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Top 100 Golf Courses "BiteSize" - March 2016

There’s just one more tournament on the PGA Tour schedule prior to the Masters at Augusta National. However, the first of five women’s majors takes place this weekend in Rancho Mirage, California, where the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club is once again the stage for the ANA (All Nippon Airways) Inspiration tournament, formerly known as the Kraft Nabisco Championship and, of course, the Dinah Shore. These two majors herald the start of the season for many golfers in the Northern Hemisphere, while players in the south prepare for autumn.

It makes little difference here at Top 100 Golf Courses as to whether it’s spring or autumn as we continue to focus on our global re-rankings. This month’s BiteSize update showcases Mexico, Chile, Uruguay, Panama, Nicaragua and Fiji, while in the background we’re working hard to produce a new Top 20 for Brazil ahead of Rio’s biggest ever sporting spectacle this coming August. We’re also in the thick of our biennial US Best In State re-evaluation, which is always our toughest and most time-consuming challenge.

Wherever you live and wherever you plan to travel on your golfing adventures, you can rest assured we’re the only independent organisation that provides an honest and straightforward perspective on the world’s best courses.

We expand our Mexican coverage with a new Top 40 chart

This is the 5th edition of our Mexican listings, having first created a Top 15 for the country eight years ago, As time goes by and more data sources become available, we’ve been able to slowly extend our presentation of courses in this important nation that links North and Central America so we’ve added another ten courses this time around (including the latest design from Tiger Woods), establishing a new Top 40.

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We extend our Chilean standings by initiating a new Top 10

Top 100 Golf Courses began the latest review of its Central and South American listings last month with the release of a new Top 30 chart for Argentina. We continue the reappraisal process for that part of the world with a fresh look at the top tracks in Chile. Last time around, we established a Chilean Top 5 and we’ve now doubled the size of our chart in this edition, producing a new Top 10, with a brand new entry, straight in at No.1 – Patagonia Virgin.

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Top 5 Golf Courses of Panama 2016

Although there are less than a dozen courses in Panama, a number of these are so compelling that you really should take your golf clubs, which is exactly what Dave Finn (our Canadian correspondent) did last month. Dave escaped the Toronto winter and played eight of the country’s ten courses. His feedback, coupled with the views of eight other intrepid journalists, enabled us to refresh and extend our Panamanian listing from three to five. We’ll publish Dave’s story next month, in the meanwhile study his latest reviews for Mantarraya and Panama Golf Club.

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Guacalito de la Isla is Nicaragua’s No.1

Our new Nicaraguan No.1, designed by David McLay Kidd, is part of a reputed $250 million beach community at Guacalito de la Isla, which sits next to the stunning white sands of Playa Manzanillo and the crystal clear waters of the Pacific Ocean. The fairways were carved from tropical forest, with many of the native trees removed during construction transplanted onto other holes, each of which is named after one of the arboreal specimens located on the course.

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Uruguay’s best golf courses

Uruguay is the second smallest nation in South America with a population of under 4 million people and there are only eleven clubs affiliated to the country’s golf union. Carmelo (our No.1) has gained the reputation as one of the very best courses in South America, attracting golfers from all over the continent. However, we welcome Cantegril, a new Uruguayan entry at #2, nine holes of which were laid out in 1946 by Luther Koonz (who worked with Alister MacKenzie in the early 1930s).

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A jewel in the South Pacific

Our China and Southern Asia correspondent, Kimi Hoshiyama, recently visited Fiji but couldn’t get to Red Bull billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz’s 3,000-acre paradise, Laucala Island. David McLay Kidd’s portfolio is certainly varied. For every public access course he’s designed, such as Bandon Dunes or Machrihanish Dunes, there’s an ultra-private layout such as Nanea or Queenwood. His course at Laucala Island falls into the second category, though it is possible to play, at a price!

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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.