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The Impact of Age on the Ability to Perform under Pressure: Golfers on the PGA Tour


  • Fried, Harold O.
  • Tauer, Loren W.


This paper is about aging and the ability to perform under pressure on the PGA tour. Performance increases with golfing skill, but may first increase and then decrease with age as experience interacts with changes in physical condition. Similarly, mental fortitude or the ability of a golfer to perform under pressure may first increase and then decrease with age as experience interacts with changes in the ability to concentrate. Net performance on the tour is the result of both physical golfing skill and the ability to perform under pressure. We control for changes in physical skill and focus on the mental side of the game. The role of experience suggests an inverted U shaped relationship between age and mental performance that could vary significantly across golfers. We use Order-m FDH to calculate a measure of performance under pressure, and we confirm an inverted U-shaped curve with age. Along the way, we examine the ability to perform under pressure at the level of the individual golfer.

Suggested Citation

  • Fried, Harold O. & Tauer, Loren W., 2009. "The Impact of Age on the Ability to Perform under Pressure: Golfers on the PGA Tour," Working Papers 51103, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:cudawp:51103

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sangit Chatterjee & Frederick Wiseman & Robert Perez, 2002. "Studying improved performance in golf," Journal of Applied Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(8), pages 1219-1227.
    2. Cinzia Daraio & LĂ©opold Simar, 2005. "Introducing Environmental Variables in Nonparametric Frontier Models: a Probabilistic Approach," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 93-121, September.
    3. Douglas Coate & David Goldbaum, 2004. "Skills, Purses, and Performance in Professional Golf," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark 2004-007, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ilhyeok Park & Young Hoon Lee, 2012. "Efficiency Comparison of International Golfers in the LPGA," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 13(4), pages 378-392, August.
    2. Seung Chan Ahn & Young Hoon Lee, 2014. "Beauty And Productivity: The Case Of The Ladies Professional Golf Association," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(1), pages 155-168, January.
    3. Young Hoon Lee & Ilhyeok Park & Joon-Ho Kang & Younghan Lee, 2013. "An economic analysis of the sudden influx of Korean female golfers into the LPGA," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Women in Sports, chapter 18, pages 388-409 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Rodenberg Ryan & Kim Jun Woo, 2012. "Testing the On-Court Efficacy of the NBA's Age Eligibility Rule," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 8(2), pages 1-23, June.

    More about this item


    age; efficiency; order-m FDH; golf; performance under pressure; Productivity Analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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