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Mapping statistics to success on the PGA Tour : Insights from the use of a single metric

Kabir C. Sen (Management and Marketing, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas, USA)

Sport, Business and Management

ISSN: 2042-678X

Article publication date: 16 March 2012

Abstract

Purpose

Although the PGA Tour provides a wide array of statistics, no single measure has successfully been able to predict a player's success during the season, either in terms of earnings per tournament or weighted average scores. The purpose of this paper is to present a metric that attempts to predict annual player rankings based on these two criteria.

Design/methodology/approach

The metric is computed from available statistics and attempts to encapsulate a player's unique strengths and weaknesses in a single number.

Findings

Deviations in rankings based on the metric are compared to those based on earnings per event and adjusted scoring averages. The results suggest that in addition to the average annual performance on the greens, the mix of tournaments played and the incidence of heroics or consistency have an important impact on the chances of success on the Tour.

Research limitations/implications

The metric's predictions can be negatively affected if a golfer makes a large proportion of double eagles or double bogies.

Practical implications

The KCS (Key Criterion of Success) metric provides a quick route to succinctly summarizing a golfer's unique strengths and weaknesses in a single number.

Originality/value

Previous literature has mentioned the gap between statistics and success in golf. For the first time, possible reasons behind this divergence are identified in this paper.

Keywords

Citation

Sen, K.C. (2012), "Mapping statistics to success on the PGA Tour : Insights from the use of a single metric", Sport, Business and Management, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 39-50. https://doi.org/10.1108/20426781211207656

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited