Trump Turnberry's Ailsa Course remains number one in the Golf Monthly Top 100 rankings
Turnberry Triumphant While Portrush & Adare Manor Star In New Top 100
Trump Turnberry’s Ailsa course keeps hold of the top spot in the new Golf Monthly Top 100 Golf Courses UK & Ireland 2019/20.
The Scottish links is, for us, the UK & I’s undisputed number one whilst many other courses see success stories in the rankings including next year’s Open host Royal Portrush and the resurgent Adare Manor, both shining after major redevelopment.
The Golf Monthly Top 100 is now in its eighth instalment and has been produced by club golfers rather than by tour pros, elite amateurs, course designers or those working inside the golf industry.
Turnberry’s Ailsa course remains number one after the sensational course improvements prior to the 2016 opening.
They included a number of new holes including the par-3 9th, pictured above, a stunning one-shotter playing over the rockface and Firth of Clyde to a green nestled by the iconic lighthouse.
The 148th Open host Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland has seen a rise of five places, moving up from 13th to 8th.
Portrush has built two excellent new holes to replace the previously uninspiring finishing duo, and the result is remarkable.
The two new holes, set amidst towering dunes, allow for the old and flatter 17th and 18th to make room for the Open tented village and other infrastructure necessary to host such a monumental event.
Adare Manor in Ireland is perhaps the story of the Top 100 this time out, re-entering at 25th after a spectacular re-design from Tom Fazio.
The parkland gem is now genuinely the closest thing the UK and Ireland has to Augusta, with stunning conditioning, world class green complexes and a new sub-air system to keep the playing surfaces impeccable.
Gleneagles’ Queen’s Course is another big riser, up seven to 55th whilst Southport and Ainsdale is up six to 60th, Cruden Bay in Scotland rises five to 71st and West Hill in Surrey goes up six to 73rd.
Woburn GC has all three of its courses in the Top 100 while the Home of Golf also has three of its courses featuring.
Clubs with two courses in the Top 100 are: Sunningdale, Walton Heath, The Berkshire, Gleneagles, Saunton and Ballyliffin.
How the UK and Ireland New Top 100 rankings were produced
WATCH: New Top 100 Rankings – Criteria
Compiling the rankings is a huge task involving many hundreds of course visits.
To complete it, we rely heavily on the endeavours of our panellists to get out and play across the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland.
They carry out their visits for the love of golf and receive no payment or expenses.
We are extremely grateful to them for their immense efforts and equally the contender clubs for finding space on busy tee sheets to accommodate their assessment visits.
The whole process is overseen by Michael Harris, Rob Smith and Jeremy Ellwood – all confirmed golf course collectors.
Rob chalked up his 1,000th course this year and has played all but one of the new Top 100; Jeremy has played the full 100 and Michael has notched 82 of the 100.
We are always looking for well-travelled golfers to join the panel, so if you think you know your Aldeburghs from your Aberdoveys, email firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief golfing CV and short review of the best course you played in 2018.
We are very grateful to FootJoy for its continued support of the rankings.
Our Top 100 partnership spans a decade and its investment has allowed us to produce our Top 100 rankings print supplement on sale 6th Dec to 2nd Jan, the Top 100 dedicated section of the website and some special video content that can be found on our YouTube channel.
We very much hope you enjoy reading about the courses, debating their merits and, most of all, playing them!