Are Top Golfers Getting Younger?

Golf Ranking

Justin Rose

The Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), known as SONY OWGR until 1995, was introduced on April 6, 1986, when Bernhard Langer became the first golfer to be crowned World No. 1. He was aged 29. The average age of the top-10 golfers at the end of 1986 stood at 30.3, not far from the current average (29.7), but it has still taken over 32 years for the average age to dip below 30.

“30 years” as average age was touched in 2011 and 2017, and it did not go any lower until now. It had touched 36.5 in 1995 when a 40-year-old Greg Norman took charge of the No.1 spot. In 1997, Tiger Woods (then 21) became the youngest golfer at the time to reach the rankings summit, but the average age that year was still upwards of 35.

The world’s top-10 as of December 16, 2018, includes six under-30 names, making this the youngest-ever in terms of average age: Brooks Koepka (28, Rank 1), Justin Thomas (25, Rank 4), Bryson DeChambeau (25, Rank 5), Jon Rahm (24, Rank 6), Rory McIlroy (29, Rank 8) and Tony Finau (29, Rank 10). At 37, Justin Rose is the oldest.

Golf Ranking


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