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Changes to Official World Golf Ranking to take place next year

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An overhaul of the Official World Golf Ranking that began in 2019 was announced Wednesday and will feature what officials call a modernized "field rating" calculation based on analytic techniques.

Under the new system, the field rating for each event in the ranking will be set by every player in the field, not just the top 200 players in the current ranking, and the minimum point levels and flagship events have been removed from the calculation.

“What these reviews revealed was that through the use of assigned values in its strength-of-field calculation, which includes tour minimums, flagship tournaments, and the home tour rating, there was some level of bias in the system, which means that there was some level of performances that were either being undervalued or overvalued,” said Billy Schroder, a member of the OWGR’s technical committee.

Field rating minimums will remain for the major championships (with 100 points going to the winner) and The Players Championship (80 points to the winner), but built-in minimums for other “flagship” events have been removed from the ranking.

Instead, the new system will create a field rating, which replaces the current strength of field index and is based on each player’s strokes gained world rating. The SG world rating formula uses a player’s actual scores relative to the difficulty of each round to determine a player’s performance points and their ranking.

“As much work has been done over the past few years and looking at improvements and possible ways to make the system more accurate, you want to make certain that a ranking is reflective of current or commonly accepted golf norms, some of those being that the major championships are the pinnacle of the game,” Schroder said. “A significant portion of that is that you want to keep a premium on winning so that if a player were to win a significant event or a major championship, he would see an appreciative increase in his ranking.”

Officials ran numerous models using the new rating system and estimate that the top 10 players in the ranking will likely remain the same with a turnover of two to five players in the top 50.

The ranking will continue to be based on a two-year rolling window with the new rating system beginning in August 2022.