The most reliable rankings in golf are based on merit—best on best athletes competing over the course of a season offers a definitive snapshot of performance consistency.
With that in mind, Canadian golf’s Order of Merit will be getting an overhaul beginning in 2017. Golf Canada set out to enhance Canada’s National Golf Ranking System to improve the accuracy of the rankings used to evaluate player performance at all levels of competition.
In addition to improving on the accuracy of Canada’s Amateur and Junior Orders of Merit, the evaluation system will be more closely aligned with the R&A’s World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR).
The improved system and evaluation criteria will award points based on the quality of the event combined with the numbers of participants in the field.
The revamped Order of Merit was tested in a BETA environment during the summer of 2016 to test the changes and determine how they would impact player rankings; to identify and correct perceived flaws in the new proposed system; and ensure that the changes were equitable to all competitors hailing from large, medium and small provinces.
The review and overhaul of the Order of Merit was tasked to a committee that included representatives from Golf Canada and the provincial golf associations along with Canadian Golf Hall of Fame honoured members Doug Roxburgh and Mary Ann Hayward, a duo well versed in amateur and high performance golf. The final recommendations of the Order of Merit Review Committee were presented to, and approved by, the Provincial Golf Associations prior to the start of the 2017 competitive golf season.
“We went through a very comprehensive review process in evaluating the changes to the National Orders of Merit,” said Dave Stockton, Director of Sport Programs with Golf Canada. “The BETA testing phase last summer gave us some tremendous insight that we used to make some additional adjustments to the evaluation criteria. At the end of the day, you want the Order of the Merit to be a truly reflective measure of player performance and we think we’ve done that.”
Among the changes are a revised tournament listing for junior and amateur competitions adjusted for quality of event and strength of field as well as a reduction in the number of Order of Merit counting events from 12 to 10 (reduction from 12 to 8 on the Junior Orders of Merit). The Order of Merit point breakdown will now be tiered based on field size with seven tiers that range from 10 or less participants all the way up to 81 or more competitors. As well, Canada’s Men’s and Women’s Orders of Merit will no longer have Junior counting events, regardless of WAGR ranking.
“Reducing the number of counting events and the tiered points breakdown will really challenge players to put a focus on scheduling and choosing events that best meet their age and/or stage of development. Obviously, higher ranking events will yield the most points,” added Stockton. “As well, removing junior counting events from the Amateur Order of Merit eliminates a perceived advantage from competitors who were additionally counting those events towards our Junior Order of Merit.
Jared du Toit of Kimberley, B.C. and Maddie Szeryk of London, Ont. topped the respective National Men’s and Women’s Orders of Merit in 2016 while A.J. Ewart of Coquitlam, B.C. and Mary Parsons of Delta, B.C. topped the Future Links, driven by Acura Junior Boys and Junior Girls Orders of Merits.
A link to the 2017 Canadian Golf Order of Merit including points breakdown and tournament standing is available here.
Click here for a full summary of changes.