Golf Course rankings thread

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Pres

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Hi guys - sorry for missing this over the holiday season. FWIW I'm on the ranking panel for Golf Australia mag so can potentially give some insight into why some of these courses are ranked as they are.

My cat amongst the pigeon comment is that Barnbougle/Lost Farm are massively over rated. Can honestly say have no idea what the who-har is over them. Both are short with the most ridiculously penal rough from which you're forced to take a drop. Golf is hard enough without the course forcing you take a penalty every errant shot.
I actually agree that the marram is a big draw back to both these courses and Cape Wickham. It's effectively like you have OOB on both sides of 70-80% of fairways and they really fail the "playable for all" test that is a key component of great golf architecture (a la Royal Melbourne). That said both BD and LF are truly world class courses. Be interested to see how many better stretches you've seen than 3/4/5/6/7/8/9 at BD for example.

What are the thoughts of you guys on the slide down of Kingston Heath?
I've quizzed multiple current Vic raters on KH being ranked lower than Peninsula North and none of us claims to have had the order that way. So I can't explain it and I don't believe there is a slide. I had it very close to the absolute top of the tree. It's as outstanding as ever.

Royal Melbourne for me I found to forgiving and felt like it played very short. If i didn't miss a 2 foot put that i didn't put properly because i was upset the birdie put lipped out I would have been +5 after 9 holes (as someone whose ga handicap is 19.2 and playing off 22) For me i was after a bigger challenge, even the fairway bunkers I hit a fairway wood out of twice because they were just easy to get out of.
You didn't say what you had on the other 9 :D

As above a big part of the greatness of Royal Melbourne is that an 18 marker and scratch player can both play the course and have a challenging game where there is little hope of the long marker being humiliated. It's the classic "easy bogey hard birdie" course (Simpson/Reed had one birdie between them in two days of fourball). This is surprisingly hard to achieve in golf design. You typically need a big wide undulating property and outstanding bunkering to pull it off.
 

BackOnOurPerch

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Hi guys - sorry for missing this over the holiday season. FWIW I'm on the ranking panel for Golf Australia mag so can potentially give some insight into why some of these courses are ranked as they are.


I actually agree that the marram is a big draw back to both these courses and Cape Wickham. It's effectively like you have OOB on both sides of 70-80% of fairways and they really fail the "playable for all" test that is a key component of great golf architecture (a la Royal Melbourne). That said both BD and LF are truly world class courses. Be interested to see how many better stretches you've seen than 3/4/5/6/7/8/9 at BD for example.


I've quizzed multiple current Vic raters on KH being ranked lower than Peninsula North and none of us claims to have had the order that way.
So I can't explain it and I don't believe there is a slide. I had it very close to the absolute top of the tree. It's as outstanding as ever.
3-9 at Barny is brilliant, although 8 is a bit problematic for mine as i never had a strong prevailing wind behind me.

Regarding KH, so it's those interstate numpties then. ;)

So, i going to ask you the inevitable question. Your top 20 in order!

Also what course(s) ranking bemused you.

Does Ellerston warrant a ranking? Not saying it should or shouldn't, just wondering what your opinion is.

Think i need to buy the magazine.
 

Pres

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8 BD polarises opinions a bit. It's really a par 4.5 but becomes a forced layup to the bottom of the dune for most of moderate length.

My top 20 as follows. Note I have not seen National Gunnamatta, Ellerston, revamped Bonnie Doon yet and I suspect most would make my top 20.

Kingston Heath
Royal Melbourne West
Barnbougle
Victoria
Lost Farm
Cape Wickham
Peninsula North
Royal Melbourne East
New South Wales
St Andrew's Beach
Lake Karrinyup
Royal Adelaide
National Moonah
The Lakes
Metropolitan
Woodlands
Barwon Heads
Peninsula South
13th Beach (Beach)
The Dunes

I don't believe Ellerston should be ranked. It is in reality like Capital - 100% private and not subjectable in any real way to the court of public opinion.

Cathedral Lodge did not let Golf Aus magazine rankers but invited Golf Digest panel on as the Shark has business ties with their magazine :rolleyes:.

Not massively surprised by many of the positions. It's a good list. Peninsula North a touch high given the turf immaturity, practice area just opened etc.

Also Ocean Dunes isn't in my top 30.
 

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steve4445

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8 BD polarises opinions a bit. It's really a par 4.5 but becomes a forced layup to the bottom of the dune for most of moderate length.

My top 20 as follows. Note I have not seen National Gunnamatta, Ellerston, revamped Bonnie Doon yet and I suspect most would make my top 20.

Kingston Heath
Royal Melbourne West
Barnbougle
Victoria
Lost Farm
Cape Wickham
Peninsula North
Royal Melbourne East
New South Wales
St Andrew's Beach
Lake Karrinyup
Royal Adelaide
National Moonah
The Lakes
Metropolitan
Woodlands
Barwon Heads
Peninsula South
13th Beach (Beach)
The Dunes

I don't believe Ellerston should be ranked. It is in reality like Capital - 100% private and not subjectable in any real way to the court of public opinion.

Cathedral Lodge did not let Golf Aus magazine rankers but invited Golf Digest panel on as the Shark has business ties with their magazine :rolleyes:.

Not massively surprised by many of the positions. It's a good list. Peninsula North a touch high given the turf immaturity, practice area just opened etc.

Also Ocean Dunes isn't in my top 30.
Its great to hear feedback from someone that is on the panel as to why they have ranked what and where.

How long ago did you play ocean dunes? Interested to hear why you would rank it so low was it relatively new when you played and not up to scratch?
 

peternorth

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8 BD polarises opinions a bit. It's really a par 4.5 but becomes a forced layup to the bottom of the dune for most of moderate length.

My top 20 as follows. Note I have not seen National Gunnamatta, Ellerston, revamped Bonnie Doon yet and I suspect most would make my top 20.

Kingston Heath
Royal Melbourne West
Barnbougle
Victoria
Lost Farm
Cape Wickham
Peninsula North
Royal Melbourne East
New South Wales
St Andrew's Beach
Lake Karrinyup
Royal Adelaide
National Moonah
The Lakes
Metropolitan
Woodlands
Barwon Heads
Peninsula South
13th Beach (Beach)
The Dunes

I don't believe Ellerston should be ranked. It is in reality like Capital - 100% private and not subjectable in any real way to the court of public opinion.

Cathedral Lodge did not let Golf Aus magazine rankers but invited Golf Digest panel on as the Shark has business ties with their magazine :rolleyes:.

Not massively surprised by many of the positions. It's a good list. Peninsula North a touch high given the turf immaturity, practice area just opened etc.

Also Ocean Dunes isn't in my top 30.

Agreed re ellerston. Interesting re cathedeal lodge. Disappointing actually. But it is what it is.

Agreed it is a good list. Re: PK, how does the practice area (short game) opening recently impact the course rating?

Why is the Old Course at National rated "poorly"? I believe it was @23.

Gunna at 10 is really bemusing. Although having played it a few times now i can see the appeal (greens). Another question if i may, it was open to members only, so I wonder how non members got to play it and judge accordingly.
 

BackOnOurPerch

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8 BD polarises opinions a bit. It's really a par 4.5 but becomes a forced layup to the bottom of the dune for most of moderate length.

My top 20 as follows. Note I have not seen National Gunnamatta, Ellerston, revamped Bonnie Doon yet and I suspect most would make my top 20.

Kingston Heath
Royal Melbourne West
Barnbougle
Victoria
Lost Farm
Cape Wickham
Peninsula North
Royal Melbourne East
New South Wales
St Andrew's Beach
Lake Karrinyup
Royal Adelaide
National Moonah
The Lakes
Metropolitan
Woodlands
Barwon Heads
Peninsula South
13th Beach (Beach)
The Dunes

I don't believe Ellerston should be ranked. It is in reality like Capital - 100% private and not subjectable in any real way to the court of public opinion.

Cathedral Lodge did not let Golf Aus magazine rankers but invited Golf Digest panel on as the Shark has business ties with their magazine :rolleyes:.

Not massively surprised by many of the positions. It's a good list. Peninsula North a touch high given the turf immaturity, practice area just opened etc.

Also Ocean Dunes isn't in my top 30.
With all the new courses built over the years, it's nice that there is an appreciation for the Old Lady that is Barwon Heads.It still holds up. I like that. Obviously you do to.
Also with your ranking of KH, some sanity prevails, it belongs in the top 3 at the very least.
 

BackOnOurPerch

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Agreed re ellerston. Interesting re cathedeal lodge. Disappointing actually. But it is what it is.

Agreed it is a good list. Re: PK, how does the practice area (short game) opening recently impact the course rating?

Why is the Old Course at National rated "poorly"? I believe it was @23.

Gunna at 10 is really bemusing. Although having played it a few times now i can see the appeal (greens). Another question if i may, it was open to members only, so I wonder how non members got to play it and judge accordingly.
Pete, if those guys can get onto Ellerston, Gunnamatta would be a piece of cake. :D
 

Pres

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How long ago did you play ocean dunes? Interested to hear why you would rank it so low was it relatively new when you played and not up to scratch?
I played it ~19 months ago Steve. Some good stuff there to be sure (particularly early and late) but I really don't like much of the routing. Particularly in the mid part of the back 9 where it becomes a near endless death march up and around that gigantic dune. It's also exhausting to walk with some major green to tee walks. Our group is tough but many were screaming for carts by the last day.

Agreed it is a good list. Re: PK, how does the practice area (short game) opening recently impact the course rating?

Why is the Old Course at National rated "poorly"? I believe it was @23.

Gunna at 10 is really bemusing. Although having played it a few times now i can see the appeal (greens). Another question if i may, it was open to members only, so I wonder how non members got to play it and judge accordingly.
I'm actually of the opinion that the whole golfing facility contributes to an assessment of the overall architecture. Particularly the practice fairway - which should be ideally broadly up to the standard of the holes on the course if possible. In Anatomy of a Golf Course Tom Doak devotes an entire chapter to practice facility design. I'm not saying PK is not an excellent facility but the current extreme high ranking of the North course in particular I think is premature. There is no room for the course to elevate (see the current Ellerston ranking vs some of the early rating lists).

I would have thought 23 for National Old was hardly a poor ranking? Which courses from 22 up do you have it in front of?

National invited a group of raters to see Gunnamatta just before opening. Unfortunately I could not make it.

With all the new courses built over the years, it's nice that there is an appreciation for the Old Lady that is Barwon Heads.It still holds up. I like that. Obviously you do to.
BHGC is fantastic and making small incremental improvements to get even better. I played it yesterday and that odd tree on the inside of the dogleg on #9 is now thankfully gone. Much better hole now.
 

peternorth

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I played it ~19 months ago Steve. Some good stuff there to be sure (particularly early and late) but I really don't like much of the routing. Particularly in the mid part of the back 9 where it becomes a near endless death march up and around that gigantic dune. It's also exhausting to walk with some major green to tee walks. Our group is tough but many were screaming for carts by the last day.


I'm actually of the opinion that the whole golfing facility contributes to an assessment of the overall architecture. Particularly the practice fairway - which should be ideally broadly up to the standard of the holes on the course if possible. In Anatomy of a Golf Course Tom Doak devotes an entire chapter to practice facility design. I'm not saying PK is not an excellent facility but the current extreme high ranking of the North course in particular I think is premature. There is no room for the course to elevate (see the current Ellerston ranking vs some of the early rating lists).

I would have thought 23 for National Old was hardly a poor ranking? Which courses from 22 up do you have it in front of?

National invited a group of raters to see Gunnamatta just before opening. Unfortunately I could not make it.


BHGC is fantastic and making small incremental improvements to get even better. I played it yesterday and that odd tree on the inside of the dogleg on #9 is now thankfully gone. Much better hole now.
I respect your opinion. Especially the bit explaining the practices facilities. It’s an interesting viewpoint. It’s certainly something I’ll think about now when looking at a course.

Similarly pk north rockerting to no 5 on first entry in its new guise. I can see where you’re coming from.

Could you post the top 23 for my analysis in relation to the old?
 

peternorth

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Here’s something to discuss. During the presidents, several ads were run on media and socials highlighting the courses people including international guests should play. Also online there were posts and other things talking about how good some courses like KH and rm are.

Some questioned why talk up the privates when “I can’t get on!”

Should private courses be open to non members or be more accessible to non members ?
 

toxic

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Here’s something to discuss. During the presidents, several ads were run on media and socials highlighting the courses people including international guests should play. Also online there were posts and other things talking about how good some courses like KH and rm are.

Some questioned why talk up the privates when “I can’t get on!”

Should private courses be open to non members or be more accessible to non members ?
No
They are private for a reason and members pay for that privilege imho
 

Pklz

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Here’s something to discuss. During the presidents, several ads were run on media and socials highlighting the courses people including international guests should play. Also online there were posts and other things talking about how good some courses like KH and rm are.

Some questioned why talk up the privates when “I can’t get on!”

Should private courses be open to non members or be more accessible to non members ?
Yeah I don't care to much. Would be cool if they added a few extra charity kind of days where your average joe could get on and play and support a good cause.
 

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Pres

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Could you post the top 23 for my analysis in relation to the old?
Top 21-30 was as follows:

21. Lake Karrinyup
22. Kooyonga
23. The National - Old
24. 13th Beach - Beach
25. Royal Canberra
26. Royal Queensland
27. Newcastle
28. Commonwealth
29. The Dunes
30. Bonnie Doon

Some very good courses in that list after The National.
 

Pres

Premiership Player
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Here’s something to discuss. During the presidents, several ads were run on media and socials highlighting the courses people including international guests should play. Also online there were posts and other things talking about how good some courses like KH and rm are.

Some questioned why talk up the privates when “I can’t get on!”

Should private courses be open to non members or be more accessible to non members ?
I think those ads were aimed at International and interstate visitors.

If you offer tee times at the top tier private clubs to the public then the reality is pretty soon you're going to struggle to convince future members to stump up $10k+ joining fees and $5k+ annual subs for the right to play that "private" course.

That said the Charity Days available at our top end clubs in themselves make our private courses miles more accessible than the top end US private clubs.
 

peternorth

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Top 21-30 was as follows:

21. Lake Karrinyup
22. Kooyonga
23. The National - Old
24. 13th Beach - Beach
25. Royal Canberra
26. Royal Queensland
27. Newcastle
28. Commonwealth
29. The Dunes
30. Bonnie Doon

Some very good courses in that list after The National.
There sure are.

Old > Gunamatta IM(H)O, kooyonga too. Albeit i havent played kooyonga for some 5 years now. Not a fan of woodlands either.
 

peternorth

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I think those ads were aimed at International and interstate visitors.

If you offer tee times at the top tier private clubs to the public then the reality is pretty soon you're going to struggle to convince future members to stump up $10k+ joining fees and $5k+ annual subs for the right to play that "private" course.

That said the Charity Days available at our top end clubs in themselves make our private courses miles more accessible than the top end US private clubs.
I agree with everything you have said.
 

Bicco

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Here’s something to discuss. During the presidents, several ads were run on media and socials highlighting the courses people including international guests should play. Also online there were posts and other things talking about how good some courses like KH and rm are.

Some questioned why talk up the privates when “I can’t get on!”

Should private courses be open to non members or be more accessible to non members ?
Most private courses are available to interstate/international golf club members who have a letter of introduction. Its how I got on National earlier this year. If you're from the state the club is in, not so much luck.
 
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peternorth

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Most private courses are available to interstate/international golf club members who have a letter of introduction. Its how I got on National earlier this year. If you're from the state the club is in, not so much luck.
That is true. When i enquired about royal sydney (reciprocal) i was not permitted to bring anyone from the state of nsw with me.
 

Bicco

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That is true. When i enquired about royal sydney (reciprocal) i was not permitted to bring anyone from the state of nsw with me.
That must be a RS thing. At RP last Christmas I was told by them I was treated as a full member and I could bring who I liked and they would only pay members guest fees.
I know RM has restrictions for reciprocal clubs. I think we pay for the round. Not sure if we can get guests on or not.
I'll find out.
 

peternorth

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That must be a RS thing. At RP last Christmas I was told by them I was treated as a full member and I could bring who I liked and they would only pay members guest fees.
I know RM has restrictions for reciprocal clubs. I think we pay for the round. Not sure if we can get guests on or not.
I'll find out.
bolded is the norm.
I think also, if its the same as national, there is a number of rounds a guest can play in a calendar year. same goes for interstaters
 

steve4445

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That must be a RS thing. At RP last Christmas I was told by them I was treated as a full member and I could bring who I liked and they would only pay members guest fees.
I know RM has restrictions for reciprocal clubs. I think we pay for the round. Not sure if we can get guests on or not.
I'll find out.
When I played RM we played with a guy from Royal QLD who had a guest from melbourne play with him.
 

Bicco

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. Be interested to see how many better stretches you've seen than 3/4/5/6/7/8/9 at BD for example.
I've been thinking about it and it would have to be Royal Adelaide that tops the list for most great holes. I played there on a hot windless day and it was a fantastic challenge. With wind it would be a brute.
BD is very interesting visually but is not 'all that' on a calm day. I've played it when the isobars on the weather map were nearly touching, I think I used a 3 iron on the 7th! Super tough, hence my dislike for the automatic penalty for missing the fairway.
 

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