Exploring the Determinants of Success among Ladies Golfers by DEA-SBM Model

Exploring the Determinants of Success among Ladies Golfers by DEA-SBM Model

Wan-Chun Hsiung (Department of Sport and Health Management, DaYeh University, Changhua, Taiwan) and Pi-Heng Chung (Department of Hospitality Management, De Lin Institute of Technology, New Taipei City, Taiwan)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/ijsds.2014070105
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Different from previous studies focusing on the skill performance in professional golf, this study utilize the non-oriented SBM model of DEA to evaluate the performance of the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tournament players. DEA is used to assess the overall efficiencies, as well as to conduct slack variable analysis of players' performance in 2008 based on the LPGA official web statistical data. In this study, four inputs (including Average Non-green Shots, Putts Per GIR, Sand Saves, and Average Driving Distance) and two outputs (Scoring Average and Official Money Ranking) are selected as the performance index of LPGA players. The results confirm that the most efficient players are not necessarily the top players on the list of official money ranking but also the lower positions. Inefficient players could advance their games varied by skills in lowering the strokes and raising their earnings as improving range suggested. Skill competencies of professional golf players seemed to be weighted differently and players shall choose the right direction for improvement to advance their career earning efficiently on the tours.
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The sport management governance collect a detailed record from registration to players’ performance so that the record could be reference material for further event management as well as scorekeeping for history, especially in the mega events i.e. Summer Olympic and elite sports i.e. professional sports league. In professional golf tournaments (i.e. PGA and LPGA in USA), keeping all kinds of players’ performance data not just for score tracking reason, but also truly important in linking fans, coaches, players, to even analyst and practitioners with event management concerns (Davies, 2010).

The result of a golf game depends on the total number of strokes over a four day tournament. The fewer the strokes the better is the player. Therefore, the ability to reduce the total number of strokes is an important factor in determining the result of the game. Besides, golf is the kind of sport considered as a closed motor skill, i.e., the environmental factors surrounding the sport are stable and predictable so the player’s ability to focus on proficiency and control techniques become imperative to achieve good results. Based on basic theories of motor learning, Thorndike (1922) indicates that acquiring the skill depends on constant practice, which enables players to develop technical expertise and to achieve a high level of technical stability. Hence, the more skilled the golfer, the more stable his performance will be, to make future competitions’ score more predictable.

PGA and LPGA are considered as the leading tournaments in the professional golf competitions, players from worldwide strive to climb up the ranking list by weekly events. However, it is difficult for players to determine their own advantages and disadvantages, as well as training effectiveness compared to other players during daily practice and year-round tournaments. Players at the professional levels mostly own similar skills but with very different earnings in each tournament. Only those who play four outstanding rounds over a 4-day tournament could be seen on the top of the final leaderboard. Faldo and Simmons (1997) prevailed that golfers should compare statistics between the practice and tournaments to foresee about their advantages and disadvantages. Berri and Schmidt (2002) also think that professional players’ performance statistics on tour can better evaluate the effectiveness of the players’ training. These could help golf coaches examine the player’s skills on course and whereby adjust training schedule. Therefore, studies focused on performance evaluation of professional sports to determine the players’ advantages and disadvantages are growing (e.g., Callan & Thomas, 2004, 2007; Dorsel & Rotunda, 2001; Fried, Lambrinos, & Tyner, 2004; Nero, 2001; Finly & Halsey, 2004; Hurrion, 2009; Shmanske, 2000, 2008). Most of these studies adopt regression analysis and other related analyses to discuss professional golf tournaments, attempting to specify key factors for succeeding in the PGA's (Professional Golf Association, PGA) (Dorsel & Rotunda, 2001; Shmanske, 2000, 2008; Engelhardt, 2002; Callan & Thomas, 2004, 2007; Wiseman & Chatterjee, 2006). The key golfing techniques to successful performance are specified as Driving Accuracy (Dorsel & Rotunda, 2001; Finley & Halsey, 2004; Nero, 2001), Green in Regulation, Putting Average, Sand Saves, and Driving Distance (Finley & Halsey, 2004; Nero, 2001). Ketzscher and Ringrose (2002) further proposed another two important statistics, Average non-green shots (NonGreen = Scoring Average-Putting Average) and Putts Per Green in Regulation (PPGIR), which are considered as exact measures of shots taken to reach and on the green.

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