Global Golf Post is pleased to present our eighth All-Amateur team selections.
We take pride, and equal joy, in supporting the global amateur game. This effort, indicative of both, is intended to recognize individual performance during the calendar year for men and women amateurs, mid-amateurs, and senior amateurs.
After circumstances around the pandemic prevented a great deal of competitive golf from happening in 2020, there was no All-Amateur team named last year. That changed in 2021 as we saw the global game largely return to a familiar rhythm, giving us the opportunity to continue what had been annual selections dating to 2013.
All told, 252 players from 32 nations are being honored this year, both numbers being records for these selections. And among those players, two stood out as GGP’s Amateurs of the Year – Iowa senior amateur Gene Elliott and Stanford sensation Rachel Heck.
Here’s how we made our selections: For the men and women amateurs, we were guided largely by the respective World Amateur Golf Rankings. These lists, products of a partnership between the USGA and the R&A, generally are acknowledged to be the best in the game. The primary metric considered was play in national events with strong fields, as measured by the WAGR Power Method.
Performance in team events, such as the Walker Cup, Palmer Cup, Curtis Cup and European Team Championship, was given considerable weight.
Identifying worthy mid-amateur and senior amateurs around the world, particularly women, was more challenging. We scoured the results and national rankings in an effort to identify the best in the world in 2021.
A few caveats: First, the mid-amateur and senior amateur game is not nearly as well developed around the world when compared to North America. For that reason, the mid-amateur and senior amateurs teams are dominated by Americans.
Second, we used the USGA minimum ages for the mid-amateurs and senior amateurs – 25 for mid-amateurs, 50 for senior women and 55 for senior men.
We did not consider performances in junior tournaments, although a few standout juniors populate the teams based on their results in other amateur or pro events. For example, Rose Zhang became the No. 1 amateur on the women's side partly because of junior wins — such as the U.S. Girls' Junior — but her results in other top-tier events were the reason she made first team.
Some honorees turned professional at some point in the year, but that does not diminish what they accomplished while playing as amateurs in 2021. Where appropriate, they were included.
And finally, fall college golf results did little to impact placement. It is our belief that the spring season is far more important than the fall season, so we made our selections accordingly.
For each of our selections, we prepared a thumbnail description of what he or she accomplished followed by a brief comment explaining the player's accomplishments. It is by no means meant to be a comprehensive description; for certain players, that might have required a full page.
In closing, we again quote World Golf Hall of Fame member Richard S. Tufts, who penned what has come to be known and the Creed of the Amateur. His words perfectly capture the spirit of this effort:
“Amateurism, after all, must be the backbone of all sport, golf or otherwise. In my mind an amateur is one who competes in a sport for the joy of playing, for the companionship it affords, for health-giving exercise, and for relaxation from more serious matters. As a part of this lighthearted approach to the game, he accepts cheerfully all adverse breaks, is considerate of his opponent, plays the game fairly and squarely in accordance with its rules, maintains self control, and strives to do his best, not in order to win, but rather as a test of his own skill and ability. These are his only interests, and, in them, material considerations have no part. The returns which amateur sport will bring to those who play it in this spirit are greater than those any money can possibly buy.”