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Top 100 Golf Courses "BiteSize" - October 2016

October has been the busiest month ever in terms of the number of reviews posted on the Top 100 platform. We’d like to thank all our regular contributors and the many new reviewers who’ve crafted and submitted insightful and thoughtful golf course reviews.

This month’s October BiteSize showcases a few of those posts alongside a number of other features from Australia to Ireland and America to Zambia. Our global challenge is to showcase the world’s best golf courses, which relies on help from countless contributors who enable us to present the most informed golf course rankings in the business. However, there’s always room for improvement, so if you can help us to refine our rankings in any corner of the world please do get in touch.

Top 100 Golf Courses of Australia 2017

Royal Melbourne’s West course once again remains firmly embedded at the summit of our latest Australian rankings. Alister MacKenzie’s celebrated masterpiece has been rated as the national number 1 since we compiled our first Aussie Top 50 back in 2007 and we think it will take something truly extraordinary to remove this highly strategic layout from its current position.

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The two-year countdown to the 2018 Ryder Cup is underway

Andy boarded a Brittany Ferry to preview the 2018 Ryder Cup venue at Le Golf National close to Paris and he decided L’Albatros course is an ideal venue with many similarities to former European Ryder Cup layouts at Gleneagles, Celtic Manor and four-time host, The Belfry – the golfing highlights of the trip however fell to a pair of unsung Gallic gems.

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Top 5 Golf Courses of Zambia 2017

It was around this time last year that we published our first rankings for Nigeria so we felt it was about time to take the plunge back into the Dark Continent to unearth another African chart. We’ve recently added Stuart McLean, respected author and Editor of Golf Digest South Africa, to the Top 100 team and his recent trip to Zambia prompted us to formulate our first Top 5 chart for the country.

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Ireland – any decent golf on the West Coast?

That was the question our German Correspondent, Ulrich, set out to answer this summer, although he had a nagging suspicion that it might not be much of an open issue and in fact he did close it after playing the first course.  Which, as it happened, wasn't even on the West Coast, but coastal it was and far enough west from Rosslare Harbour as well.

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The Wisconsin “Pearl” Golf Trip

Richard and Ruth celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary at the Kohler Resort in Wisconsin, playing both the Straits and Irish courses at Whistling Straits, followed by the River course at Blackwolf Run and then Erin Hills, site of the 2017 U.S. Open championship. Ruth has taken a liking to golf and Richard was looking forward to playing some exciting golf and sharing some new experiences with her.

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Sky 72 (Ocean) – review and photo by Mark

After watching the LPGA KEB Hana Bank event a number of times on TV, I had a chance to play the course while laying over between flights at Incheon International Airport right next door. The layout makes great use of the terrain, rising up and over a gentle plateau on both nines providing views of the airport and of the ocean and islands further north.

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Sherwood Forest – review and photo by Aidan

The stretch of holes from 9-15 really is extremely tough. Five par 4s all over 440 yards. But it's the par 3s that make the course. The stunning little 115-yard 7th is the signature hole, very similar to the Postage Stamp at Troon. Playing 20 feet downhill to a green that sits 60 yards in length but 15/20 feet wide makes it a real test.

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Cabot Cliffs – review by Doug

Cabot Cliffs is as good as any. That's a pretty strong statement coming from someone who has had the pleasure to play seven of the Top 10 on the Top 100 list and thirteen of the Top 20. The Cliffs is a mix of six par 3/4/5's. Every hole is special. Two holes I would change…

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Trump Turnberry (Ailsa) – review and photo by David

Having played Turnberry last year before the renovation I have to say I was less than enthusiastic about the course. Sure there was wonderful history and some great holes or perhaps famous is a better word but I just didn’t love the routing and flow nor did I enjoy all the holes. In July I was fortunate enough to have another go at a completely renovated Ailsa and the best word to describe the new course is “Wow!”

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Essex County Country Club – review by Steve

Generally when a club hires an architect to build a course where one already exists, the new architect blows up the old course in its entirety. When Seth Raynor looked at A.W. Tillinghast’s layout at Essex County, he found enough to like that he retained seven of Tilly’s holes. Raynor died before construction, but Charles Banks executed his plan. As a result ECCC is one of the few clubs that can boast of having holes created by two Golden Age architects.

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Indianwood (Old) – review by Fergal

This is a really fun course located about an hour north of Detroit. The club was founded in 1925 with the Old course hosting numerous USGA events. The opening five holes throw you head first into the rolling nature of the land. Large dips and rises are plentiful. I really enjoyed the approach shots into the 2nd and 4th holes, where the greens sat below the level of the fairway.

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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.