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LINKS100 Year in Review

Celebrating the one-year anniversary of the game’s first and only “real-time” course rankings

By: Thomas Dunne

The first year of the LINKS100 is in the books, and we’re happy to report the project is off to a great start. Thanks to the efforts of our (slowly growing) panel and (rapidly growing) army of online voters, we collected almost 3,000 ballots from around the world. If you haven’t signed up yet, please take this opportunity to join us. You can fill out a ballot—and check out the latest results of our constantly updating U.S. and World lists—by visiting LINKSMagazine.com/links100. Voting doesn't just help us with our rankings; it's also a fun and easy way to archive your own list of favorite courses.  

What’s new for 2013? Filters. Because all of our voting data is stored in cyberspace, we’ve been able to add some bells and whistles that allow you to search the lists and filter them to create a variety of sub-lists. Want to know the best 10 public courses near Los Angeles, the top Pete Dye courses, the best modern designs in England? Now you can find them all on the LINKS website.

With that in mind, we’ve parsed the data to offer a few lists of our own. From the hottest new courses to surprising stumbles by iconic designs, here are a few snapshots from the current LINKS100.

Top 10 Risers and Fallers

2012’s top risers and fallers show the tension between the LINKS100 panel (which provided our core list) and the public (whose votes modified that list). At the Bandon Dunes resort, for example, the original rankings rewarded the connoisseur's choice Bandon Trails and, to a lesser extent, Old Macdonald. Public balloting, however, issued a strong corrective, sending David Kidd’s crowd-pleasing Bandon Dunes up the charts—and nearly knocking Trails clear off the page. In other news, Olympic (Lake) reaped ranking rewards from its U.S. Open year, while Pinehurst No. 2 saw a mysterious eight-spot decline. But Donald Ross’s gem should have climbing room when its double-U.S. Open year of 2014 showcases its Coore/Crenshaw restoration.

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