Course Rater: Here’s Why Augusta National Slipped In GOLF’s Latest Top 100 Course Ranking


Augusta National still ranks among the top 10 courses in the world, according to GOLF’s just-released ranking of the world’s Top 100 courses — but just barely. After climbing to 3rd in 2009-10, the iconic design dropped to 5th in 2017-18 and now to 9th on our 2020-21 list.

What’s going on here? Why have my fellow raters and I soured, relatively speaking, on Alister MacKenzie and Bob Jones’ legendary collaboration?

Augusta’s dip can be explained by the club’s unspoken dual mandate to preserve the historical integrity of the course while also running a tournament every April that must test the best players in the world. It’s a challenging, if not untenable, juggling act: simultaneously protecting the game while protecting par.

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