"I think it's fair to say that Shot Values and Resistance to Scoring were the likely categories that contributed to Augusta’s elevation.”
Golf Digest confirmed in a news release that the new Top 100 list will appear online April 6, listed the new entries on the list, confirmed rise of Augusta National to #1 and included this apology explanation from architecture editor Ron Whitten.
“Although the architectural changes at Augusta National have received criticism over the past few years, our panel consensus ranked it No. 1,” said Ron Whitten, Golf Digest Senior Editor of Architecture. “We evaluate seven different aspects of each course's design, and while it's hard to pinpoint individual reasons for a course’s ranking, I think it's fair to say that Shot Values and Resistance to Scoring were the likely categories that contributed to Augusta’s elevation.”
Those are probably the kindest words Ron or anyone else in his position could muster up to explain what happened.
Of course, since no one knows what Shot Values actually means and anyone...ANYONE...ANYONE can design a golf course that is Resistant to Scoring, hardly what I'd call a ringing endorsement for the new #1.