St Andrews, Old Course

Although ranking lists make fascinating reading, none are really able to provide an accurate or ‘official’ rank of quality, because the definitive description of great golf has still not been written. There are also large variances in analytical methodology, some judge the quality of a course by considering the individual strength of all eighteen holes, which differs considerably from the more mathematical method employed by magazines, who often compile their ranking lists by assigning scores to criteria like shot values, resistance to scoring, design variety and memorability.

Ultimately, the only truly accurate rankings are an individual’s own, so while the Planet Golf World 100 list is unlikely to meet with universal agreement, it has been published to provide an insight into the personal preferences of author Darius Oliver. Worldwide Oliver has seen each of the Top 100 courses in the USA, the Top 50 in Australia and the UK & Ireland, as well as 49 from the Top 50 on the European mainland. There were also visits to each of the Top 30 in South Africa and Canada together with a host of highly rated championship venues across Asia and South/Central America.

After studying more than 1,500 of the world’s finest courses, Oliver is well qualified both to comment on ranking lists and to offer up an alternative view on what are the great courses in golf. We hope that you view his list as carefully considered and credible, and return often to check for updates. As new courses are built and existing ones upgraded, so too will the Planet Golf World 100 evolve; any shifts or amendments available right here on the web site.

Oakmont
Lahinch
Hirono
Rye
Woking
Alwoodley

Candidate courses

Listed below are some of the courses that once appeared on this Planet Golf ranking list and have since departed, as well as those that were close to being included and are strong candidates for future updates.