This is the program for the 2010 Joint Statistical Meetings in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Abstract Details

Activity Number: 671
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Thursday, August 5, 2010 : 10:30 AM to 12:20 PM
Sponsor: Section on Statistics in Sports
Abstract - #307120
Title: The Disappearance of the Rank Correlation Between Accuracy and Money Earned on the PGA Tour: A Simple Explanation Unrelated to Grooves
Author(s): Norma Faris Hubele*+ and Paul Wood
Companies: Arizona State University/Refrac Systems and Ping Golf, Inc.
Address: 3702 E Dakota Drive, Phoenix, AZ, 85044,
Keywords: sport ; golf ; rank correlation ; accuracy

On January 1, 2010 the United States Golf Association (USGA) adopted changes to the specifications for the grooves of clubs used by players on the Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour. The USGA reasoned that driving accuracy had become less important since the players could skillfully escape the rough with new technology clubs and not experience a score penalty. Part of USGA's evidence was the disappearance of the rank correlation between PGA Tour players' driving accuracy and money earned in a season. We postulate that the weakening rank correlations over the past 25 years correspond with the growth of the Tour and player choices about which tournaments to play or not play. We predict that the change in club grooves will have no effect on driving accuracy because, regardless of groove technology, golfers recognize the "cost of rough" on scoring and strive for accurate drives.

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