PDGA Player & Course Rating System

Your PDGA Player Rating (PR) is a number that shows how close your average round scores are compared to the course rating, called the Scratch Scoring Averages (SSA), of the courses you’ve played in competition. Players who average the SSA on courses played will have a rating of 1000 and are considered “scratch players”. A player who averages scores lower than SSAs on course they’ve played will have a rating over 1000. There are less than 200 players in the world with ratings of 1000 and higher.

Here’s a grid showing the distribution of PDGA ratings at the end of 2012:

YE2012 stats

The next chart shows the change in numbers for YE2012 versus YE2008 shown below. Average increase has an index value of 100. If the Index increase is less than 90, it's shown in red indicating that divisional group didn't keep pace as well. Values over 110 are shown in green for divisional groups that exceeded the overall growth in PDGA participants. Yellow values between 90-110 tracked closer to the overall 10% average increase.

YE2012 vs YE2008

Compound annual participant growth rate was just over 10% for the PDGA globally for the four years from 2008 through 2012. Women's growth overall is solid with more growth at ratings under 800. Junior growth has been average and perhaps should be imporved going forward considering the opportunity. Growth in Pro participants was more than 10% below average among both men and women. The smaller divisions can have wider swings in number changes. So even though their Index may have really jumped up or down, their impact on the overall numbers is relatively small.

2008 Year End Rating Distribution

Players who enter a PDGA event in a division tracked by the PDGA will automatically get their results entered into the ratings system. However, only ratings of current PDGA members will be published. Your first rating can be calculated after just one valid round of tournament play. It will be posted by your name on the PDGA website along with your tournament results the next time the ratings are updated. A search tool to locate players by name or PDGA number can be found here.

Dealing with ‘sandbagging’ – players entering a division below their skill level – used to be a challenge. Since 2002, PDGA Player Ratings have been used to group amateur players in competition divisions to prevent players from entering divisions below their rating. A list of divisions and associated restrictions on player rating can be found here.

Course ratings pave the way for statistical comparisons of courses around the world with the potential to help improve their designs and levels of challenge. Course SSA ratings provide a benchmark for players to compare their scores on different courses.

Ratings also allow players to handicap their play against anyone all over the world using a combination of player and course ratings. Disc Golf United brings these elements together using the PDGA calculation process to handle competition using handicaps. PDGA members get a complementary subscription to Disc Golf United service as part of membership: www.discgolfunited.com

If you have additional questions regarding ratings, please visit the Ratings FAQ for more information.