Official World Golf Rankings

Official World Golf Rankings; Official World Golf Ranking is a system for assessing the level of performance of professional golfers. It began in 1986. The ratings depend on the player’s position in individual tournaments (i.e. non-marital or group events) over a two-year “graded” period. Releases new ratings every week. In 2018, the official world golf rankings system covered nearly 400 tournaments in 20 rounds. All players competing in these tournaments are included in the rankings. In 2019, 23 rounds were included in the world rankings.

These rankings generally receive attention and are of added importance, being used as one of the eligibility criteria for entering several leading tournaments.

The History

Official World Golf Rankings
Official World Golf Rankings

The initiative to establish the official world golf rankings came from the Old Royal Golf Club Championship Committee in St Andrews which found in the 1980s that its system of issuing invitations to the Open on a tour basis had excluded a large number of senior players, Because many of them were splitting their time between tours, as well as from prominent sports agent Mark McCormack, International Advisory Committee “, which oversaw the classification. The system used to calculate ratings from McCormack’s World Golf Rankings, published in World of Professional Golf Annual from 1968 to 1985, was developed, although it was unofficial, and was not used for any wider purpose (such as inviting players to major tournaments).

When the first Raking was published?

The first Official World Golf Rankings list was published before the Masters in 1986. Golf’s top six players were Bernard Langer, Seve Ballesteros, Sandy Lyle, Tom Watson, Mark O’Meara, and Greg Norman. The top three were Europeans, but there were US 31 in the top 50 (compared to 17 at the end of 2010).

The way ratings are calculated has changed dramatically over the years. Initially, the classification was calculated over three years, with the current year’s points quadrupling (three in 1986), the previous year’s points twice and third-year points once. The ratings were based on total points and the awarded points were limited to valid values. All recognized tournaments in the world’s professional tours, and some of the leading events, have been categorized into categories ranging from major tournaments (in which winners will receive 50 points) to “other tournaments” (in which winners will receive at least 8 points). In all events, other contestants earn points on a diminishing scale that began with the runner-up receiving 60% of the winners’ points, and the number of players on the field receiving points is the same as the points awarded to the winner. For example, all players finishing 30th to 40th will get two points, and all players finishing 50th or higher, one point.

When the Ranking system Changed?

Starting in April 1989, the Official World Golf Ranking changed based on average points per event played rather than just the total points earned, taking into account a minimum of 60 (20 events per year). This was to reflect more accurately the situation of some players (especially older ones), who played in far fewer events than their younger contemporaries, but showed in the major leagues that their ranking was artificially low. For example, Tom Watson finished 15th out of eight Grand Slams between 1987 and 1989, yet only 40 “total points” were ranked; It’s ranking of 20 became more realistic when it was based on the “average points”. A new system was introduced to determine the “weight” of each tournament, based on the strength of the tournament field in terms of pre-tournament world rankings. To ensure that the major leagues remain at 50 points for the winners, all other events can receive a maximum of 40 points for the winner. In practice, most PGA Tour events were awarded about 25 points to the winner, European Tour events about 18, and JPGA Tour events about 12.

The system of gradual attrition changed

In 1996, the three-year period shrank to two, with the current year counted twice and the minimum number of events reduced from 60 to 40. Points have been extended to more areas, starting in 2000, and are no longer limited to the correct numbers. Starting in September 2001, the system of gradual attrition changed so that instead of doubling points per result if they occurred in the last 12 months, an eighth of the initial value of “doubling” was deducted every 13 weeks. Official World Golf Rankings change effectively means that players can now be described more simply as having earned 100 points (not 50). Starting in 2007, the system keeps points from each event at full value for 13 weeks and then reduces them in equal weekly increases over the remainder of the two years.

The Max/Min number of Tournaments

In 2010, the maximum number of tournaments plus a minimum of 40 tournaments was introduced. The maximum number was initially set at 60 from January 2010 and reduced by 2 every six months to 52 in January 2012. This means that since 2012 only the player’s most recent 52 tournaments (during the biennium) have been used to calculate his average ranking.

Initially, the Royal Championships Commission used only ratings for official purposes, but the PGA Tour recognized them in 1990, and in 1997 all five major men’s golf rounds did so. This classification was previously called the Sony Rankings but was renamed the Official World Golf Rankings. Ratings are being managed from offices in Virginia Water in Surrey, England.

Rounds covered by the classification

The classification system has been adopted through the four Grand Slams and six major professional rounds, five of which are members of the International PGA Tour Federation Charter:

  • PGA Tour
  • European Tour
  • Asian Tour (from 2000; Not a member of the Union Charter)
  • PGA Tour in Australia
  • Japan Golf Tour
  • Sunshine Tour

Points are also awarded for high ends in other rounds:

  • Korn Ferry Tour, Official PGA Tour Development Tour
  • Challenge Tour, Official Development Tour of the European Tour
  • PGA Tour Canada, which became a full member of the Federation in 2009 under its previous name “Canadian Professional Golf Tour”
  • Korean Tour, 2011
  • Latin American PGA Tour, from 2011 (Tour de las Américas in 2011 and early 2012)
  • Asian Development Round, Official Asian Development Round, 2013
  • PGA Tour in China, from 2014
  • Alpine Tour, from July 2015
  • Scandinavian Golf League, July 2015
  • PGA EuroPro Tour, July 2015
  • ProGolf Tour, July 2015
  • The Middle East and North Africa Golf Tour, April 2016
  • Big Easy Tour, as of 2018
  • China Tour, of 2018
  • All golf tours in Thailand, as of 2019
  • Professional Golf Tour in India, as of 2019
  • Abima TV Tour, Starting 2019
  • The Forme Tour, from 2021, created an alternative for Canada’s PGA Tour members who were unable to travel to Canada due to restrictions

Starting in 2012, some events received points and have never earned points before. This was the Sunshine Tour “Winter Series” and the PGA Tour of Australia “statewide and regional tournaments.”

Previous Rounds:

  • Asian Golf Circuit from 1986 to 1997.
  • OneAsia tour, added in 2009 but dropped in 2018.
  • LocaliQ series, is a one-time tour in 2020 created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ranking Calculations

Official World Golf Rankings

Simply, the golfer’s world ranking can be obtained by dividing his total points by the number of events he played, giving his average. Players are then arranged according to their average, the highest first.

Importance of Ranking

Rating a professional golfer is of great importance to his career. The ranking currently grants the top 50 players automatic entry to all major tournaments and world golf tournaments; See table below. In addition, the classification is the main criterion for selecting the international team in the Presidents Cup, while the ranking points are one of the qualification criteria for the European Ryder Cup team. The rankings are also used to help determine the field for various other tournaments.



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