Before getting into detail about our rating, we feel that it is important to explain what our mission is. This will help to understand why we are making certain choices.
“Our mission is to help golfers around the globe to find the best golf course, based on their handicap, location or needs”
Leadingcourses.com was set up to identify the hidden gems in each country and to bring more fun to the game of golf. Not everyone is capable to play every course. We love it when our rankings are different from the rankings from ‘experts’. Our ratings and hence rankings are independent and based on actual golfers’ opinions.
Protecting our rating
Our rating is one of our main assets and therefor we closely monitor and guard our rating algorithm. We have several mechanisms in place to check if our rating is still correct and robust. We also make sure that our rating algorithm can detect and withstand any fraud or abuse. As our rating is becoming more and more important people will try to find ways to influence our rating. It is our job to make sure our rating is valid and correct at all times. Corrections and updates of our algorithm is an on-going effort.
Not every review is the same
Members of our site can increase their reputation by writing reviews, adding photos and receiving likes. We believe that the more someone contributes, the better he/she is capable to rate and compare a golf club or golf course. We also use reviews from external sources, but their impact is kept at a bare minimum. We have four reputation levels: beginner, bronze, silver and gold.
The higher the status, the higher the credibility and thus impact (or weight) of the review on the overall rating of a golf club. The impact of a beginner is lowest. Beginners are members who have written just one review and haven’t completed their profile. Members points depreciate, so members need to keep on writing reviews to maintain their status.
New reviews are more important
We strongly believe that the latest review (so, play date) should have the highest impact and older reviews should have less impact (but still some impact) on the overall rating of a golf club. To factor in the effect of time, we depreciate the weight (and thus impact) of each review.
In the first year an individual review has a 100% weight, after a year the impact of that review will gradually become less. The depreciation is continuous, so every minute the impact of a review becomes less. We do not use a straight line to depreciate the impact, but the declining balance method.
Sufficient reviews ensure reliability
If a golf club has received enough reviews (in terms of weight), our rating will turn from grey to orange. Golf clubs, which have an active rating, will be shown in our ‘normal’ rankings and our Golfers’ Choice rankings. These clubs also qualify for our ‘recommended’ and ‘outstanding’ certificates. Clubs with an inactive rating will still be shown, but only after golf clubs with an active rating.
Due to our depreciation scheme, golf clubs need to gather new reviews each year; otherwise it can result in losing their active rating and thus dropping out of our rankings.
Quality of reviews
Every review is directly added to our site. Reviews that are ‘written’ by bots or are added in any other automated manner are automatically removed. We also log the IP-‐address and other (anonymous) data to determine if a review is legitimate. Every day our content team checks and moderates each and every single review and determines which reviews are to be approved or disapproved. We have strict guidelines, as viable reviews are very important for our site and our visitors.
Some reasons why a review can be disapproved:
- Unrealistic high/low rating of each review item (compared to the average rating)
- Same rating (0,0 or a 10,0) for all items and first review
- Complaints or offensive motivation (we are a review site, not a site to complain)
- Duplicate reviews
- Reviews written by the golf course manager or owners
The rating items
Our overall rating provides an indication of the quality of a golf club or golf facility in general. So, it is a combination of several factors: the golf course(s), the level of maintenance, the facilities and clubhouse, the hospitality and value for money. Each item has a different weight in the overall rating. Without being specific, the impact of a golf course is obviously higher than the weight of the clubhouse. Our visitors are able to check the ratings of each individual item, like which golf course is the best (useful when a club has multiple golf courses). We also provide a rating distribution and a rating per handicap. A golf club owner can see the individual distribution per review in our Partner Extranet; this is not visible on our site. We do however provide a summary per item.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask! Just use our contact form! We usually will answer your question within one hour.