Golf’s Top 100 course panelists are among the most respected and well-traveled course evaluators in the game.
They’re also keen to share their opinions. In this new GOLF.com series, we’ll be granting them anonymity and turning to them for their unvarnished views on all questions course-related. The goal is not only to entertain you but also to give you a better understanding of how GOLF’s panelists assess courses. In this edition, we’ve asked our experts for their picks on the most overrated, and noticeably absent courses, on GOLF’s World Top 100 list.
Meet our panel:
Panelist 1. Panelist since 1983; has played 70 of the current World Top 100
Panelist 2:. Panelist since 2013; has played 48 of the current World Top 100
Panelist 3, Panelist since 2004; has played 91 of the current World Top 100
Panelist: 4 Panelist since 2003; has played 60 of the current World Top 100
Panelist 5: Panelist since 2013; has played 56 of the current World Top 100
Panelist 6: Panelist since 2007; has played 69 of the current Top 100
1. What’s the most overrated course on GOLF’s World Top 100 list, and why?
Panelist 1: Augusta National…because of Bobby Jones and The Masters. There are no long views or mountain backdrops, no ocean, no rivers. Just a very green and, for a couple of weeks in the spring, colorful course. It is still one of the best golfing experiences, as it’s hard to lose a ball ( except in the water) and the ambiance of the place can’t be beaten. More courses should follow the Augusta rule: “If it stands still, paint it green!”
Panelist 2: Seminole. Deserves a spot, perhaps, but not in the upper crust at No. 23. I found it architecturally mundane and repetitive, and not unlike many standard, flat public courses in the middle, lower holes (which were a swamp when I played them). It’s on oceanfront property, but the course has no relationship to the ocean other than battling the wind. I was underwhelmed.
Panelist 3: I do not understand the high rankings of two courses that the USGA and PGA use for majors: Oakland Hills and Baltusrol (Lower). They are big brawny courses where length is often more important than shotmaking. Many of the holes are neither memorable nor inspired, and there is a general lack of charm.
Panelist 4: Nine Bridges in South Korea was pretty underwhelming: Pretty fair regionally, but against a world list full of absolute crackers, it sticks out as a modern course with little unique about it.
Panelist 5: The Olympic Club is probably my first thought. I did not see the true uniqueness of the course during my visit that would justify it being on the top 100 list.
Panelist 6: I’m in agreement with others who believe Augusta is overrated as well. It is still a great course, but I just believe there are many other courses that are better. They don’t have a short par-4 except for possibly the third hole. If I could offer them one suggestion, they could certainly add to the intrigue of the Amen Corner area if they were to play number 11 as a short par-4. There could be so much more excitement there if it could be played at a little over 300 yards. So many options would be available to the player on different days of the tournament. This could prove to be the most “pivotal” hole of the week. It would evoke so much conversation and “Monday Morning Quarterbacking!” With the large mound that fronts the green, to the water on the left, to the large crowds behind the 12th tee, this could be the most exciting hole in professional golf. Especially if they are going to lengthen the 13th and take away some of the risk/reward from that hole.
Augusta National… overrated? Photo credit: Angus Murray
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