Equitable handicapping in golf

Article (PDF Available)inThe American Statistician 54(3):170-177 · August 2000with 26 Reads
DOI: 10.2307/2685586
Abstract
Previous studies on handicapping have suggested that in matches between two golfers, the better golfer has an advantage. This article considers medal play between two golfers when they are both playing well. The study uses the new slope system for handicapping. In this context we argue that it is actually the weaker golfer who has an advantage. The conclusions are based on both the analysis of actual golf scores and the analysis of theoretical models. We suggest an alternative scoring formula which leads to "fairer" competitions.
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Handicap Index
Minimum Net Score
0 10 20 30
50 55 60 65 70 75 80
Figure 1: Minimum Net Score Versus Handicap Index
Handicap Index
Standard Deviation of Net Scores
0 10 20 30
0 2 4 6 8 10
Figure 2: Standard Deviation of Net Scores Versus Handicap Index
Handicap Index
Standard Deviation of Differentials
0 10 20 30
0 2 4 6 8
Figure 3: Standard Deviation of Differentials Versus Handicap Index
Handicap Index
T*
0 10 20 30
-3 -2 -1 0
Figure 4: Minimum T* Versus Handicap Index