Isle of Purbeck

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Isle of Purbeck Course moves up 11 places in Today's Golfer England's Top 100.

Thursday 12th January 2023

Best Golf Courses in England | Today's Golfer England's Top 100. Published: 11 January 2023

Top 100 X-Factor Courses in the UK

The most difficult aspect of producing our Top 100s is that golfers look for different things from a course. Some just want a nice setting. Another group seek a stringent examination, others quirky holes. Conditioning is paramount for a very large number. Some want subtle strategy and design nuance, others want a succession of thrilling shots over water. The list goes on. So which of those types of golfer are we compiling our lists for? I like to think we collate the courses that best demonstrate all of these aspects. But, while I know admitting fallibility or compromises is not really the done thing these days, I absolutely accept that we are trying to be all things to all golfers when it is not really possible. That’s why I enjoyed compiling this ranking so much. On this one, the courses and their order were easier to identify, because I felt we knew exactly the sort of golfer we were doing this list for. Of course, some may disagree with our definition of a course with X Factor, but what I am sure of is that the 100 courses fulfil the criteria and weighting used to choose them. And what a collection of courses. Design connoisseurs might dismiss the positions of some they don’t rate, but for the rest – who make up the majority of golfers – this will be the ultimate bucket list to tick off.

Simply listing the categories used to assess the courses tells you all you need to know about this ranking. They could barely be any less abstract and were, in descending order of importance: Setting, Dramatic Holes, Tournament Pedigree, and Conditioning. We were seeking courses that make your jaw drop and inspire awe. Where would make you think ‘wow’, which are you mostly likely to have as your screensaver, where would make you send an excited message to friends the night before a round (especially true where tournament pedigree is concerned, in my view) or just after it?

All 58 panellists who have been a part of ranking GB&I courses for us had some input into the list, but I’d like to pick out Stuart Bendoris, Kevin Markham, Nick Dungay, Jude Mackenzie, Neal Stewart, William Murphy, Peter Bosworth, Dave Truman, David Walker, Joan Weight, Mike Bailey, Dai Thomas, James Reader and Tom Stenner-Evans for special thanks for their contributions.

Chris Bertram, Top 100 Editor

Full Article and Course Rankings List

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