Unlike previous ratings systems or the various magazine ranking panels assembled around the world, at Planet Golf we have developed a concise rating methodology that we believe can be applied accurately to golf courses of any shape and description. Our unique 3-Flag rating system isn’t meant to provide golfers with a ranking of the world’s best courses, but rather accurately rate every candidate course according to their general golf quality. Rather than argue over whether Cypress Point or Pine Valley is the world’s best layout, we acknowledge both are superb and assign each our top 3-Flag rating. No golf course in the world is perfect, and in our view it is the level of imperfection that ultimately determines the quality of the golf course.
3-Flag ratings are reserved for those select global golf courses that manage to achieve the envious treble of great holes, great golf land and great construction. These are the premier golf layouts on the planet. (click to view 3-Flag courses)
2-Flag rated courses are generally superbly routed across quality golf land and boast both fine construction and a number of great golf holes. Some are prevented from ever reaching 3-Flag status because of inferior golfing ground, but most are rated only marginally beneath the standard of the world’s premier layouts. (click to view 2-Flag courses)
1-Flag rated courses are a mix of well routed and well designed layouts on moderate golf land, and moderately designed courses on great land. The golf connoisseur will only be disappointed with these courses if they regard design as the only important consideration of quality. Many of the 1-Flag courses could easily be improved to acquire 2 or 3-Flag status, and where appropriate we have listed possible areas of improvement. (click to view 1-Flag courses)
No-Flags - Courses without a flag aren’t necessarily poor, but if they do possess some quality they require significant improvement to be awarded a Flag rating. Where possible we try to outline what improvements are required to raise the standard of the golf course.
It should be noted that our ratings
are based entirely on the quality of the golf course, and ignore periphery
elements like exclusivity, price, value, amenities, history, celebrity, conditioning
and clubhouse facilities.