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The Official Disc Golf World Rankings Return

The Official Disc Golf World Rankings Return

An Enhanced Metric for the Sport's Top Players

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 - 16:44

On hiatus since 2019, the PDGA is excited to announce a relaunch of the Official Disc Golf World Rankings (ODGWR) with a new calculation system devised by the PDGA team in collaboration with Mark Broadie and Dylan Bierne of SportEdge. Broadie was a developer of the current formula utilized in the Official World Golf Ranking which are used by professional golf tours around the world, including the PGA Tour.

See the Official Disc Golf World Rankings »

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020, the PDGA’s World Rankings were suspended due to a lack of consistent events in late 2020 and unpredictable travel restrictions extending into the 2021 calendar year. For a time, the PDGA implemented the U.S. Tour rankings, to indicate that only U.S.-based events would be considered while awaiting a future of “normal” travel, especially for European players. 

It was always the intent to bring back the Disc Golf World Rankings as soon as they could be computed for professional disc golfers from around the globe. With the launch of the 2024 Disc Golf Pro Tour season’s Elite Series events, including a slate of events in Europe, combined with the upcoming schedule of PDGA Major events, the time for the return of the Official Disc Golf World Rankings is now. 

"The PDGA has the privilege and responsibility to be the history books of disc golf. World Rankings, like World Champions, are a fundamental part of our story and the story of the game that we love,” said Peter Crist, PDGA director of technology. “Our goal was to create a modern Official Disc Golf World Ranking system by building upon decades of proven traditional golf rankings while tailoring our system to the unique characteristics of disc golf and its evolving elite-level competition." 

The new ODGWRs debut with a new calculation system and updates coming each Wednesday following an Elite event or PDGA Major in 2024. 

In short, each ODGWR update will be calculated based on event results over the previous 104 weeks, with most recent performances given a higher weighted value. Additionally, higher-tier events will carry more value, with PDGA Majors at the top of the scale. The 2024 edition of the rankings will include only Elite Series and PDGA Major event results.

worldranking-flowchart.jpg

Official World Rankings Flowchart

Mark Broadie – The Man Behind the Math

How did you come to get involved with the PDGA World Rankings project?   
I was contacted by Steve West [a member of a PDGA-created working group] after he read an article that I wrote in the Wall Street Journal about my role in the revamping of the Official World Golf Ranking.  
  
What are some achievements in your career that you are most proud of regarding sports and analysis?   
The strokes-gained metrics that I developed for golf have had a much bigger impact in the real world than I ever expected.  
  
What were some of the design decisions you felt were particularly important in developing the rankings?   
The main challenge was developing a ranking method that is fair and accurate while also giving a premium to winning and a premium for performance in majors. I believe the new Disc Golf World Rankings system accomplishes those goals.  
  
What are some of the differences between traditional golf and disc golf that you uncovered through this project?   
It was funny to me hearing ‘traditional golf’ referred to as ‘ball golf.’ It was surprising that there were far more similarities than differences between the two sports. Learning about Paul McBeth reminded me of Tiger Woods and Kristin Tattar reminded me of Annika Sorenstam.

The PDGA's Pro Touring Players Committee also contributed feedback to during the planning phases of the project. "We have the right people creating the right system. Using a similar system to what the PGA tour, and World Golf Rankings use, is a great step for disc golf," said Luke Humphries, committee member.

Expect a detailed look at the mathematical model in the coming weeks, as well as new features for the platform throughout the coming year. 

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