Announcement

 

Important WAGR® Updates

 

Following the recent meeting of the World Amateur Golf Ranking® committee, there are several updates that we wish to communicate to players, event organisers and others interested in the rankings.

 

International Participation

 

Though WAGR event numbers have returned to levels seen prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, some of the most elite events on the WAGR calendar have not had the participation of ranked international players return to pre-pandemic levels. In many cases this is due to ongoing travel restrictions. In certain countries it remains difficult for players to travel to foreign competitions. As a result, the ranking of golfers participating in impacted competitions have been artificially depressed.

 

In light of this it has been decided that WAGR will analyse results from non-collegiate individual amateur events with calculated pre-pandemic Powers greater than 400 and international ranked player participation levels of at least 15 percent. If the Power does not reach or exceed 80 percent of its level prior to COVID-19, the Power will be manually raised to that 80 percent level. This procedure will continue until such adjustments are no longer being made to the vast majority of the eligible events. Please note that there will be no retrospective changes for events already concluded.

 

Remaining Ranked

 

With the adoption of the Power method, it was announced that the standard to remain ranked was going to change. Now, in order to remain ranked, a player must earn at least four (4) points in a single event result within the previous 52 weeks. As this is a higher standard than what was previously required, all players ranked at the start of the Power method in January 2020 were originally given until 31 December 2020 to meet the new standard. Due to the impact of COVID-19, this deadline was extended for all ranked players to 31 December 2021. The WAGR team have been monitoring event volumes globally and believe that, with only a few geographic exceptions, the number of WAGR eligible events and player participation rates have returned to pre-pandemic levels. As such, the requirement to have a result of at least four (4) points within the past 52 weeks will be in effect with the first update in 2022. At that point, all players not meeting the new standard will not be included in the rankings unless granted an appeal to remain ranked.

 

Event Withdrawals

Prior to the Power method, the WAGR average used the number of rounds included as the divisor for calculation. When a player did not finish a competition, they would earn zero points and a divisor for any round started but not finished. As such, if a player could not complete an event due to injury or illness they were able to appeal to have that zero-point divisor removed. With Power, points are now earned for last place finishes but the provision to remove a withdraw/retired result due to medical circumstances continued. A substantial rise has taken place this year in the number of withdraw/retired results. In an effort to maintain the integrity of the ranking, from 1 January 2022, a withdraw/retired result will no longer be removed from a player record except upon written appeal from the player. An appeal will only be granted due to exceptional circumstances.

 

Mixed Gender Events

 

Historically, WAGR has allowed ranked females to participate in predominantly male competitions and earn WAGR points. More often than not this can be at a disadvantage when competing from the same tees. These competitive situations are now occurring with greater frequency. After carefully studying the issue and considering options, WAGR has determined it will continue to apply the results of females in mostly male competitions as long as they are fully eligible for the top award along with the male competitors.

 

Although not a requirement, WAGR will allow Event Organisers to establish tees set at a shorter distance for females in these mixed competitions. An accepted standard in competitive golf with mixed gender fields are tees for females at around 15 percent shorter distances than tees for males. Studies show that an equitable outcome can be achieved with female tees shortened by 12% to 18%, depending on the make-up of the field and the design of the golf course on a hole-by-hole basis.

 

Limit on Course Use

 

Lastly, from 1 January 2022, each Event Organiser will be limited to using a golf course to three events per gender in a calendar year. The intention is that WAGR eligible competitions should be open and elite. Frequent use of the same course by an event organiser does not meet that standard.

 

Any questions about these updates should be directed to our email addresses, wagr@randa.org or wagr@usga.org.

 

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