The club had been organizing the most prestigious golfing tournament- The Open Championship for decades. In the 1980s, however, the club's committee realized that the qualifying system of the championship was flawed and wasn't allowing many top players- who played on multiple tours, to participate.
So, to rectify The Open Championship's qualifying system, the Official World Golf ranking was proposed. The new system was based on preeminent sports agent Mark McCormack's unofficial world golf ranking.
Mark also became OWGR’s first chairman of the International Advisory Committee overlooking the rankings.
Official World Golf Ranking Organization Today
In 2003, after Mark McCormack's demise, a private company called "Official World Golf Ranking" took responsibility for the ranking system.
The company based in the European Tour building comprises one chairman and seven directors who make the governing board. In 2023, the members of OWGR's board are:
Since 1860, the calculation system of world golf rankings has been updated several times. The latest revised version was implemented in August 2022.
To get a place on the list, a golfer must participate in the leading professional Eligible Golf Tours.
Golfers who participate in a minimum of forty tournaments qualify for the ranking. Depending upon their finishing position in these competitions, the golfers receive ranking points.
These ranking points are calculated with the help of every tournament's total field rating. To total field rating is obtained by adding the strokes Gained World Rating of every individual golfer playing in the tournament.
Every player's total points are accumulated over a rolling two year period (104 weeks). Every thirteen weeks- these ranking points are reduced on a sliding scale so that every golfer's latest performances get the most weightage.
At the end of the two year period, the total points won by a golfer are divided by the number of tournaments the golfer participated in. The average ranking points obtained are used to determine the golfer's positions on the ranking table.
Please note that the PGA Tour Canada is not a separate tour but a region of the larger PGA Tour.
There are several other tournaments where you can win ranking points. The team events, however, are not eligible.
Importance of the world rankings
The world rankings are of great importance to every professional golfer. They help golfers qualify for the most prestigious world golf events.
In the Open Championship, the top 50 world golfers automatically get a place to compete. The US opens accepts the entries of the top 60 golf players and the top 100 players get to compete in the PGA Championship and so on.
Being on top of the chart also helps golfers land sponsorships from leading sports brands. They also get to make money through advertisements and appearances on t.v shows.
Lastly, golfers on top of the table receive love and appreciation from golf enthusiasts.
The first-ever world rankings by Official World Golf Rankings
The first-ever list of the world's top golf players was released on Sunday, April 6th, 1986. The top 10 players are as follows:
The three leading men at the time were Europeans, but there were 31 American golfers on the top 50 list- making the USA the most prominent country in the golfing world.
Exciting, lesser-known facts about official world golf rankings
Since the inception of OGWR, only ten countries have had the first top spots.
To this day, only ten countries have had the honour of seeing their golf players on top of the table. Those include the USA, England, Australia, South Africa, Northern Ireland, Spain, Wales, Zimbabwe, Fiji, and Germany.
A golfer from the USA holds the record for spending the most weeks at the top of the world rankings.
Tiger Woods is a legendary golfer who has spent 683 weeks on top of the world rankings. From the 12th of June 2005 to the 20th of October 2010, Tiger Woods was number 1 for 281 weeks consecutively.
During his time as a golfer, the man bagged the first position in 110 professional events. Considering the fact that all other players combined have spent 656 weeks on the top spot, it is safe to say that no one will be able to beat Tiger's records anytime soon.
This USA star is the most powerful player in golf history whose name will be remembered for centuries.
Only three golfers have managed to stay on top of the chart for 12 months.
Out of all the men who have been on top of the list-only three were lucky enough to spend an entire year in the top spot.
Tiger Woods: Tiger Woods tops the list of all toppers. This legendary player has spent eight years as the number-one golfer.
Nick Faldo: The golfer from England made his nation proud by being number 1 throughout 1993.
Greg Norman: An Australian legend who sat on top of the list throughout 1996.
One unfortunate golfer lasted on top of the chart for only seven days.
Thomas Edward Lehman is an American golfer who got on top of the OWGR chart in April 1997. Unluckily, he wasn't able to rule the golfing world for long. Only after one week, he lost the top spot to the Australian golfing star, Greg Norman.
Legman is the only golfer in the world’s history who enjoyed the first position for one week. Tough luck.
Sixteen golfers reached the second position but didn't experience the pleasure of being the world's number one golfer.
Every golfer dreams of becoming the world’s number one player. Sixteen golfers could see their dream becoming a reality, but luck wasn’t on their side. Despite being so close to success, they never got the taste of it.