1131-Jorge Rodriguez

The Hot Hand in Golf

In this project, an analysis is made to try to determine whether the phenomenon known as the hot hand, exists in golf. Data from a particular golf tournament in 2012 is studied in order to try to find out whether this proposition seems true. For this tournament, the scores for each golfer are split into the number of strokes and the number of putts required to complete the course. The key idea in this project is the substitution of the number of putts with the expected number of putts. The rationale is that putting is a highly stochastic element of golf and that the randomness conceals evidence of the hot hand. This expected value will be based on the distance to the pin once the ball is on the green. This distance to the pin is obtained from the ShotLink website. New scores for all golfers are calculated and consist of the sum of the number of strokes plus the expected number of putts in order to complete a course. The association between said scores in the first round and similar scores in the second round is calculated. The results seem to point to the conclusion that there is no hot hand in golf.