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Power Rankings 2.0

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The Pro Tour Power Rankings are based on how many times you beat the best players in the world, and how many times you lose to them. Based on this won loss record, we calculate a win percentage. Based on this win percentage, we get our Power Rankings. That’s it. Beat the best players in the world, your ranking will improve. If it improves enough, you will become one of the best players in the world that we will measure other players against.

This is the fourth significant iteration of the Power Rankings and it is superior to anything that has come before due to four major improvements , namely Event Degradation over Time. Strengthening the Won / Loss Competition, Creating Defined Events and Adding Weight to Events.

Event Degradation over Time
We now degrade the value of events over time. Therefore, a win from three months ago has less of an impact on your ranking than a win from this week. While it seems like an obvious thing to do, it was not possible until this most recent iteration and the online database we are using to do the calculations. Over 40 weeks, an event will become irrelevant to the rankings as its degradation value reaches 0%. The Power Rankings are measuring who is the best in the world at any given point in time, heavily including older events defeats the purpose.

Strengthening the Won / Loss Competition
The pool of players from whom you get a win and/or loss has become much smaller. In previous versions of the Power Rankings, any player with a rating of 1000 was counted as a quality player. While 1000+ rated players are in fact very good, ratings are not always a good indicator of a player’s skill level at a given time. For example, if a player has not played a high caliber PDGA event in a year or so, their rating will be lower than it should be. Similarly, if a player is improving quickly, their rating will be a lagging indicator as to their skill level. We therefore decided to only rank wins and losses against the very best players in the world, specifically the top 25 MPO and the top 15 FPO players. If you get a win against these folks, you have earned it. Every time. And if you earn enough wins against these folks, you will become one of the top 25 in the world and people will earn their wins (and losses) by competing against you. No more 1000 rated gimme wins. 😉

Defined Events
In previous versions of the rankings, we included any “quality” event, where a quality event was defined to be any event that had (on the MPO side) ten or more 1000 rated players. Also, we used the number of 1000 rated players to be the factor that determines how important that event should be in the rankings – more 1000 rated players would result in more wins and losses against 1000 rated players. Going forward, we will define the events that will be included in the Power Rankings (Pro Tours, NTs and PDGA MPO/FPO Majors) upfront. If you want to earn your way up the Power Rankings, these are the events to play.

Weighed Events
We have added an event weighting system which values Majors more due to the added pressure of the title. Our win/loss weighting is as follows:

  • 3X – Pro Worlds, USDGC
  • 2.5X – European Open, and additional MPO/FPO Majors
  • 2X – Pro Tour and National Tour events
  • 1X – Other qualifying events

It should be noted that we will continue to include other qualifying events that have a significant number of quality players. A Significant Number of Quality Players is defined as five or more Top 25 MPO or three or more Top 15 FPO. Wins and losses at these events will be added to the rankings but they will be weighted less as indicated above. Having said that, since our system is not based on tiered points (see OGWR in the next section), there is no additional positive or negative impact for how well you perform at these events. You simply get your wins and losses, they are added to your total, and you move on.

Better than Golf?
The Official Golf World Ranking (OGWR) system uses a points system where points are earned at various event types. This system is quite clunky and overweights (in our opinion) a good/great showing at a Major Championship. While there is significant pressure and prestige associated with winning a Major, it is still just one event. Clearly the goal of golf’s OGWR is to pretend that the best player in the world is the one that wins the most Majors when in reality that player could be beaten soundly at most events and still earn lots of “points” at Majors, exaggerating their ranking to an overly elevated rank. The opposite effect could also happen with a poor showing at a Major having an overly dramatic negative impact on a player’s ranking. We want to find the player that is the best in the world and rank them number one.

How do you get to be number one?
Beat the best players in the world more often than they beat you and the other top players. It’s that simple.