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This is somewhat of a misnomer as the SPG does not get many questions regarding our world amateur ranking.  This is due, in part, to having a much better and accurate ranking than the R&A attempt, having a thorough and easy to understand website posted explanation/description of the ranking, since the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) includes many more tournaments in the world and no top amateur worldwide is excluded.  Notwithstanding, the "other" ranking gets peppered all the time about their ranking so we’ll address questions posed to either ranking below.



Question 1

Why is the SPWAR better or superior than the R&A attempt or any other ranking of amateur golfers?



In summary, the SPWAR is the most accurate ranking of amateurs in golf history because:

a) more accurate points allocation, or tournament weighting, than any amateur ranking ever,

b) it covers at least hundreds more events than any ranking of golfers ever compiled and every significant tournament anywhere worldwide,

c) inclusion of the last two years of player track records rather than just one year (with most recent year track record weighted double the previous year),

d) includes all amateurs in the ranking finishing in any position awarded points in any included event (no "pre-qualifying" of any player excluding others),

e) emphasizes "win, place or show" which more closely matches the objective of golf competition than any average performance system.

f) it’s the most timely updated ranking of golfers, pro or amateur, ever created (ranking updated continuously & within minutes of completion 90%+ of time)



Question 2

How do I become a ranked player in the SPWAR?



Finish "in the money" as an amateur in any SPWAR included event worldwide.  By "in the money" we mean to finish within any finish position awarded points in an applicable event.  The SPWAR does not "pre-qualify" any player worldwide period.  In other words, one does not need to finish in the top spots first to get in the ranking the first time.  As an example, the "other" ranking stipulates that before any player gets in their ranking, they must first finish relatively high in an event where how high is pre-determined based on their flawed weighting of various events.  In many cases, one has to win a tournament that gets 8 or more points spots in the SPWAR.  The SPWAR philosophy is that if a player is good enough to finish "in the money" in any included event worldwide, they are good enough to get in the ranking.  This is the same as the official world professional ranking and for every golf governing body ranking or Order of Merit in the world virtually without exception.  Another advantage of the SPWAR’s superior method in this regard is that all events a player gets SPWAR points are in the ranking.  With the other ranking, once a amateur has "qualified" for their ranking, their ranking does not go back and include points for any previous event regardless of where such player may have finished.  Obviously, this is a major flaw in their ranking.  As an example, Scott Langley of St Louis Missouri playing for the Univ of Illinois won the "Argonaut Invitational", a whistle stop, 54 hole, minor collegiate event with 55 total players at the end of Feb of 08.  The "other" ranking deemed that a "qualifying finish" so he was included in their ranking at that point for the first time.  Before that, Langley was already in the SPWAR top 400 based on point finishes in 5 other events the previous 730 days.  One of those 5 previous events is an included event in the "other" ranking but they did not go back and include that event since he was not "qualified" at that time.  He also had second place finishes in two other significant amateur events, the 07 Metro Am GA Amateur and the 06 Western Junior that are not even in the "other" ranking.  Ops!



Question 3

What events are included in the SPWAR? (the "other" ranking identifies them as "counting events")



The short answer is at least 400 more events than any other ranking of golfers ever compiled and at least 2000 more events than any other ranking of amateur based in the United States.  The complete list of which events are included and how many points are awarded any event remains proprietary information of the SPG so as to thwart attempts by anyone else to copy the SPWAR which is the most accurate ranking of amateurs in the history of golf.  The criteria for what events are included is clearly disclosed on the SPWAR Description & Explanation webpage.  We do not allow any golf governing body (Union, Golf Association or Federation) to "nominate" an event they deem "national" or for any other reason.  We make all those decisions based on meeting stipulated criteria for SPWAR inclusion that is completely unbiased and quantifiable.  Anything even close to "national level" worldwide over at least three rounds is already in the SPWAR.



Question 4

Player A finished higher in an event than Player B, so why does Player B earn ranking points when Player a does not?



This situation is not applicable in the SPWAR as clarified in the answer to question 1.



Question 5

Why did Player A receive more ranking points than Player B even though they both finished with the same aggregate stroke score?



Again, this situation is not applicable in the SPWAR.  In the "other" ranking, they somehow deem that inconsistent scoring from round to round is worth more than consistent scoring round to round for two or more players finishing with the exact same final stroke scoring total in any included tournament.  This is absurd to anyone with a golf IQ above plant life.  In my 35 plus years of scratch amateur competition at all levels, I do not recall a single scratch tournament where anything other than the lowest aggregate total score in any stroke play competition was the objective and how one gets there may be interesting but is completely irrelevant.  If inconsistent scoring is the objective, it’s called a stableford event.  The concept of low rounds being identified is present in the USGA handicap system where the 10 lowest adjusted scores out of the last 20 are used to compute the handicap.  This is based, in part, on the theory of "potential" but in a world amateur ranking, potential is deemed moot or such player would not be in the ranking in the first place if they were not already scratch.  Identifying "potential" may be appropriate when evolving from a thrasher to a scratch player but once one gets to the scratch level, potential don’t mean squat.  Case closed.



Question 6

Why did my Divisor increase by 4 when I only completed 2 rounds in an included event?



This is a situation only applicable to the "other" ranking as the SPWAR does not award "average" points and therefore does not have "divisors".  The SPWAR is based on total finish position points accumulated within the last 730 days from any update day.  The SPG analyzed average points sytems thoroughly prior to launching the SPWAR and in no possible scenario did it yield a ranking anywhere near as accurate as the time tested method currently used.  An average point method is used for the official world pro ranking (OWGR) as tour pros play for a living and could play a tournament every week.  The "average factor" for the OWGR is more about playing too many events chasing points, such as VJ Singh, verses those that play a limited schedule, such as Tiger Woods.  In amateur golf, it is impossible to credibly utilize an average point method as there are too many divergent players worldwide of all ages and backgrounds to practically or effectively administer.  Do amateurs that play more events have an advantage?  Absolutely but there is a high correlation to the number of included events played and how high a amateur should be ranked.  With the statistically power of large numbers, the creme does rise to the top accurately with the SPWAR method and much more so than the "other" ranking.  And in the case of the other ranking, the "divisor factor" is flawed when points are averaged over all potential rounds regardless of how many rounds a player actually plays.  In other words, if a player posts a score in round one, then withdraws in the second round in an event scheduled for 4 rounds, you don’t award zero points and then add 4 rounds to the divisor.  You add 2 rounds, the round he finished and the one he started and not rounds he never played.  If this disadvantages those that make cuts, then the points assigned per finish position and/or the methodology of such system is out of whack to begin with.



Question 7

Why do some included events offer more Bonus Points for finish position and produce more new ranked Players than others?



This gets back to the answer to Question 1.  Again, the SPWAR does not "pre-qualify" players as eligible for the ranking so a separate array of fewer point spots per tournament regardless of strength to qualify for ranking inclusion is irrelevant.  It should also be noted here that the "Bonus Points" system in the other ranking is just as flawed as the points weighting for all events included in their ranking.  The weighting of events in the SPWAR is much more accurate.  If the weighting of events in a ranking is not accurate, then the method of "pre-qualifying" players into the ranking will also be flawed and that is definitely and irrefutably the case with the "other" ranking.  As an example, the "other" ranking lists the California State Amateur and the French International Amateur as a "D" level events along with the Costa Rica Amateur which is closed to only those from Costa Rica.  In other words, only the Champion of a "D" level event qualifies for inclusion in the "other" ranking if such player is not already in their ranking.  This is absurd to say the least.  The California State Am consistently gets over 1000 entries annually while there are less than 1000 golfers in all of Costa Rica with a handicap under 10.  There are more top 200 in world amateurs from California than all of the balance of the Western Hemisphere outside of the United States combined.  There are zero amateurs in Costa Rica ranked among the top 200 amateurs in the world by any possible and reasonable measure and only one ranked in the top 1000.  There are at least 50 amateurs ranked among the top 1000 from California by any measure so this relative ranking in the "other" ranking does not even pass the sniff test for anyone with a golf IQ above wine cellar temperature.  Hundreds of similar examples could be cited on this weakness in the "other" ranking.



Question 8

Why did I not get points in a particular event in the SPWAR but did get points in the "other" ranking?



The SPWAR is based on getting points for noteworthy finishes in an included event.  The "other" ranking awards points in some cases for finishing last before cuts in an attempt to compute an "average" level of points per tournament played for those included in their ranking.  The SPWAR does not award finish position points for missing any cuts in any tournament in the world including pro majors just as no tour pro gets points in the OWGR for missing any cut without exception.  What is a noteworthy finish is based on accurate event weighting which is the essence of ranking amateurs accurately.



Question 9

I know I got points in a particular event but my name does not appear in the SPWAR?



The SPWAR covers over 2300 events worldwide with an existing database of included amateurs as of the Fall of 2009 in excess of 7800 players.  Of those, only the top 1000 & ties get uploaded to the ranking website with each update.  Consequently, most players in the SPWAR are not listed.  Statistically, the SPWAR or any ranking of golfers becomes less accurate the further down the list one goes.  The more events a player finishes "in the money", the more accurate the ranking based on the power of large numbers along with other statistical measures.  The SPG deems the SPWAR to be too inaccurate below 1000 to merit disclosing the list below that level.



Question 10

Why don’t you include collegiate tournaments in the USA?



The SPWAR covers each and every collegiate event at every level.  However, only the Nationals in each division or level as well as the Division 1 Regionals (6 of those annually starting in 09) are included as separate events.  The balance are deemed "is-season" collegiate events including conference championships and all those events go in the SPWAR in the form of a "sub-ranking" four times per year, after the Fall season which is then replaced with the sub-ranking through March which is then replaced by the sub-ranking in April which is then replaced by sub-ranking in mid-May.  The sub-ranking is the Golfstat collegiate ranking for each division except D1 and an adjusted average of the Golfweek & Golfstat collegiate ranking for D1.  This is much more accurate than attempting to weight each individual collegiate event that are constantly changing from year to year in terms of which teams are in the event as well as what events as tournament adds & deletions occur constantly.



Question 11

I believe that so and so player should be ranked above or below another player so how did you arrive at their rankings?



The question has been tendered to us just once and it was resolved to the favor of the existing ranking.  That means that no one worldwide has questioned the SPWAR in terms that one player should be ranked above/below another since the inception of the ranking when launched in early January of 2007.  The conclusion from this is that if no one is questioning the ranking, it must be close which is the best anyone ranking golfers can hope for.