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A Model of Score Minimization and Rational Strategic Behavior in Golf


  • Andrew Mack


Previous research on golf focuses on data analysis but no theory exists to explain the findings. This paper represents the first step of a larger research project whose goal is to build formal models which can be used to study the strategic decisions made by golfers. As a starting point on which future papers can build, it seems important to have a model rational choice and perfect information which assumes that the representative golfer?s utility comes only from shooting as low a score as possible. Thus, for each shot that he hits, he will choose, from a number of possible strategies, the one which, ex ante, will produce the lowest expected score. First, I define golf club distances and golf shot error probability using a series of simple equations. Next, I use these in order to examine the choices that the score-minimizing agent will make in different scenarios and under different assumptions. Among other things, my model predicts that the rational golfer will always choose additional yardage over additional accuracy for his tee shots.

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  • Andrew Mack, 2015. "A Model of Score Minimization and Rational Strategic Behavior in Golf," Working Paper 284466, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  • Handle: RePEc:qsh:wpaper:284466

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