I dropped off the Golfweek panel, primarily because I was finding my evaluations less meaningful. I am most familiar with Minnesota courses although I have played over 25% of the courses on most top 100 lists (Strangely my percentage is usually a bit higher on world lists than US lists).
When asked what I think the best course is in Minnesota, I find that I really do not have an opinion. I think there are four candidates (WBYC, Northland, Interlachen, Minnikahda) but I can find flaws and positives about each course such that their relative ranking could change any day. Furthermore, there are probably six or seven other courses that I would prefer to play to any of those four on a particular given day.
I found I lost interest in trying to differentiate. I enjoy good golf courses. Some are worth seeking out, some are worth enjoying, some are worth playing with a good group and some are tolerable on the right day with the right people. Even the miserable designs often provide the most interesting memories.
The value of these rankings for me is how they incentivize certain design approaches. Courses have improved dramatically over the last twenty years - both the classics and new builds. I hear more casual golfers appreciating an interesting test of golf rather than telling themselves a difficult golf hole is automatically a good golf hole. Casual conversations about tree management on a golf course now leave me more concerned they advocate too much enthusiasm for removing trees rather than the opposite.
The recent presentation about Woodhall Spa by Richard Latham at the BUDA is one piece of evidence demonstrating that rankings have a direct impact on decisions courses make.