Like everything, the SCOREGolf ranking of the 100 best golf courses in Canada has evolved.
What began as a ranking of the top 15 tracks in the country – public and private – in 1988, grew to a list of 25 in 1990, 50 in 1994 and 100 in 2000.
Initially, the rankings were compiled by a small group of mostly golf professionals. Today, the panel of 101 people is mainly composed of public players or members of private clubs, passionate about the architecture of well-designed golf courses. They travel to far-flung courses as they please and judge them on nine criteria: design, strategy, challenge, beauty, conditioning, par-3 holes, par-4 holes, par-5 holes and fun factor.
The list, published every two years, is fluid. Courses make it to the Top 100 and others fall. Courses are making great strides in the rankings while others are falling. The list never stays the same because every two years more courses are seen by more panelists and their overall ratings out of 10 change. A score that goes up or down, even by a few tenths of decimal places, can have a significant impact on its position in the Top 100.
It’s no surprise that Cabot Cliffs at Cabot Cape Breton Resort in Inverness, Nova Scotia is the No. 1 course. opening. The host course for this year’s RBC Canadian Open, St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto, moved up two spots to second place. The tournament’s former host, the Hamilton Golf and Country Club, climbed three places to fourth after undergoing a massive restoration. /renovation in the last three years. It’s also worth noting near the top of the list that the Toronto Golf Club made it into the top 10 for the first time. After a restoration several years ago, it continues to improve with the continued felling of trees.
There were two courses in the top 20 that weren’t there in previous lists. Calgary’s Mickelson National was ranked eligible for the first time after opening in 2020 and ranked 20th. Meanwhile, Sagebrush near Merritt, British Columbia, reopened last summer after being closed for several years amid ownership changes, lawsuits and permit issues. He was 10th in 2014 before the close and 13th this year.
Other courses in the Top 100 for the first time are Taking Rock in Chase, BC (62nd), Waskesiu in Saskatchewan (83rd) and the Red Course at Royal Montreal (89th). Among those making big leaps from 2020 are the Calgary Golf and Country Club (from 41st to 27th), Port Carling Golf and Country Club (from 58th to 40th) and Burlington Golf and Country Club (from 95th to 61st ).
While courses have always needed 10 ratings in the rating system to be eligible for the Top 100, this year SCOREGolf’s inclusion policy has changed, which explains the absence of a long-standing course in the top 10.
“As golf continues to lose its reputation as a sport of exclusion, SCOREGolf has made the decision to disqualify all clubs that are not inclusive in their membership policies from Top 100 eligibility,” said Jordan Bitove. , editor of GOLF SCORE and the Toronto Star.
“The game isn’t where it needs to be on that yet, but it’s getting there, and we’re evolving with it.”
Is the Top 100 a perfect list? No. There is nothing like it in such an inherently subjective exercise. However, it is a serious attempt to recognize excellence in Canadian golf course architecture and the people who maintain these magnificent facilities on a daily basis. The collective thoughts of 101 people of different playing abilities, backgrounds, likes and dislikes.
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