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2020 GOLF Course Guide

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Australia's Top Public Access Courses

The GOLF Course Guide has featured a list of courses available for Green Fee Play for two decades, and coined the term 'public access' to describe these courses.

2020 Public Access Rankings Compared

Here we compare the Public Access Rankings from The GOLF Course Guide 2020 with Golf Australia Magazine Jan 2020 and Golf Digest Mar 2020 respective Top 100 rankings, from which we are able to extract the Public Access courses - see table below.

The Criteria

GCG Criteria: 40% Design, 40% Conditions, 20% Aesthetics

Golf Australia has introduced a method of ranking that appears to us quite unscientific - they state that each judge's top course is given 100 points, second course 99 and so on, and then the final rankings are the number of points awarded divided by the number of judges scoring that course!

GD Criteria (Updated 2018): 25% Shot Values, 12.5% each - Resistance to Scoring, Design Variety, Memorability, Aesthetics, Conditioning, Ambience.

The Guide process always adjusts for a particular judge's harshness/leniency and also discards 'spurious' numbers that are well out of line with the consensus. There is no mention of these factors in either magazine. Even more strangely, 

PUBLIC ACCESS COURSE GOLF Course Guide Golf Digest Golf Australia
CAPE WICKHAM 1 1 1
BARNBOUGLE DUNES 2 2 2
BARNBOUGLE LOST FARM 3 3 3
THE DUNES 4 6 9
BARWON HEADS 5 7 6
KENNEDY BAY 6 16 11
OCEAN DUNES 7 4 5
ST ANDREWS BEACH 8 8 4
JOONDALUP - QUARRY/DUNES 9 5 15
THIRTEENTH BEACH - BEACH 10 12 7
BONVILLE 11 14 16
MOONAH LINKS - LEGENDS 12 17 18
NEWCASTLE 13 9 8
MAGENTA SHORES 14 11 14
HAMILTON ISLAND 15 13 17
THE CUT 16 15 25
LINKS HOPE ISLAND 17 20 23
MOONAH LINKS - OPEN 18 19 30
PORTSEA 19 22 12
SANCTUARY COVE - THE PINES 20 18 40
PORT FAIRY 21 23 10
BROOKWATER 22 10 13
MEADOW SPRINGS 23 46 21
KOORALBYN 24 near nr
PACIFIC DUNES 25 25 46
GLADES 26 27 29
THIRTEENTH BEACH - CREEK 27 38 20
PACIFIC HARBOUR 28 36 45
STONECUTTERS RIDGE 29 33 28
KALGOORLIE 30 24 32
PELICAN WATERS 31 40 37
LAKELANDS 32 29 52
ST MICHAEL'S 33 26 34
NOOSA SPRINGS 34 53 nr
SANCTUARY COVE - THE PALMS 35 34 56
RIVERSIDE OAKS - BUNGOOL 36 28 24
CURLEWIS 37 32 22
LINKS LADY BAY 38 30 35
BLACK BULL 39 31 36
THE VINTAGE 40 21 19
CAPE SCHANCK 41 37 49
MOUNT COMPASS 42 35 44
SETTLERS RUN 43 41 27
SUN CITY 44 43 38
TASMANIA 45 near 41
CRANBOURNE 46 39 33
MURRAY DOWNS 47 56 48
CAPRICORN 48 nr nr
THE VINES - LAKES 49 47 53
SANCTUARY LAKES 50 50 26
ROYAL PINES - GREEN/GOLD 51 51 50
NAROOMA 52 44 43
TWIN WATERS 53 near nr
CLUB MANDALAY 54 nr nr
LONG REEF 55 near nr
HERITAGE - ST JOHN 56 near nr
RANFURLIE 57 near 31
ARUNDEL HILLS 58 45 nr
BALLARAT 59 nr nr
PALMER GOLD COAST 60 nr nr
SECRET HARBOUR 61 49 nr
PORTARLINGTON 62 nr nr
EYNESBURY 63 near 57
FLINDERS 64 near nr
SANDHURST - CHAMPIONS 65 nr nr
ROYAL HOBART 66 near 51
ROSEBUD - NORTH 67 nr nr
MURWILLUMBAH 68 nr nr
KOOINDAH WATERS 69 54 nr
HERITAGE - HENLEY 70 nr nr
LEONGATHA 71 nr nr
COBRAM BAROOGA - OLD 72 nr nr
MAROOCHY RIVER 73 58 39
HORSHAM 74 near nr
WARRNAMBOOL 75 near 47
LAKESIDE CAMDEN 76 nr nr
ALICE SPRINGS 77 near nr
CYPRESS LAKES 78 48 nr
PALMER COOLUM 79 55 nr
PALMER SEA REEF 80 nr nr
SANDS TORQUAY 81 near nr
YARRAWONGA - MURRAY 82 near 58
SHEPPARTON 83 nr nr
PALM MEADOWS 84 near nr
YERING MEADOWS - NURSERY 85 nr nr
HORIZONS 86 57 nr
FORSTER-TUNCURRY - TUNCURRY 87 nr nr
MOLLYMOOK - HILLTOP 88 52 nr
COPPERCLUB 89 nr nr
SANDHURST - NORTH 90 nr nr
DUNTRYLEAGUE 91 nr nr
BELMONT 92 near 54
NEW TERRY 93 nr nr
ARALUEN 94 near nr
THE VINES - ELLENBROOK 95 nr nr
OCEAN SHORES 96 nr nr
ULVERSTONE 97 nr nr
FEDERAL 98 42 nr
MACQUARIE LINKS 99 near nr
TOCUMWAL - PRESIDENTS 100 nr nr

 

near = near miss in overall Golf Digest Top 100 (includes Private courses)
nr =  not ranked in overall Top 100 (includes Private courses)

Comments

All 3 publications named the same top 3 - all new Tasmanian links.

The GCG judges love THE DUNES and KENNEDY BAY, two pioneers of the links revival a little better than OCEAN DUNES. Golf Australia placed ST ANDREWS BEACH higher up their list, whilst Digest favoured JOONDALUP - QUARRY/DUNES. The Guide favours BONVILLE and penalises the toughness of BROOKWATER and THE VINTAGE.

We cannot understand how Golf Digest awards a 'near miss' to KOORALBYN whilst GA ignores this revamped classic completely.