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Top 100 Golf Courses "BiteSize" – February 2017

We’ve continued to publish a seemingly never-ending cycle of re-rankings during February and this month we highlight three new African Top 10s for Egypt, Tunisia and Kenya. We’ve also taken a careful look at Colombia and increased our course coverage from a Top 5 to a Top 10. Bucking our biennial trend, we've refreshed and extended our South Korean listings from a Top 20 to a Top 30 after revising the Korean rankings only twelve months ago.

The golfing scene in the Middle East, especially in the United Arab Emirates, is expanding, albeit slowly. The high profile opening of Gil Hanse’s Trump International Golf Club Dubai a couple of weeks ago suggests there is golfing demand in the Arabian desert. But it was too early for us to include this latest Trump layout in our inaugural Middle East Top 20.

One of the most challenging re-evaluations we’ve undertaken recently focuses on the numerous Caribbean and Atlantic islands where there’s plenty of tropical golf to be discovered. We share our first Top 50 for this vast area and shine a light on a couple of courses we’ve only recently discovered.

Meanwhile, in a maritime climate, we’ve assembled a list of the “Real Links” courses of Britain & Ireland. Our initial stake in the ground claims there are 240 links courses in this region, but we’ve already received feedback suggesting we’ve missed some and included others that perhaps don’t meet our links criteria.

This month we also bring you a few golf course architecture snippets from around the world, summarising new projects and restoration/renovation schemes that some golf course architects were willing to share.

Top 50 Golf Courses of the Caribbean & Atlantic Islands 2017

We include twenty-five island nations in our Caribbean and Atlantic Islands region, but our Top 50 rankings are dominated by courses from three countries that occupy almost half the listing positions: Dominican Republic (10), Puerto Rico (8) and Bahamas (6). Pete Dye’s World Top 100 ranked Teeth of the Dog heads the table, but there are other stellar layouts snapping at Casa de Campo’s heels.

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Top 30 Golf Courses of South Korea 2017

South Cape Owners Club remains at the head of our newly expanded South Korean Top 30 and this Kyle Phillips design on Namhae Island was a new entry in the November 2015 edition of our World Top 100. One commentator called this public facility “Pebble Beach on steroids” and our International Correspondent, David Davis, declared it’s “a course that is constantly full of ‘wow’ moments”.

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Top 20 Golf Courses of the Middle East 2017

Undeniably the United Arab Emirates is the premier golfing country in the Middle East, so it’s unsurprising to note that fourteen UAE courses dominate the rankings within our inaugural Middle East Top 20. At number 1, we have another highly acclaimed Kyle Phillips design at Yas Links in Abu Dhabi, where reviewers have been profuse in their praise.

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Top 10 Golf Courses of Egypt and Tunisia 2017

We’ve revised our Top 10 rankings for the North African countries of Egypt and Tunisia where inbound tourism for each nation is sadly suffering due to political instability and security concerns. Remarkably, despite this difficult backdrop, new golf developments are continuing, which brings hope to this unappreciated region.

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Top 10 Golf Courses of Colombia 2017

We first introduced a Top 5 ranking for Colombia in 2013 which we then revised a couple of years ago. Drawing on additional sources of data during the latest reappraisal process for this South American country, we’re now able to extend the national listings to a new Top 10, with Club El Rincón de Cajicá in Bogotá retaining its status as the undisputed Colombian number 1.

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Top 10 Golf Courses of Kenya 2017

Vipingo Ridge remains at the top of our newly updated Kenyan rankings. Designed by architect David Jones, this layout became the first in Africa to obtain PGA accreditation in October 2016. We were suitably impressed when we played here in 2015, terming it a “very chic, upmarket golf facility” where “the quality of the layout is apparent right from the off.”

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The 240 "Real Links" courses of Britain & Ireland

240 courses in Britain and Ireland have made our Real Links list and Scotland can proudly lay claim to possessing more links courses than any other country, 100 in total. But there are 63 in Ireland (50 in the Republic and 13 in the North), 55 in England, 18 in Wales and four on three separate islands. We fully expect this list to stimulate debate and we’d like nothing more than to receive your feedback.

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Course architecture snippets from around the world #1

We recently emailed more than a hundred golf course architects to establish if they'd be willing to share news regarding their current involvement in any interesting assignments. This is our first update from golf course architects around the world, outlining new projects and restoration/renovation schemes that are planned to complete in the not too distant future.

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Have you downloaded our Scottish publication yet?

Top 100 Golf Courses of Scotland 2016-2017 was 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.