As we know, rating and ranking golf courses is purely subjective.
Assigning scores and numbers is impossible, which is how I came up with the system of categorizing the courses purely based on how much I would want to play them again.
Taking into Account...
Layout: How interesting, varied and engaging the holes are
Aesthetics: How visually appealing the course is, and how the vistas contribute to the overall experience
Conditioning: How well is the course conditioned tee to green?
Memorability: How memorable are each of the holes?
Playability: Is the course playable for most abilities?
Overall Experience: Does the golf course & club promote an enjoyable experience overall?
Courses are assigned a rating of 0-8 which places them in one of the following brackets:
Probably a top 100 golf course in the entire world. The absolute best where picking them apart is almost impossible. A treat to play and when you finish there's nothing you would love more than to go back to the first tee. Literally nearly perfect.
These are the cream of the crop, the elite courses which trips should be built around. They are the reasons you should make golf trips and are elite by any global standards. The golf courses are visually spectacular, the layouts are engaging, fun and playable. You couldn't have a bad day on them, no matter how bad the golf gets.
Excellent golf courses which aren't far away from being elite courses. You could could create an awesome trip just on these courses alone, however there are elements which just leave them below the top tier. These courses should feature in all trips, and may well be your favourite courses in the country!
Very good golf courses featuring some very strong elements, but are missing the X-Factor of the top two tiers. They may not be your favourite courses of your trip, but you won't regret playing them in any way. If you're in the area they shouldn't be missed!
They are strong and good quality courses with some highly enjoyable aspects. They are better than gap fillers and you'll have an enjoyable day playing them, but they'll leave you wanting more!
These courses will be used to fill the gaps of your itinerary. They're definitely solid, passable golf courses that you will have an enjoyable day at, but probably won't be something you write home about. If you've got a day to spare, you can have a fun day out there and there will definitely be aspects of the courses you will enjoy!
Courses that are playable but nothing special. If you're here for a short time you'd be best to skip over these and travel to a course in one of the other tiers. That being said, throwing a couple of these in your itinerary will in no way ruin your trip.
Probably courses you should only play if you absolutely have to play golf that day. You might be better off giving these a miss in your itinerary and travelling to another region.
Don't bother playing them unless it's a hit and giggle, preferably with multiple beers
Links to Other New Zealand Golf Course Rankings:
Golf Digest Top 50:
NZ Golf Magazine Top 40:
Top 100 Golf Courses: