Over the years, I’ve been asked if I sit on any ranking panels, but the truth is I’ve never been interested.
For one thing, I don’t know how the rankers, many of them media colleagues, find the time to play the number of courses that you need to visit in order to do a proper job on the rankings, whether they are provincial or national.
The people who have read my rants over the years know my opinion on the flawed process that determines these rankings, which are really just a self-congratulatory exercise on the part of the rankers, media or otherwise.
Those who publish the rankings are quick to point out that they’re not meant to be a course guide, but I always wonder what the point is then? Some point out that the rankings are to spark debate and the publications that go for such things do seem to ache for those arguments.
There are likely a few people who care about such things, but these days, I hardly hear a word from golfers I know or from people within the industry about these rankings and I suspect the reason for that is apathy considering that there are so many of these things done year after year.
The rankings seem to matter most to the media outlets that publish them and the rankers who seem to think they know more about golf courses than anybody else. The third party that puts stock in rankings is the golf courses who use such pretense to enhance their marketing campaigns.
In keeping with our theme of yesterday, which is your opinion from previous GNN Polls as this website moves towards its first anniversary, we asked back in October for your opinion of golf course rankings.
The majority, or 44 per cent, said they didn’t believe in them and that they are just marketing tools for golf courses and sales gimmicks for magazines. Another 18 per cent said they just don’t care about golf course rankings.
Having said that, a good number of people within the industry do believe in the rankings, even if the majority see them as a marketing exercise or just don’t care. The rankings are seen as credible with a definite place in golf by 38 per cent of respondents.
That number will keep the tradition of golf course rankings alive for some time, even if most people either shake their heads or shrug their shoulders at the results.
The interesting question now is how will be the best new course be decided in the future? Even with my bad game, I would win a golf tournament if I was the only guy in the field.
The results of previous GNN Polls can be found in the Polls Archive section.