Equitable Handicapping of Scramble Golf Tournaments

31 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2012

See all articles by Dennis Oberhelman

Dennis Oberhelman

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Michael Galbreth

University of Tennessee, Knoxville - Haslam College of Business

Timothy Fry

University of South Carolina - Darla Moore School of Business

Date Written: October 3, 2012

Abstract

Recreational golf events di¤er from professional events in that the primary goal is not simply to identify the best golfer, but rather for all golfers to enjoy and participate meaningfully in the competition. For this reason, "handicapping" systems are often used in order to enable players of varying skill levels to compete on a level playing …eld in a golf competition. Many golf event organizers use the handicapping systems recommended by the United States Golf Association (USGA) in their events. We …nd that, for the common "scramble" golf format, tournaments that use the USGA system are markedly biased toward certain teams, and thus the purpose of handicapping is not achieved. In this paper we develop a new handicapping system that is intended to achieve fair scramble competition between teams of golfers with disparate skill levels, and we demonstrate that our system reduces the bias in outcomes signi…cantly relative to the USGA system. Furthermore, it involves only simple arithmetic, enabling its implementation in a spreadsheet or other user-friendly platform.

Suggested Citation

Oberhelman, Dennis and Galbreth, Michael and Fry, Timothy, Equitable Handicapping of Scramble Golf Tournaments (October 3, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2156552 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2156552

Dennis Oberhelman

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Michael Galbreth (Contact Author)

University of Tennessee, Knoxville - Haslam College of Business ( email )

453 Haslam Business Building
Knoxville, TN 37996-4140
United States

Timothy Fry

University of South Carolina - Darla Moore School of Business ( email )

1705 College St
Francis M. Hipp Building
Columbia, SC 29208
United States

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