Golf Match: The Choice by PGA Tour Golfers of which Tournaments to Enter, pp. 114-135

Stephen Shmanske

This paper compares two methods of examining the entry choice of professional golfers, focusing on the size of the purse, the strength of the competition, and a newly constructed variable, the match of the player’s skills with the skills rewarded at each tournament, while controlling for some dynamic factors such as year end pushes to cross relative earnings thresholds. Logit regressions are one method of examining the entry choice. A second method exploits combinatorial arithmetic. Choosing which n of N tournaments to play is equivalent to choosing n balls without replacement from an urn with N balls. The results show that golfers choose tournaments with higher purses, with a better skills match, and when the competition is fiercest.