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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 of PDGA members, current and non-current, who played at least one rated round during 2016:

pdga_global_player_ratings_distribution_-_yearend_2016_.png

The next chart shows the percentage change in numbers from YE2012 through YE2016. Average annual increase in PDGA members playing rated rounds was 16% (shown in blue in the lower right corner). If growth was greater than 19%, the percentage values are shown in green with the dark green values indicating more than 29%. If the growth was less than 10%, the values are orange. Negative growth, i.e., decline, values are red. The percentage values in the smaller font size are member groups less than 100 globally. Growth rates increased in the lower the rating groups since most of the increase has been newer players to competition. Amateur women growth including juniors was above average. The two Global events in that 4-year period may have provided an extra boost, especially outside the U.S.

pdga_player_ratings_distribution_-_annual_growth_rate_2012_2016_.png

This was the player count chart for 2012 used as the baseline for measuring percentage growth through 2016. The original chart for 2008 (not shown) was the baseline for calculating annual participant growth of just 10% annually from 2008 through 2012. This rose to 16% annually from 2012 tthrough 2016.

pdga_global_player_ratings_distribution_-_yearend_2012_.png

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. You can search for players by name or PDGA number.

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. Please see the list of divisions and associated restrictions on player rating for details.

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