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Top 100 Golf Courses "BiteSize" - July 2016

Our July BiteSize update concludes the 2016 rollout of our US Best In State rankings, where we’ve released our biennial appraisal of nine States in the Mid-Atlantic and New England Divisions of the country. We’ve extended all nine of these US Best In State ranking lists and in this final update we present our first Top 50 rankings for New Jersey and Massachusetts – we’ve also expanded New York and Pennsylvania to a Top 60. We’re grateful to everyone who has assisted – if you can help us to further improve our Best In State rankings, please get in touch. 

Also in this month’s edition we share our story following a visit to Sweden after recently playing nine Swedish courses.

2016 Connecticut Best in State rankings

We’ve doubled the number of courses in the Constitution State from fifteen to thirty. The top four places remain as they were when we last re-ranked, so Yale is still the state number 1, a position it has held since we first established our US state lists in 2012. Woodway Country Club, a near 100 year-old Willie Park track, is the highest new entry at number 7, where Mark Mungeam has carried out major restorations in recent years.

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2016 Maine Best in State rankings

The chart for the Pine Tree State has been expanded to a Top 15, with Portland Country Club fending off all comers to retain the number 1 position. The club was formed in 1895 but moved to its present coastal location twenty-five years later, engaging Donald Ross to lay out a relatively short, though thoroughly engaging, course overlooking the harbour and city of Portland.

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2016 Massachusetts Best in State rankings

The top three spots in the Bay State chart remain the same, which means the Clyde and Squirrel nines at The Country Club in Brookline holds onto the number one slot. One of five founder members of the American Golf Association (later named the USGA), the club is best known by many for hosting the US Open that Francis Ouimet famously won in 1913, though the notorious Ryder Cup matches in 1999 might be a little fresher in the minds of contemporary golfers.

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2016 New Hampshire Best in State rankings

Having just added another ten New Hampshire courses, we now have a Top 20 for the Granite State, where a new number 1 heads the chart. The Golf Club of New England in Stratham is a new millennium Arnold Palmer course that’s generally regarded as one of The King’s stronger designs. The highest new entry in the updated State table is the Atkinson Resort & Country Club at number 9, a mid-1990s public access course from Phil Wogan.

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2016 New Jersey Best in State rankings

The top five positions in the Garden State remain exactly as they were when we last updated our standings two years ago, which means Pine Valley is still the number 1 course. After ten years at the top of our World Top 100 chart, this George Crump classic was displaced by Cypress Point as the best golfing layout on the planet when we revised our global listings in November last year. Such a fall from grace is relative, of course.

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2016 New York Best in State rankings

The top eleven courses in the Empire State are all included in our World Top 100 rankings, which is a fair indication of the high quality of layouts that you’ll find in this part of the country. Shinnecock Hills remains virtually unchallenged at the top of the state chart and this brilliant old William Flynn design will once again play host to the best golfers in the world at the US Open in 2018 and 2026.

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2016 Pennsylvania Best in State rankings

The Henry and William Fownes-designed Oakmont course, where this year’s US Open was held, heads the Keystone State listings. There’s not too much movement at the top end, except for a couple of notable Saucon Valley climbers: the 1960s William & David Gordon Weyhill course (up six) has undergone a recent Fazio Golf restoration whilst the Grace course is another highly regarded co-design by the same father and son architectural team and it hurtles fourteen places up the chart.

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2016 Rhode Island Best in State rankings

The course at Newport Country Club remains the top track in the Ocean State. It’s an important historical layout as it hosted both the first US Open and US Amateur in 1895, though A. W. Tillinghast subsequently redesigned it in 1924. Two of the five new entries on the state chart make their mark within the Top 10 and they’re both located on the shores of Narragansett Bay, having been constructed within two years of each other in the 1920s.

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2016 Vermont Best in State rankings

The charming old layout at Ekwanok Country Club sits atop the Green Mountain State listings. A Walter Travis layout which was constructed in collaboration with Scottish professional John Dunn at the start of the last century, it’s a course that has benefited from a 1960s upgrade by Geoff Cornish and from work carried out in more recent times by Bruce Hepner when he was working with Renaissance Design.

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Sweden – where variety is the spice of golfing life!

Swedish courses feature prominently in our European Top 100, with a dozen listed in the current version of that particular continental ranking chart. Jan Nordstrom, our Nordic correspondent, was keen to show us what golf was like in the south of the country so last month three of our UK-based team joined him for a week’s golfing excursion around the city of Malmö, sampling some of the better courses in that area.

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Have you downloaded our Scottish publication yet?

Top 100 Golf Courses of Scotland 2016-2017 was recently published in Kindle format, which can be enjoyed on any device with Kindle’s free App. This latest title in the Top 100 series is jam-packed full of previously unreleased material and it includes an insight from our Editor and Scottish Correspondent, Jim McCann, who has played every layout in the Scottish hundred.

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Recent Player Reviews

Have you played any Top Golf Courses recently?

If so, we'd love to hear from you, so why not post a review and share your experience? If you took a great photo during your visit, email it to info@top100golfcourses.co.uk and we'll include it within your review. Don't forget you can now have your own personalised Reviewers page on the Top 100 website.