'Hot Hand' on the PGA Tour: Does it Exist?

13 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2016  

Ryan Elmore

University of Denver - Daniels College of Business

Andrew Urbaczewski

University of Denver - Daniels College of Business

Date Written: April 13, 2016

Abstract

In this paper, we develop a test for the "hot hand" effect on the PGA Tour using data from the 2014 season. We define "hot hand" in golf as having a greater probability of recording a birdie or better on a hole immediately following a birdie or better, rather than if the golfer recorded a par or worse. The test, based on the Poisson binomial distribution, takes into account each hole's relative difficulty and each player's propensity to record a birdie or better on similar types of holes. Our results seem to agree with most of the related work on hot hand effects in basketball, golf, and other sports; namely that it does not exist over the course of a season. We do, however, see that golfers may get hot in a tournament and go on what is commonly referred to in the golf parlance as a "birdie barrage".

Keywords: PGA Tour, Hot Hand, Poisson Binomial Distribution

Suggested Citation

Elmore, Ryan and Urbaczewski, Andrew, 'Hot Hand' on the PGA Tour: Does it Exist? (April 13, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2764498 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2764498

Ryan Elmore (Contact Author)

University of Denver - Daniels College of Business ( email )

2101 S. University Blvd.
Denver, CO 80208
United States

Andrew Urbaczewski

University of Denver - Daniels College of Business ( email )

2101 S. University Blvd.
Denver, CO 80208
United States
+1 303 871 4802 (Phone)

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