By the early 2000s Broadie resolved to start amassing it himself. Of the game’s many riddles the first one he hoped to untangle was what separated an elite player from an 80-shooter such as himself and an 80-shooter from a 90-shooter and so on across all levels of the game.
What was going on at Pelham was also happening at dozens of New York area courses. With help from colleagues graduate students and computer programmers Broadie was collecting and collating detailed information on amateur-player-reported shots around the region — more than 100000 before all was said and done. Around the same time the PGA Tour’s ShotLink system launched in 2003 was filling up with data from the game’s best players.
The ranking began in April 1986 and Bernhard Langer had the honor of being the first player ever to be ranked No. 1 a title he held for three weeks. Since then 21 other players have laid claim to the top spot. Here’s the full list with career weeks at No. 1 in parenthesis: