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  #1  
Old 10-11-2002, 11:55 PM
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Default golf question

5 random thirteen-handicap golfers play a round of golf at Bethpage black. 5 scratch golfers also play. What is the probability that the person with the fewest putts for the day is one of the high handicappers? Assume that none of the golfers are purposely trying to miss greens in order to lower the number of putts.
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Old 10-12-2002, 10:03 AM
BruceZ BruceZ is offline
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Default Re: golf question

I'm assuming a golf handicap is just determined by how many strokes over par a golfer is on average. In that case, we don't have enough information. We would need to know how consistent the golfers are (standard deviation). The more consistent, the less likely it is for the high handicapper to beat the low one.
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Old 10-12-2002, 11:01 AM
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Default Re: golf question

Bruce, You're assumption about handicapping is close enough for this question. Even closer, assume the handicap is derived by taking the best 10 of 20 rounds, averaging those 10 scores, and the scratch golfers ave. 72. The thirteen handicappers ave. 85.
These golfers are random, so you can only assume how consistent they might be. But I believe that the MORE consistent the hi handicappers are, the BETTER their chance of having fewer putts.
Thanks for your response.

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Old 10-12-2002, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: golf question

THis question is absolutely impossible to answer. Not a chance that you could come up with an answer which is correct in any real , useful way. Some 10 handicappers are better putters than scratch markers, and vice versa. Handicap does not reflect putting ability, and in the case of 5 handicap v scratch, their putting ability is very close anyway, so every 5 handicapper could be better than the scratch handicappers. I would say that the chances are approx 45%, but like i say, that answer is purely intuition, no formula could do it.
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Old 10-12-2002, 02:51 PM
lorinda lorinda is offline
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Default Re: golf question

The trouble being that a 13 handicap might be a guy who always shoots 85, every round, day after day.
Or it might be a nutcase who shoots 98 sometimes and beats course records on other occasions.
We need far more data Im afraid,
Even the best and worst rounds these guys have shot would be a start.
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  #6  
Old 10-12-2002, 04:59 PM
Mike Haven Mike Haven is offline
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Default Re: golf question

can you not make and state assumptions - like the good guys two putt and the bad guys 2.75 putt most of the time?
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  #7  
Old 10-12-2002, 08:27 PM
Ray Zee Ray Zee is offline
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Default Re: golf question

the higher handicappers will always have less putts. unless they are really bad players. but i think 13 is about okay for this thing here.
what the trick is that worse players dont hit the greens in two as do the good players, who then tend to have long putts. the weaker players are near the green in two and then chip up close for one or two putt greens.
if you are going to count the number of cows in a field count the heads rather than the feet and divide by four.
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Old 10-12-2002, 08:48 PM
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Default Scratch handicappers have fewer putts

Okay, this talk of "handicap does not reflect putting ability" is obviously pretty silly. Somebody mentioned that a ten handicapper may be a better putter than a scratch handicap. This would be very, very rare. Scratch handicaps might complain about their putting, but they can't be that bad, or they wouldn't be scratch. It is the very rare 10 handicap that is better.
Also, someone mentioned that we need to know the consistency, as a 13 handicap might shoot 95 one day, then break course records the next. This is pretty much impossible. No one has that kind of variability in golf. Bottom line is, I'll take the 5 handicappers at even money, no question. ( Assuming randomly picked golfers of the required handicaps). I'll go even more extreme - if the greens are PGA tour pace, the scratches are almost a lock. On "regular" greens, I'll go with the scratches at maybe 1:15.

Go Ole Miss!
(Watched the SEC women last year, it made me wonder why I'm such a hack, they make it look so easy)
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  #9  
Old 10-13-2002, 12:39 AM
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Default Re: golf question

Anonymous,
There is a correlation with handicap and putting ability. Like many problems, you may not be able to give an exact answer, but that doesn't make any educated guess useless. Also, the question regarded 13 handicap golfers against scratch golfers, not 5 vs. scratch. Intuition is allowed, although formulas may be helpful. Thanks for your response.
OleMissGolf
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  #10  
Old 10-13-2002, 12:42 AM
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Default Re: golf question

You are allowed to make your own assumptions- in fact, making an accurate answer depends on making proper assumptions.
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