Loss Aversion in Professional Golf
24 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2019 Last revised: 15 Jul 2020
Date Written: January 7, 2019
We examine loss aversion in the context of professional golf, and in particular how it plays out in certain US Opens. We analyze data from two courses, Pebble Beach Golf Links and Oakmont Country Club, each of which has hosted five US Opens in the modern golfing era. In the last two tournaments at each course, they changed the par rating of a par 5 to a par 4 without fundamentally altering the hole. In this natural, albeit unintentional, experimental setting, we find evidence of significant loss-aversive behavior in the world’s best golfers based solely on a hole’s par rating.
Keywords: prospect theory, loss aversion, golf analytics
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