Past, Present, and Future of Golf Rankings


Welcome to the Past, Present and Future of Golf Rankings. This is a blog about golf rankings to help separate what is fact from what is fiction and how the numbers have changed overtime. The goal of this blog is to explain the various rankings and answer your questions.

The Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) was established in 1986 and has been used by most golf fans as their primary source of ranking information over the last 30 years. Other organizations such as the European Tour, PGA Tour and Asian Tour keep their own internal ranking systems, but they are generally not as widely followed as the OWGR.

The PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup points system is one example – it is slightly different than the OWGR because it only measures performance on the PGA Tour, and for some reason does not include performance at majors which are arguably the most important tournaments in golf.

I started this blog to help separate what is fact from what is fiction and how the numbers have changed overtime.

I’m a big fan of analytics and finding ways to see beyond the surface of things. I also love golf, so it’s nice to be able to mix the two interests together.

My hope is that these rankings are interesting to you, and maybe even useful in some way. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.

Golf Rankings is a blog about golf rankings, a discussion on the past, present and future of the rankings. It is written by a golf fan who has a keen interest in sports analytics, specifically golf rankings.

Welcome to the first in a series of posts about golf rankings and how they can help us understand the game better. The goal of these posts is to bring some transparency to the world of golf rankings by explaining how different systems work and what their strengths and weaknesses are.

The first post will be very high-level as we look at how golf rankings have evolved and why they are so popular. In future posts, we’ll examine several existing ranking systems in more detail and a proposed new system that I’ve been working on. We’ll also discuss other types of analysis that may be possible using advanced analytics such as clustering players into groups or identifying the most important players or tournaments.

In the Fall of 2011, I discovered a spreadsheet by Steve Koenig available on the net that detailed the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) history dating back to 1986.

I have always been interested in statistics and history and this seemed like a good way to combine my interests.

I have since created my own spreadsheet which I have expanded to include some additional information that is not available in any other format.

This includes the number of tournaments played in each year, and how many weeks a player has spent at

In recent days, I’ve been asked by a number of people about the relationships between the various golf rankings and how they came about. I figured I would put together a post outlining the history of the rankings (as best as I can) and try to explain how they are calculated.

There are many different ways to rank golfers. Some rank players on their performances in the past two years, three years, or five years; some rank players on their performances in recent events; some rank players on their performances in major championships. The list goes on.

While all these rankings have some value in determining who is playing well at any given moment, they do not accurately reflect a player’s true ability or his/her chances of winning a tournament. They provide an incomplete picture of performance at best.

The World Golf Rankings (WGR) were introduced in 1986 and are calculated by awarding points for tournament victories, high finishes and regular tournament appearances. The WGR are intended to be a measure of the relative strengths of the leading golfers over a two-year period. As such, it is possible for a player to earn enough points during one year to compensate for a poor previous year’s form and vice versa.

Golf is a game that has evolved over the centuries and is now followed by millions of fans all over the world. It is played as a professional sport with numerous players, but it is also enjoyed by amateurs and enthusiasts. Golf remains one of the most challenging sports in the world with many factors being brought into play while playing a round. The scoring system has evolved over the years and the rules have been updated to match up with the changing times.

The game of golf was first played in Scotland in 1457, with King James II banning the sport because he believed it was interfering with archery practice! The game was made popular by King Henry VIII who re-introduced it to England, where it quickly became popular among royalty. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A) was founded in 1754 and since then golf has expanded to become a global sport. Today it is played on every continent and there are both male and female tournaments for amateurs as well as professionals.

Golf has been transformed from a traditional sport played at country clubs to one which is now accessible to everyone. It can be enjoyed by people from all walks of life regardless of age or gender or physical ability; anyone can play golf! A typical golf


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