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

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