Equitable Handicapping of Scramble Golf Tournaments
31 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2012
Date Written: October 3, 2012
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.
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