Big shake up in SA's Top 100 courses

Cape Town - The annual Golf Digest Top 100 hit the shelves this week.

Golf Digest has been at the forefront of ranking South African golf courses since the late 1990s and the 2016 biennial ranking, brought to you by BMW, delivers plenty of surprises.

“This year’s Golf Digest Top 100 Courses has seen a major shake-up of positions, more so than any previous ranking,” says Golf Digest Editor Stuart McLean.

“Several changes have occurred within the Top 10, and there are a total of nine new entries - the highest of which came in at 21.”

45 courses went up while 38 went down and eight stayed in the same position as 2014. The Best Conditioned Courses (in five separate regions) always ensures lively debate amongst readers and interestingly, this year, two 9-hole courses made the list.

The rankings are based on course evaluations by more than 100 volunteer panel members throughout South Africa. A course needs a minimum of 20 evaluations over the past three years to be eligible for the Top 100.

The panel members score courses on seven criteria: Shot Values, Playability, Resistance to Scoring, Aesthetics, Design Variety, Memorability and Conditioning.   

Shot Values are worth 20 points while the other six categories are worth 10 points each. Clubhouses and their facilities are not considered for rating purposes as it's all about the golf course, not the service levels.

Adds McLean: “The 34-page feature includes spectacular images from golf course photographers Grant Leversha and Jamie Thom. Once again we feature The Next 50 Courses, those ranked from 101 to 150. The issue also features a tribute to the recently closed King David Golf Course in Cape Town.”

The Golf Digest Top 100 issue is on sale at most major retail, bookstore and sport store outlets. Retail price is R38.

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