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Australia's Top 100 Golf Courses - Golf Australia 2020

Here are the latest rankings from Golf Australia Magazine as published Jan 2020
Feel free to send any feedback you have to info@ausgolf.com.au

2020 RANK COURSE State 2018 RANK
1 ROYAL MELBOURNE - WEST Victoria 1
2 CAPE WICKHAM Tasmania 2
3 BARNBOUGLE DUNES Tasmania 3
4 BARNBOUGLE LOST FARM Tasmania 5
5 PENINSULA - NORTH Victoria nr
6 KINGSTON HEATH Victoria 4
7 ROYAL MELBOURNE - EAST Victoria 6
8 VICTORIA Victoria 12
9 ROYAL ADELAIDE South Australia 10
10 NATIONAL - GUNNAMATTA Victoria nr
11 NEW SOUTH WALES New South Wales 9
12 ST ANDREWS BEACH Victoria 13
13 NATIONAL - MOONAH Victoria 11
14 ELLERSTON New South Wales 7
15 OCEAN DUNES Tasmania 8
16 THE LAKES New South Wales 14
17 METROPOLITAN Victoria 15
18 PENINSULA - SOUTH Victoria nr
19 WOODLANDS Victoria 16
20 BARWON HEADS Victoria 19
21 LAKE KARRINYUP Western Australia 18
22 KOOYONGA South Australia 25
23 NATIONAL - OLD Victoria 21
24 THIRTEENTH BEACH - BEACH Victoria 21
25 ROYAL CANBERRA Australian Capital Territory 20
26 ROYAL QUEENSLAND Queensland 23
27 NEWCASTLE New South Wales 26
28 COMMONWEALTH Victoria 22
29 THE DUNES Victoria 27
30 BONNIE DOON New South Wales 34
31 PORT FAIRY Victoria 43
32 CONCORD New South Wales nr
33 KENNEDY BAY Western Australia 24
34 PORTSEA Victoria 39
35 BROOKWATER Queensland 29
36 MAGENTA SHORES New South Wales 37
37 JOONDALUP - QUARRY/DUNES Western Australia 31
38 GRANGE - WEST South Australia 28
39 GLENELG South Australia 30
40 THE AUSTRALIAN New South Wales 36
41 SPRING VALLEY Victoria 42
42 BONVILLE New South Wales 45
43 GRANGE - EAST South Australia 35
44 HAMILTON ISLAND Queensland 44
45 MOONAH LINKS - LEGENDS Victoria 33
46 LONG ISLAND Victoria 50
47 THE VINTAGE New South Wales 40
48 ELANORA New South Wales 38
49 ROYAL SYDNEY New South Wales 41
50 THIRTEENTH BEACH - CREEK Victoria 53
51 TERREY HILLS New South Wales 48
52 MEADOW SPRINGS Western Australia 51
53 HUNTINGDALE Victoria 52
54 CURLEWIS Victoria 68
55 EASTERN - SOUTH Victoria 67
56 LINKS HOPE ISLAND Queensland 58
57 RIVERSIDE OAKS - BUNGOOL New South Wales 54
58 THE GRAND Queensland 59
59 THE CUT Western Australia 46
60 SANCTUARY LAKES Victoria 62
61 HEALESVILLE (RACV) Victoria 57
62 SETTLERS RUN Victoria 63
63 STONECUTTERS RIDGE New South Wales 49
64 GLADES Queensland 77
65 MOONAH LINKS - OPEN Victoria 56
66 RANFURLIE Victoria 69
67 KALGOORLIE Western Australia 66
68 CRANBOURNE Victoria 64
69 ST MICHAEL'S  New South Wales 61
70 LINKS LADY BAY South Australia 70
71 MOUNT LAWLEY Western Australia 65
72 AVONDALE New South Wales 61
73 BLACK BULL Victoria 78
74 PELICAN WATERS Queensland 60
75 SUN CITY Western Australia 75
76 MAROOCHY RIVER Queensland nr
77 SANCTUARY COVE - THE PINES Queensland 72
78 TASMANIA Tasmania 80
79 JOONDALUP - QUARRY/LAKE Western Australia 71
80 NAROOMA New South Wales 87
81 MOUNT COMPASS South Australia nr
82 PACIFIC HARBOUR Queensland 73
83 PACIFIC DUNES New South Wales 76
84 EASTERN - NORTH Victoria 67
85 WARRNAMBOOL Victoria 84
86 SORRENTO Victoria 86
87 MURRAY DOWNS Victoria 83
88 CAPE SCHANCK Victoria nr
89 ROYAL PINES - GREEN/GOLD Queensland 74
90 ROYAL HOBART Tasmania 98
91 LAKELANDS Queensland 82
92 COTTESLOE Western Australia 85
93 THE VINES - LAKES Western Australia 79
94 BELMONT New South Wales nr
95 TWIN CREEKS New South Wales 93
96 SANCTUARY COVE - THE PALMS Queensland 89
97 BRISBANE Queensland 92
98 EYNESBURY Victoria 88
99 KEW Victoria nr
100 YARRAWONGA - MURRAY New South Wales 95

 

ROYAL MELBOURNE - WEST (pictured below) remains at the top of Golf Australia’s latest list, followed by CAPE WICKHAM and BARNBOUGLE DUNES as in 2018, whilst KINGSTON HEATH has fallen two spots to #6. Many consider KH either Australia’s best or second best course, including the authoritative Ran Morrissett, Architecture Editor of golf.com.

The revamped PENINSULA - NORTH debuts at #5 whilst rejuvenated surfaces at VICTORIA elevate the course to #8. Pure Distinction grass the selection for new putting greens at both locations. NATIONAL - GUNNAMATTA redesigned by Tom Doak debuts at #10. NEW SOUTH WALES drops a couple of places as a consequence, and some would argue deserves better than #11.

The respected Golf Magazine publishes the most credible World Top 100. These judges agree that RMW is our best course, but place GA’s #6 KH second; concur that CAPE WICKHAM is third, but place GA’s #11 NEW SOUTH WALES fourth.

For the Public Access courses which are the focus of The GOLF Course Guide, both lists name the Top 3 as CAPE WICKHAM (pictured right) BARNBOUGLE DUNES and BARNBOUGLE LOST FARM. The Guide ranks THE DUNES at #4 (#9 for GA) and ST ANDREWS BEACH at #8 (#4 for GA), possibly reflecting more emphasis on conditioning with the former. A similar explanation may account for The Guide ranking JOONDALUP - QUARRY/DUNES more favourably.

As usual, GA judges BONVILLE, THE CUT and LINKS HOPE ISLAND more harshly whilst The Guide applauds the fun factor and conditioning. GA ranks NEWCASTLE, PORTSEA, PORT FAIRY, THE VINTAGE, SETTLERS RUN, CRANBOURNE, RANFURLIE and CURLEWIS more highly, in each case purity of design probably the main contributor. Resort layouts KOORALBYN, CAPRICORN, TWIN WATERS and NOOSA SPRINGS are all omitted from the GA Top 100 – Kooralbyn and Capricorn do not even make their ‘next 25’. Both courses at SANCTUARY COVE are ranked a little lower by GA.

GA Criteria:

35 Judges over 2 years to Nov 2019 were instructed to place primary importance on design, followed by conditioning and visual appeal. GA do not mention their previous weightings of 60% design, 20% conditions, 20% visual. Instead, the magazine allocates 100 points to each top course, 99 to second and so on.

Surely this method of ranking is not scientific. It firstly assumes that the ‘gap’ between every pair of courses is exactly one point on each judge’s list. It then assumes that all judges either see every course, or are ‘uniformly’ distributed across all courses. A judge who played all his golf in WA and put Lake Karrinyup atop his list would be giving that course a very undeserved 100 points! A judge who plays only 25 courses awards 75 points to his ‘worst’ course whilst a judge who plays 80 courses awards 20 points and this might be the same course!

So much for the absence of strict criteria, and perhaps more importantly, a great case for the practice of The GOLF Course Guide in publishing separate lists for Design, Conditioning and Aesthetics. Both The GOLF Course Guide and Golf Digest spell out to their judges how many points (in each category) represent ‘Outstanding’, ‘Good’ etc.

Feel free to send any feedback you have to info@ausgolf.com.au

The following is a list of Australia's Top 100 Golf Courses according to Golf Australia magazine in their January 2016 rankings. 

1. Royal Melbourne West
 

2. Barnbougle Dunes

3. Kingston Heath

4. Lost Farm

5. Cape Wickham

6. Royal Melbourne East

7. New South Wales

8. Ellerston

9. National Moonah

10. Royal Adelaide

11. Victoria

12. Metropolitan

13. St Andrews Beach

14. Lake Karrinyup

15. Lakes

16. Woodlands

17. National Old

18. Newcastle

19. Commonwealth

20. Peninsula North

 

21. Barwon Heads

22. Kennedy Bay

23. Royal Queensland

24. Thirteenth Beach

25. Glenelg

26. Kooyonga

27. The Dunes

28. Grange West

29. Royal Sydney

30. Joondalup

31. The Australian

32. Brookwater

33. Moonah Links Legends

34. Yarra Yarra

35. Grange East

36. Portsea

37. The Cut

38. Bonnie Doon

39. Magenta Shores

40. Stonecutters Ridge

41. The Vintage

42. Elanora

43. Spring Valley

44. Hamilton Island

45. Terrey Hills

46. Huntingdale

47. National Ocean

48. Port Fairy

49. Concord

50. Healesville

51. Long Island

52. Thirteenth Beach Creek

53. Bonville

54. Riverside Oaks Bungool

55. Hope Island

56. Avondale

57. The Grand

58. Pelican Waters

59. Meadow Springs

60. Ranfurlie

61. Settlers Run

62. Glades

63. Mt Lawley

64. Cranbourne

65. Vines -Lakes

66. Moonah Links Open

67. Sanctuary Lakes

68. Kalgoorlie

69. St Michael's

70. Pacific Harbour

71. Pacific Dunes

72. Sanctuary Cove Pines

73. Lakelands

74. Cottesloe

75. Sanctuary Cove Palms

76. Manly

77. Eynesbury

78. Curlewis

79. Sorrento

80. Tasmania

81. Links Lady Bay

82. Black Bull

83. Royal Fremantle

84. Sun City

85. Murray Downs

86. Sandhurst Champions

87. Horsham

88. Royal Perth

89. Warrnambool

90. Narooma

91. Riversdale

92. Yarrawonga Murray

93. Twin Waters

94. West Australian

95. Brisbane

96. Yering Meadows

97. Twin Creeks

98. Indooroopilly

99. Heritage Henley

100. Keysborough

 

PREVIOUS RANKINGS
Here are the Top 100 Golf Courses according to Golf Australia magazine in their January 2014 rankings. 

(numbers in brackets 2012 rankings)

1. Royal Melbourne West (1)

2. Barnbougle Dunes (3)

3. Lost Farm (4)

4. Kingston Heath (2)

5. NSW (5)

6. Ellerston (n/a)

7. RM East (6)

8. National Moonah (7)

9. Victoria (8)

10. St.Andrews Beach (11)

11. Royal Adelaide (10)

12. Lake Karrinyup (14)

13. Metropolitan (9)

14. Woodlands (12)

15. The Lakes (13)

16. Commonwealth (19)

17. Newcastle (16)

18. Peninsula North (17)

19. National Old (18)

20. Links Kennedy Bay (15)

21. Barwon Heads (20)

22. Royal Queensland (26)

23. 13th Beach Beach (22)

24. The Dunes (25)

25. Peninsula South (28)

26. Kooyonga (23)

27. Royal Sydney (21)

28. Glenelg (29)

29. The Australian (31)

30. Moonah Links Legends (24)

31. Grange West (30)

32. Portsea (32)

33. The Cut (34)

34. Joondalup (33)

35. Stonecutters Ridge (n/a)

36. Brookwater (36)

37. Yarra Yarra (37)

38. Bonnie Doon (n/a)

39. Grange East (n/a)

40. Elanora (39)

41. National Ocean (35)

42. Magenta Shores (27)

43. The Vintage (46)

44. Hamilton Island (38)

45. The Glades (43)

46. RACV Healesville (53)

47. Terrey Hills (50)

48. Links Hope Island (48)

49. Concord (45)

50. Spring Valley (44)

51. Huntingdale (40)

52. The Grand (51)

53. Port Fairy (54)

54. Pelican Waters (55)

55. Bonville (64)

56. 13 Beach Creek (49)

57. The Heritage St.John (61)

58. The Vines Lakes (47)

59. Meadow Springs (62)

60. Mt.Lawley (65)

61. Avondale (68)

62. Long Island (57)

63. Settlers Run (56)

64. Moonah Links Open (41)

65. Amstel Ranfurlie (60)

66. Pacific Harbour (58)

67. Sanctuary Lakes (52)

68. Sanctuary Cove Pines (59)

69. Cranbourne (69)

70. Royal Canberra (42)

71. Pacific Dunes (72)

72. Sanctuary Cove Palms (63)

73. Kalgoorlie (79)

74. The Heritage Henley (85)

75. St.Michael's (78)

76. Cottesloe (71)

77. Links Lady Bay (66)

78. Palmer Coolum (67)

79. Western Australian (74)

80. Lakelands (83)

81. Royal Perth (87)

82. Eynesbury (77)

83. Tasmania (86)

84. Sorrento (81)

85. Manly (n/a)

86. Sandhurst Champions (70)

87. Horsham (89)

88. Curlewis (n/a)

89. Riversdale (84)

90. Yering Meadows (95)

91. Capricorn (76)

92. Twin Waters (80)

93. Indooroopilly West (n/a)

94. Narooma (82)

95. Arundel Hills (n/a)

96. Murray Downs (94)

97. Twin Creeks (75)

98. Kooindah Waters (88)

99. Brisbane (n/a)

100. Sun City (n/a)