Ladies That Golf / ´╗┐The Women's World Golf Rankings

The Women’s World Golf Rankings

The Women’s World Golf Rankings, also known as the Rolex Rankings (for sponsorship reasons) is a world golf ranking system for female players, similarly as the Official World Golf Rankings in men’s golf. The idea of a system of golf rankings for female golfers was first presented at the 2004 World Congress of Women’s Golf by five major women’s professional tours: the LPGA Tour, the LET, the LPGA of Japan Tour, the LPGA of Korea Tour and the ALPG Tour. The rankings were planned to be introduced in 2005 but the first rankings were published in February 2006.

How Rankings Are Calculated

Rankings are calculated on the basis of points which in turn are awarded according to the strength on the field - the player’s finish and the number and rankings of other competing players. The exception are the LPGA Tour major championships and the LPGA FUTURES Tour events which foresee a fixed pointing system. Only points gathered during the last 104 weeks count, while the points accumulated in the last 13 weeks have a greater value.

Golfers are ranked according to average points per tournament played during the last 104 week period divided by the number of tournaments played with the minimum divisor being 35. The initial requirement to play a minimum 15 events was eliminated as early as August 2006, allowing players to be ranked even if they played at a single eligible tournament. Players’ total points are calculated by the number of points gathered during a 104-week period divided by the total number of events played. But if the golfer played fewer than 35 events, her total points are calculated by the number of points divided by 35 (minimum divisor).

Criticism of the Women’s World Golf Rankings

The world of golf was especially critical about the changes in regard to the minimum events requirement and the minimum divisor of 35, introduced only after six months the first Women’s World Golf Rankings were published. The Rankings Committee said the changes were introduced with an aim to make the Women’s Rankings more similar to the Men’s Ranking system which, however, has a minimum divisor of 40. The critics argued that the rankings aren’t realistic, more specifically that the LPGA of Japan Tour golfers were too high on the rankings and that the minimum divisor of 35 (and not 40 as in the Official World Golf Rankings) favoured the American golfer Michelle Wie, allowing her to be ranked 2nd. If a minimum divisor of 40 would have been used, she wouldn’t be among the top 10 players.

Importance of the Women’s World Golf Rankings

In addition to giving an overview of the best female golfers in the world, the Women’s World Golf Rankings are also used as a qualifier for particular events by all sponsoring tours. For example, the Women’s British Open awards 40 of total 144 places according to the Rankings, while four members of team Europe for the Solheim Cup are chosen on the basis of their position in the Women’s World Golf Rankings.