How Does World Ranking Work In Golf?


Each week, the world’s top golfers are ranked based on a variety of factors. Rankings are very important as they can earn a player respect and prestige, along with perks such as admission into tournaments, sponsorships, and money.

Ranking Calculations

A specific formula is used when calculating the rankings of the world’s best golfers. Each player receives a certain amount of points based on how they perform and the field strength of the competitions they participate in. The player’s points are then divided by the number of tournaments they competed in throughout the last two years. These calculations are done after each weekend of play and announced the following Monday. The player’s with the highest points to tournaments played ratio at the end of each week finish at the top of the World Golf Rankings.

Field Strength

Field strength is one of the major determinants of the number of points awarded to players. The field strength of a competition is based on the current world ranking of the players in the event, along with the money-list ranking of the players from the previous year. Players with a higher ranking help to increase the field strength for a particular competition, and only players within the top 200 spots on the World Golf Rankings can influence the field strength. A higher field strength results in the winner of the event being awarded more points, along with more players in the competition being eligible to receive points. Therefore, the top-earning tournaments require the highest-ranking golfers to compete.

Point Regulations

Golfers can earn points at various events, including the six major pro tours and the South American, Korean, European, OneAsia, Canadian, and Nationwide Challenge tours. The points earned by each player will remain with them for two years, but the points are decreased after 13 weeks according to a scale so that the latest competitions are weighted more heavily. These points can only be tallied for a maximum of 52 events within the two-year period. A player must compete in at least 40 tournaments during this period to be qualified to rank.

Point Hierarchy

The number of points a player can earn varies based on the competition. The major tournaments have the highest payout, with the winners of the Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open, and British Open earning 100 points. The second-place finishers at the major tournaments are also awarded 60 points, while the third-place finishers receive 40 points. Other lucrative events include the Players Championship, where the winner earns 80 points, and the BMW PGA Championship, which awards its first-place finisher at least 64 points.

Ranking Privileges

Ranking high on the World Golf Rankings is very beneficial for players, earning them spots in the world’s top competitions. By finishing within the top 50 spots, players are automatically invited to play in the Masters, The Players Championship, and the British Open. The Masters also accepts players who ranked within the top 50 the previous year.