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World Golf Rankings

About the Official World Golf Rankings


Bernhard Langer

Bernhard Langer was ranked No. 1 in the first Official World Golf Rankings in April 1986.

Stuart Franklin / Getty Images
When golfers talk about the "world golf rankings," we are almost always referring to the Official World Golf Ranking - the rankings of male touring pros that are recognized by and sanctioned by the majors golf tours and organizations of men's golf. (Other versions can be found on the Golf Rankings page.)

When did the world golf rankings debut?

The first, official world golf rankings that were part of the current system were published on April 7, 1986. At that time, they were known as the Sony Rankings. They later became known as the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR).

Who was ranked No. 1 in the first world golf rankings?

The Top 10 players on the first rankings list from April 1986:

1. Bernhard Langer
2. Seve Ballesteros
3. Sandy Lyle
4. Tom Watson
5. Mark O'Meara
6. Greg Norman
7. Tommy Nakajima
8. Hal Sutton
9. Corey Pavin
10. Calvin Peete

Who finished each year at No. 1 in the world golf rankings?

Want to know who finished each year of the Official World Golf Ranking at No. 1? We'll do better than that. Here are the year-end Top 50 in the rankings for each year:
2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991 1990 1989 1988 1987

Who sanctions the world golf rankings?

The Official World Golf Ranking is sanctioned by the International Federation of PGA Tours, which is comprised of the PGA Tour, European Tour, PGA Tour of Australasia, Japan Tour, Asian Tour and Sunshine Tour; plus the governing bodies of the four men's professional majors (Augusta National Golf Club, USGA, R&A, PGA of America).

Which players are included in the world golf rankings?

Golfers are eligible for inclusion in the Official World Golf Rankings if they accrue points by playing in events on the tours mentioned above, plus events on the Web.com Tour, European Challenge Tour, OneAsia Tour, Korean Tour, PGA Tour Latinoamerica, PGA Tour Canada, PGA Tour China and Asian Development Tour.

How are the world golf rankings calculated?

The Official World Golf Rankings method of calculation is explained a bit more in-depth on the OWGR Web site. But to summarize:
  1. Players accrue points by playing in tournaments sanctioned by the participating tours/organizations (which are noted above).
  2. Points available in each respective event depends primarily on the strength of the field; strength of field is determined in a separate calculation that takes into account the number of players in the field, how many are ranked in the Top 200, and, to a lesser extent, money list performance. That calculation results in each placement being worth a certain number of points (e.g., finish 5th, earn X points).
  3. The four major championships are rated more highly, as are a select number of other tournaments of great import.
  4. Players accrue points over a two-year rolling period, with events in the past 13 weeks weighted more heavily.
  5. A player's accumulated points are divided by his number of tournaments played, and the player is ranked relative to other players' averages. (If a golfer has played fewer than 40 tournaments, then his point total is divided by 40.)
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