Golf Digest’s ranks the world’s greatest 100 golf courses, and nine of them are in Australia

Royal County Down tops the list, nine Australian golf courses ranked among the world’s greatest.

Golf Digest have released their biennial rankings of what they consider to be the World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses and two of the biggest talking points will centre around a new number one, and King Island’s Cape Wickham debuting at number 26 in the world.

Royal County Down in Northern Ireland has jumped into the number one ranking position (up from #4 two years ago) overtaking Augusta National, the previously ranked number one Pine Valley and Cypress Point.

Australia’s highest ranked golf course is Royal Melbourne West jumping three spots on this list into sixth place but most surprising is the ranking of the brand new Cape Wickham Links on King Island.

Kingston Heath is ranked as Australia’s second best golf course in 19th place but after only opening in late October, Cape Wickham has been ranked as the world’s 24th greatest golf course, making it Australia’s third greatest golf course. According to this list and its golf course ranking panel of course.

The view back towards the Cape wickham lighthouse from behind the 1st green at Cape Wickham Links.
The view towards the Cape Wickham lighthouse from behind the 1st green at Cape Wickham Links.

Perhaps it’s not so remarkable when you consider that it was ranked as Australia’s fifth best golf course in the latest Golf Australia Magazine rankings. From what we saw of the place, it deserves all the plaudits it is already receiving.

Of further interest is the inclusion of Ellerston Golf Course in the world rankings for the first time. The Packer family’s ultra-private golf course and has been ranked in 29th position, one spot ahead of New South Wales Golf Club in 30th spot.

Barnbougle Dunes (33 – down from 11), Barnbougle Lost Farm (40), Royal Melbourne East (55) and The National Old Course (87) round out the nine Australian golf courses in the rankings, with The National making its first appearance on the list.

Barnbougle Dunes 13th
The view from the 13th tee at Barnbougle Dunes.

Golf Digest’s World’s Greatest Golf Courses – The Top 10 for 2016

#1 Royal Country Down, Northern Ireland (4)
#2 Augusta National, GA, USA (2)
#3 Pine Valley, NJ, USA (1)
#4 Cypress Point, CA, USA (2)
#5 Royal Dornoch, Scotland (6)
#6 Royal Melbourne West, Australia (9)
#7 Shinnecock Hills, NY, USA (5)
#8 The Old Course, St Andrews, Scotland (7)
#9 Muirfield, Scotland (8)
#10 Merion, PA, USA (14)

Read the full list at Golf Digest

A number of golfers have asked about the relationship between Barnbougle Dunes and the new courses on King Island given they could all be considered competitors. The great people managing these golf courses know only too well that you can’t have enough great golf courses in the region and it’s not only good for Australian golf, but for business.

The relationship is a very healthy one and is summed up perfectly by the tweets shared by both Cape Wickham and Barnbougle this morning.

This one in particular gives you a good idea of the great relationship these two neighbours have, and the impact these courses are having on the changing landscape of golf in Australia:

And this point is worth sharing too:

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