Ranking Analysis: The Majors of Amateur Golf
05 Feb 2019
by Staff

The Western Amateur currently sits at #5 in the ranking (WGA photo)
The Western Amateur currently sits at #5 in the ranking (WGA photo)

We recently published an article in which a panel of college coaches ranked what they considered to be their top three amateur golf tournaments, and it certainly got a lot of attention!

This is a subject that everyone seems to be interested in, and we heard back from tournament directors, players, and other interested readers who gave their feedback on which tournaments were included and which were left out.

As with any poll, the results are subjective and not meant to be scientific, but the response we received and the intense interest motivated us to present additional findings from a more scientific approach.

So we decided to do an analysis of the three major amateur ranking systems: the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), the Golfweek/ World Amateur Ranking, and the Scratch Players World Ranking (SPWAR).

The goal was to produce a super-ranking of amateur golf tournaments – the true Majors of Amateur Golf.

Related: The Majors of Amateur Golf

To do this, we took each ranking system’s event hierarchy and assigned point values to each tournament depending on how high in the hierarchy they sit. We used the most recent playings of each event, so most were played in the 2018 season with a few played in 2019.

Each ranking has a slightly different methodology to determine their event hierarchy, but one of the main factors that the three share is the distribution of ranked players in the field of each event. There are other factors – exemptions into professional majors, field size, rounds, etc. – but for the most part, the stronger the field, the better the event.

Because we are most interested in amateur golf (hence our name!), college tournaments are not included. We also eliminated team matches like the Walker Cup where there is no individual competition. The flags next to the tournament name show where the event will next be played.

Disclaimer: It is important to note that these rankings represent a snapshot in time, and there is movement every year. No ranking is definitive.

The Majors of Amateur Golf: The Top Ten

1. U.S. Amateur
2. British Amateur
3. World Amateur Team (Eisenhower Trophy)
4. European Amateur
5. Western Amateur
6. Northeast Amateur
7. Pacific Coast Amateur
8. Sunnehanna Amateur
9. St. Andrews Links Trophy
10. South Beach International Amateur

Outside of the top ten, we will list the tournaments in blocks, as the differences between them were often very small. Within each block, the tournaments are listed in alpha order.

The Majors of Amateur Golf: Top 15

Asia-Pacific Amateur, Australian Amateur, The Players Amateur, Southern Amateur, Trans-Mississippi Championship

The Majors of Amateur Golf: Top 20

Irish Amateur Open, Jones Cup, Lytham Trophy, Master of the Amateurs, North & South Amateur

The Majors of Amateur Golf: Top 25

English Open Amateur (Brabazon Trophy), European Nations Cup (Copa Sotogrande), French International Amateur, Latin America Amateur, Spanish International Amateur

The Majors of Amateur Golf: Top 30

Canadian Amateur, The Dogwood Invitational, Porter Cup, Riversdale Cup, Sahalee Players

Honorable Mention – U.S.

Azalea Invitational, Monroe Invitational, Palmetto Amateur, Rice Planters Amateur, Southwestern Amateur, Terra Cotta Invitational

Honorable Mention – International

African Amateur, Asian Games, Avondale Amateur Medal, English Amateur, German International Amateur, Italian Amateur, Mexican International Amateur, New South Wales Amateur, Portuguese International Amateur, Scottish Open Amateur, South African Amateur, South African Stroke Play, South American Amateur, South Australia Classic

The best finding is that there is no shortage of important amateur golf tournaments in the U.S. and around the world, and the next major event is always right around the corner.

You can follow the Majors and the rankings all year long on In addition to the Golfweek/ World Amateur Rankings for men and women, offers rankings for Mid-Amateurs and Seniors. At the end of the year, those with the highest point totals in each ranking will be named our Players of the Year. >> View all Rankings

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