Augusta National. Photo by Larry Lambrecht

The 2021 Golf Digest Magazine ranking of America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses has been released and the results, as always, are sure to raise a few eyebrows. Whether it's due to an expanded ranking panel, or the effects of COVID-19 on travel, the curious obsession Digest has long had with really exclusive private clubs and really expensive resort golf has only increased with this latest list.

There are far too many moderate private clubs included for a Top 100 like this to be taken seriously, including the plush Congaree course in South Carolina which is featured for the first time. Tom Fazio's design at Congaree carries deliberate hints of the Melbourne Sandbelt, yet would be unlikely to make Melbourne's Top 10 were it in Australia. #39 in all of the USA seems generous.

Other curiosities include The Honors course continuing to outrank places like Pinehurst #2 and San Francisco GC, Pasatiempo way down at #98, Rich Harvest on the list and ahead of Old Town Club and Somerset Hills beneath Butler National, Alotian, Congaree, Honors and The Olympic Club. All seem inexcusable.