FAQs (frequently asked questions and/or clarifications)
If one has other questions/inquiries, email [email protected]
SPWAR is pronounced "spar" as the w is silent.
How can it be stated that the SPWAR is the most accurate amateur golf
ranking in the world?
The SPWAR maintains extensive documentation relative
to any other attempt at a world amateur golf ranking producing
overwhelming evidence, be it actual facts or circumstantial, to prove
beyond any reasonable doubt that it is the world’s most accurate.
The primary contributing factors for the SPWAR’s superior
accuracy are a time-tested finish position method, superior event
weighting, substantially more events included, quicker removal of those
turning pro, and unmatched timeliness in updating.
Others state they “endeavor” to be the most accurate or to be the
"definitive" world amateur ranking which is
code language meaning they are not as accurate as the SPWAR.
Both the USGA and R&A are well aware of this stated and published
position of superiority but have not taken exception or any related
action because if they did, they would be soundly defeated.
The SPWAR has always been and always will be “The Gold Standard
in Amateur Golf Rankings Worldwide”.
Are there any published comparisons of world amateur rankings?
There is only one published comparison of the SPWAR versus the WAGR at https://golfbible.co.uk/2016/02/08/why-the-spwar-is-better-than-the-wagr/. It was written and web posted by Mark Eley of England. The SPWAR creator and administrator was not aware that Mark existed until he contacted me to review his draft of the original comparison in 2016 (which has been updated several times since). Mark Eley follows amateur golf worldwide closely and GB&I golf closer than any human alive.
When was the SPWAR started?
The SPWAR was launched live on the internet January
13 of 2007 and at least 10 days before any other attempt at a world
amateur ranking establishing the SPWAR as the first world amateur golf
ranking ever launched. The
SPWAR creator commenced consideration of compiling a world amateur
ranking in 2002 and began serious work in its creation starting in early
2004. The SPWAR was
“tested” privately in 2006 among several of the world’s top amateurs and
national level amateur tournament directors.
It took almost 3 years to get it right prior to launch.
Why can’t I find USA collegiate results before post-season in the
This only applies to non-D1 events as all D1 events are included separately. The SPWAR handles non-D1 “in-season” USA collegiate events uniquely. In lieu of including finish position results of “in-season” tournaments, the SPWAR inputs collegiate rankings a few to several times per year depending on the division as follows:
D2 goes in 5 times each season with last as of just before D2 Regionals
D3 goes in 3 times each season with last as of just before D3 Nationals
NAIA goes in 3 times each season with last as of just before NAIA Nationals
NJCAA 3 times each season with last before applicable NJCAA Nationals
Each “in-season” ranking input ramps up point spots
and points per spot and replaces the previous in-season ranking input.
The final ranking input each season in each division remains in
the SPWAR for two years subject to points aging.
The Nationals of all divisions along with the D2 Regionals are
all separately included events.
This unique method lags behind other rankings in reflecting
non-D1 collegiate performance but is much more accurate by each season’s end.
If a USA collegiate player’s SPWAR does not include their
collegiate ranking within their division at any applicable moment within
any season, that means such player was not ranked high enough within
their division to earn such SPWAR points.
I am in SPWAR but when I click my last name, no event finish detail
Clicking the last name of any player in the SPWAR
only produces event finish detail if one is in the top 2500.
This is as designed so as to preclude anyone else from figuring
out what points are awarded for any particular event or finish position
with rare exceptions. In other
words, the SPWAR is not going to allow anyone else to "reverse engineer"
the world’s most accurate ranking of amateurs.
Without that comprehensive data, no other attempt at a world amateur
ranking will ever match the superior accuracy of the SPWAR.
Should one seek what finish position detail is included in their
SPWAR or if an event principal seeks what current points were awarded
for their event, email Scratch Players and such event finish positions will be
provided for such player or what points were awarded for an applicable
How many players and events are included in the SPWAR?
There are over 5000 events included in the SPWAR
annually which is at least 2100 more than any other attempt at a world
amateur ranking. While
another ranking states they have over 4000 included events annually, that is
split between their men’s ranking and women’s ranking.
Commencing in 2016, the R&A’s attempt at a ranking began phasing in
covering the last 2 years of included events following the SPWAR’s lead.
The men’s ranking now shows over 4000 included events but that is the
same event twice over a two year period. A comparable number in
the SPWAR would be north of 10,000.
There are over 18,000 amateurs in the SPWAR with at least 1 point of which
about 13,000 to15,000
(depending on the time of year) are uploaded to the website with each update.
That is over 10,000 more ranked players than any other attempt at
a world amateur ranking or any other ranking of golfers of any kind.
There are events and players from over 100 countries and from more
countries than any other ranking of golfers of any kind.
The SPWAR is, by far, the largest ranking of golfers in the
history of the game by any measure.
Does the SPWAR include qualifying for professional tours?
The SPWAR includes amateur finishes "of note" for
every stage of every professional tour qualifying
(Q-School) in the world.
Does the SPWAR include
high school events?
The SPWAR includes every US state high school championship in all divisions if 36 holes or more as well as other non-state high school championships. High school events are also included in South Africa, Australia, the UK and Japan. No other attempt at a world amateur ranking includes high school events regardless of rounds played.
What time period does SPWAR cover?
Event finishes in the SPWAR remain and count from
event end date for 730 days or 2 years.
The SPWAR is the only attempt at a world amateur ranking where
events count more than one year through 2015.
The R&A’s attempt at a ranking started phasing in to two years as of the
first of 2016 but without the critical points aging through 2019.
Commencing in 2020 the WAGR is following the SPWAR’s lead again and
compiling their ranking with points aging. However, their aging
does not start until the second year meaning it will remain inferior to
the SPWAR where points aging starts after 30 days from event end date.
It should be noted that the official world pro ranking, OWGR,
also has a 2 year inclusion or counting period with weekly points aging.
The SPWAR method constitutes a 104 week “rolling” cycle with any
fixed time frame or calendar year being not applicable.
Is SPWAR weighted for more recent play?
golf ranking is irrefutably more accurate weighting recent play more
heavily than older finishes in keeping with the time tested axiom of
“what have you done lately”?
Notwithstanding, what one has done 1 to 2 years ago still counts.
Points awarded for any finish position in the SPWAR stay “as is”
for 30 days, then erode away, or age, daily until such finish vanishes
from the SPWAR after 730 days from event end date.
This works similarly to the official world pro ranking, OWGR,
which also ages points for 2 years although that ranking ages points in
How volatile are ranking positions in the SPWAR?
Players ranked in the SPWAR change ranking positions
much more smoothly than any other attempt at a world amateur ranking.
This is due to the combination of the number of events included
and points aging over two years.
With a “one & done” ranking or two & done ranking without points
aging, player ranking changes can be and are wild and dramatically
distort the reality of a
player’s stature. This
volatility phenomenon is another example of the SPWAR’s superiority.
Why are SPWAR points awarded not disclosed for each event finish?
The SPWAR only discloses each included player’s total
“net” points which is the sum of all points awarded the previous 730
days less points aging.
Again, this is as designed so as to preclude anyone else from figuring
out what points are awarded for any particular event or finish position
with rare exceptions.
Without that comprehensive data, no other attempt at a world amateur
ranking will ever match the superior accuracy of the SPWAR.
How often is SPWAR updated?
The SPWAR is updated continuously as results become
available. Updating is
usually at least a few times each day virtually every day of any year.
Other attempts at a world amateur ranking update weekly including
results that could be up to 9 days from event end date.
The official world pro ranking, OWGR, updates weekly which makes
sense for that ranking as virtually all significant events in the OWGR end on
Sunday. However, in amateur
golf worldwide, events can and do end every day of any week in any time
zone worldwide. Cutting
edge accuracy means updating as soon after an event ends as possible.
How does SPWAR obtain the results of included events?
The vast majority of event results included in the
SPWAR are retrieved from the event’s applicable website and/or from the
applicable golf governing body’s website covering and/or conducting the
event. Many event results
are received via email upon request or otherwise.
The SPWAR does NOT require events to submit results in any
particular format or in any particular template.
The SPWAR takes the position that it works for included events
and players. Events do not
work for the SPWAR and the vast majority of included events are never
contacted as long as results are web posted with at least a minimum
amount of data provided so as to determine who a player is, where he is
from, how many scratch players started, what the final scores are, what
finish position a player attained, and what day the event ended.
What does SPWAR do with the results of included events?
Included event results obtained are analyzed to
determine who “of note” is in the start field, how many rounds were
played, and how many total scratch players started every year.
SPWAR point spots and points per spot are then set or adjusted
depending on the aforementioned criteria analyzed each year.
Then the SPWAR is checked to make sure all finishing in a spot
awarded points are in the ranking database.
If a player is not in the SPWAR, such player is added.
Then the results are inputted and soon thereafter uploaded to the
internet with the next update.
Why are some event results missing?
The only results appearing
within any player’s SPWAR are if such player finished in a spot awarded
points ("of note" finishes).
No player has to “qualify” for ranking inclusion.
All players finishing in a spot awarded points get such points
irrespective of whether or not they were in the SPWAR previously.
If any player does not finish in a spot awarded points, the SPWAR
does not acknowledge that such player was in the field.
Again, finish position detail is only viewable on the internet if
such player is ranked among the top 2500 in the SPWAR. Should one seek
what finish position detail is included in their SPWAR, email Scratch
Players and such will be provided for such player.
How do I become a SPWAR Ranked Player?
Finish in any spot in any included event that is
awarded SPWAR points and maintain total net points after aging the last
two years of at least 10. About
4000 players are in the SPWAR that have 1 to 9 total
net points that are not uploaded to the internet with each update.
What events are included in the SPWAR?
Any tournament, championship or event worldwide that
includes tournament scratch amateurs in a field starting a significant
number of players scheduled for at least 36 holes where at least 27
holes are completed. A
“significant” number of tournament scratch starters is a function of who
is in the field but generally, at least 16 players must start an event
for the event to be included.
The event can be “open”, “international”, “closed”, junior,
senior, mid-am and with or without professionals.
The event must start at least one male age 16 or older and at
least one male age 60 or younger.
Women are eligible for SPWAR points if they finish in a position
awarded points and they play the same tees & course as the males
although this has not happened since Michelle Wie made the
Quarter-Finals in the 2005 men’s US Public Links.
99% plus of every event in any other attempt at a world amateur ranking is
included in the SPWAR and 100% of any significant events in any other
attempt at a world amateur ranking are included, then add at least 2000 events the SPWAR includes
that are not included in any other ranking.
The SPWAR does not publish a list of what events are included
because it would be too large to download and disclosing such to assist
other attempts at a world amateur ranking is not going to happen.
Does including 36 hole events materially affect the top ranked players?
At any given moment, the majority of the SPWAR top 100 players worldwide have at least one finish in an event scheduled for 36 holes. The top 36 hole events in the SPWAR includes US Open Sectional Qualifying as well as British Open Final Local Qualifying. The administrator of any attempt at a world amateur ranking that does not include these events should be arrested for gross negligence or terminated for incompetence. The SPWAR includes over 1000 "of note" events scheduled for 36 holes in addition to 54 hole plus events weather shortened to 36 holes.
Are team match events included?
All international scratch team match events are included in the SPWAR along with many intra-country team match events. If such a team match event is included, a player’s “finish position” is determined by their record in all matches be they singles or doubles (which can be best ball, alternate shot or scramble). Singles matches are worth twice as much per player as doubles matches. The SPWAR does not award “lollipop” points for any team match event meaning one does not get points just for being in an event irrespective of performance. All SPWAR points awarded are based strictly on actual performance in all forms of competition encompassed within the game of golf as all types of golf competition have one thing in common. There are always those that either win or finish well and those that do not without exception. In the event a team match competition involves stroke play seeding, and such stroke play seeding is at least 36 holes, then such individual finish position is included in the SPWAR separately from the match results.
Are there event ratings?
There are no published SPWAR event ratings or
rankings of events relative to any other event other than the World
Amateur Event Ranking Top 100 published at
scratchplayers.org/EventRank.html three times each year
(except for 2020 and 2021).
The SPWAR considers how events are weighted relative to one
another to be proprietary information.
Without that data beyond the top 100 amateur events worldwide, no
other attempt at a world amateur ranking will ever match the accuracy of
Does the SPWAR have a Divisor?
The SPWAR is a pure finish position ranking meaning
that one’s rank is determined by the total points awarded summed for all
applicable finishes the last two years reduced by points aging
irrespective of how many events one plays.
Divisors are used to generate an average amount of points per
round or per event with one’s rank determined by such average.
In some cases, divisors have limits such as minimum rounds or
events or maximum rounds or events as the applicable divisor.
Presumably, this is to prevent one from “gaming” the system by
playing too many events and/or to give those who don’t play many events
more equal stature with others.
In compiling the SPWAR, an extensive amount of analysis
determined that a divisor would not yield a more accurate ranking.
There is a high correlation between the number of events one
plays and their stature as a player.
As the ‘ol saying goes, there is no substitute for scratch
tournament competition experience.
There are also diminishing returns for playing too many events so
players tend to “self-regulate” themselves to achieve the optimum
balance of competition experience and quality of performance per event.
How are SPWAR points per finish position determined?
Each event included in the SPWAR is analyzed to determine the quality of
the field, how many rounds were played, and how many total scratch
players start. A unique and
separate amount of points is then set for each finish position each year.
The SPWAR does not use primitive groups of finish positions all
getting the same points. If
there are ties in stroke play or stableford events, the SPWAR program
automatically “sums & splits” such finish position points
(add all points for tied positions, then divide by the number of tied
In match play events, each player finishing in the same round does not
necessarily get the same points as others finishing in the same round.
As an example, when you have four players losing their
quarter-final match, the one who had the best score in 36 hole plus
stroke play seeding gets slightly more points than the other
quarter-finalists. In team
match events, individual player finish position is determined by the sum
of values of their matches.
A singles match win or loss is deemed worth 2 or -2 and a doubles win or
loss per player is deemed worth 1 or -1.
Such finish positions appear in the SPWAR as a W/T/L
(or W/H/L prior to 2019)
keeping in mind that two players with the exact same win/halve/loss
record could get different amounts of SPWAR points depending on the
types of matches such record was established.
As an example, if an event involves 6 singles matches and 6
doubles matches per player, winning all singles matches but halving 4
doubles & losing 2 doubles matches will yield more SPWAR points than
winning all doubles matches but halving 4 singles & losing 2 singles
What events recognize & use the SPWAR for exemptions/invitations to
The SPWAR is the dominant world amateur ranking recognized and used among the vast majority of national amateur events in the United States. Top 100 in world amateur events using the SPWAR as the exclusive world amateur ranking for exemptions/invitations into their events includes the South Beach International Amateur, Dogwood Invitational, Palmetto Amateur, and Terra Cotta Invitational. Top 100 in world amateur events using the SPWAR as the dominant world amateur ranking for exemptions/invitations into their events includes the Western Amateur, Southern Amateur, Northeast Amateur, Jones Cup, Porter Cup, Pacific Coast Amateur, Trans-Miss Amateur, North & South Amateur, Monroe Invitational, and Azalea Invitational. Virtually all other non-USGA national level amateur events in the USA use the SPWAR as at least the dominant world amateur ranking for exemptions/invitations into their events. There are a few outside the USA that use the SPWAR but other than Mexico, the golf governing body worldwide outside the USA is the R&A where financial support trumps merit.
Are any significant changes forthcoming in the SPWAR‘s
The SPWAR is not changing the way it ranks amateurs as the method used has proven to be the best method possible. Over the years the SPWAR has quadrupled included events from inception and the way points are awarded for each spot has become more sophisticated. On average the number of points spots getting points in any event has more than tripled. The WAGR is changing its method starting in 2020. In essense, the R&A/USGA are throwing in the towel on their inferior pre-2020 method and moving towards a method more closely to the SPWAR (the "Power Method"). It matters not what method any other attempt at a world amateur ranking may use. Irrespective of method used, any other attempt at a world amateur ranking still must do the following to get anywhere near the SPWAR:
– event weighting of events relative to one another must at least match the SPWAR
– need to include at least as many events as the SPWAR
– need to get the pros out at least as quickly as the SPWAR
– need to update the ranking at least as quickly as the SPWAR
In short, ain’t ever gonna happen.
Who created the SPWAR and who administers it?
The SPWAR was created by Fred Solomon from California who currently
resides in San Francisco. He alone has administed the SPWAR since
inception. Notwithstanding a career in public accounting and
retirement plan sales & sales management along with earning an MBA in
Finance from USC, an MBA in Tax Law from Golden Gate Univ after getting
a BS in Business from Cal Berkeley, played tournament scratch golf for
35 years which included making All PAC 8 in golf at Cal. Fred also
inaugurated the Scratch Players Championship from dead zero in 2000 that
ascended to become one of the top 20 amateur events in the world.
The event ceased to be conducted after 2010 primarily because it was too
much to prep & conduct that event concurrently while administering the
ever expanding SPWAR. Fred remains married to his only bride, Liz
for over 30 years and help raise two daughters; one who graduated from
Stanford and the other from Oregon with both on successful tracks in the
amateur golf events worldwide.
most accurate amateur ranking in golf history
first world amateur ranking ever seriously contemplated
first world amateur golf ranking ever launched
most events covered, pro or amateur, in golf history
most amateurs included of any ranking in golf history
most accurate event weighting in amateur golf history
most timely updated ranking, pro or amateur, in golf history
– most timely amateur golf ranking in eliminating pros
only world amateur ranking that utilizes points aging
– most accurate amateur ranking by any region, any country,
any state/province and any age