The Sports Archives – Where are the Best Golfers in the World From?

World of GolfThe Best Golfers in the World are From . . .?

Which country produces the best golfers? In order to get to the bottom of this question let’s take a look at the world rankings over the last 6 years.

World Golf Rankings 2007

  1. Tiger Woods – United States
  2. Phil Mickelson – United States
  3. Jim Furyk – United States
  4. Ernie Els – South Africa
  5. Steve Stricker – United States
  6. Justin Rose – England
  7. Adam Scott – Australia
  8. Padraig Harrington – Ireland
  9. K.J. Choi – Korea
  10. Vijay Singh – Fiji
  11. Rory Sabbatini – South Africa
  12. Sergio Garcia – Spain
  13. Geoff Ogilvy – Australia
  14. Angel Cabrera – Argentina
  15. Zach Johnson – United States

World Golf Rankings 2008

  1. Tiger Woods -United States
  2. Sergio Garcia – Spain
  3. Phil Mickelson – United States
  4. Padraig Harrington – Ireland
  5. Vijay Singh – Fiji
  6. Robert Karlsson – Sweden
  7. Camilo Villegas – Colombia
  8. Henrik Stenson – Sweden
  9. Ernie Els – South Africa
  10. Lee Westwood – England
  11. Anthony Kim – United States
  12. Geoff Ogilvy – Australia
  13. Jim Furyk – United States
  14. Kenny Perry – United States
  15. Steve Stricker – United States

World Golf Rankings 2009

  1. Tiger Woods – United States
  2. Phil Mickelson – United States
  3. Steve Stricker – United States
  4. Lee Westwood – England
  5. Padraig Harrington – Ireland
  6. Jim Furyk – United States
  7. Paul Casey – England
  8. Henrik Stenson – Sweden
  9. Rory Mcilroy – N. Ireland
  10. Kenny Perry – United States
  11. Sergio Garcia – Spain
  12. Ian Poulter – England
  13. Martin Kaymer – Germany
  14. Geoff Ogilvy – Australia
  15. Sean O’Hair – United States

World Golf Rankings 2010

  1. Lee Westwood – England
  2. Tiger Woods – United States
  3. Martin Kaymer – Germany
  4. Phil Mickelson – United States
  5. Jim Furyk – United States
  6. Graeme McDowell – N Ireland
  7. Steve Stricker – United States
  8. Paul Casey – England
  9. Luke Donald – England
  10. Rory Mcillroy – N Ireland
  11. Ian Poulter – England
  12. Ernie Els – South Africa
  13. Matt Kuchar – United States
  14. Dustin Johnson – United States
  15. Francesco Molinari – Italy

World Golf Rankings 2011

  1. Luke Donald – England
  2. Lee Westwood – England
  3. Rory Mcilroy – N Ireland
  4. Martin Kaymer – Germany
  5. Adam Scott – Australia
  6. Steve Stricker – United States
  7. Dustin Johnson – United States
  8. Jason Day – Australia
  9. Charl Schwartzel – South Africa
  10. Webb Simpson – United States
  11. Matt Kuchar – United States
  12. Nick Watney – United States
  13. Graeme McDowell – N Ireland
  14. Phil Mickelson – United States
  15. K.J. Choi – Korea

World Golf Rankings 2012

  1. Rory Mcilroy – N Ireland
  2. Luke Donald – England
  3. Tiger Woods – United States
  4. Justin Rose – England
  5. Adam Scott – Australia
  6. Lee Westwood – England
  7. Louis Oosthuizen – South Africa
  8. Jason Dufner – United States
  9. Webb Simpson – United States
  10. Brandt Snedeker – United States
  11. Bubba Watson – United States
  12. Ian Poulter – England
  13. Phil Mickelson – United States
  14. Steve Stricker – United States
  15. Keegan Bradley – United States

By sheer number the Americans have the advantage. Over the last 6 years America averages about 6 players ranked in the top 15 each year. The next closest country is Great Britain and Ireland with about 4 players each year. Australia comes third averaging a little over 1. No other country consistently placed a player in the top 15.

There is a big difference, however, between a player ranked 1st and a player ranked 15th on the list. For example you wouldn’t consider a country that has 3 or 4 players somewhere in the 10th – 15th range in the rankings to be more dominant than a country with 2 to 3 players in the 1st – 5th range. By creating a simple reverse-order point system (15 points for 1st place, 1 point for 15th place) we can see which country has not only the most good players but which has the very best. According to this adjusted point system the U.S. still comes out ahead. The average score for the United States is 47.3 each year, which puts it ahead of the United Kingdom and Ireland’s average of 38.3. But if you take into account the average ranking per player in the rankings than the United Kingdom actually scores better with an average ranking of about 7 to America’s 8.

Even with the help of these rankings the answer to our question remains a bit hazy. America consistently has more players in the top 15 each year and together their rankings are higher than any other country but when you take into account the averages the United Kingdom seems to have fewer but, nevertheless, slightly more talented golfers. This is hardly the concrete, definitive answer I was looking for, but it certainly helped me eliminate a lot of possible countries from the argument. For now, at least, because of the current rankings the United Kingdom seems to hold a slight edge over the United States.

Phil Oscarson is an avid golfer/golf enthusiast. A self-proclaimed semi-pro golfer, Phil has been around the world visiting some of the best major tournaments. He is currently in the green technology industry, and a freelance writer for AmericanGolf.com.

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