ShotLink® has revolutionized how the PGA TOUR has collected and analyzed data over the years during competition play. It has offered a better insight into how the players of the PGA TOUR individually and as a whole perform on multiple layers of skill sets ranging from driving distance to scoring streaks. ShotLink® allows not only TOUR players and sports media outlets but also graduate professors and students to get a deeper understanding into the numbers game of golf.
Beginning in 2005, the PGA TOUR began offering the not-for-profit opportunity for professors and students at the graduate level to use ShotLink® data for experimentation and study. ShotLink® is suited for this because the data is structured, very clean, and covers a subject matter that can be widely applied. As the system grew and expanded, CDW teamed with the PGA TOUR in 2008 to sponsor the data program that since became known as ShotLink Intelligencesm Powered by CDW. This program has opened the door to the academic community as well as audiences not primarily associated with golf.
In 2012, the PGA TOUR and CDW introduced the ShotLink Intelligencesm prize. The ShotLink Intelligencesm prize is an output of “ShotLink Intelligencesm Powered by CDW” which allows members of the data program to compete by submitting research papers that best utilizes the ShotLink® data in a new way pertaining to golf science.
The PGA TOUR and CDW announced Dr. Lucius Riccio, a Senior Lecturer in Discipline at Columbia Business School, as the inaugural winner of the ShotLink Intelligencesm prize in March 2013. Dr. Riccio received the top prize for his paper on determining the TOUR’s best long approach shot ball strikers.
The 2014 winner was announced on Friday, February 27, 2015. Neil Metz and Dan Hickman won the prize on their paper "The Impact of Pressure on Performance: Evidence from the PGA TOUR." You can read their research by clicking here.
Metz and Hickman won a $30,000 technology prize from CDW for the winning paper: $20,000 will be granted to the school and $10,000 to the author.
Interested faculty and graduate students may register to gain access to the data by submitting information by clicking on the link below. While the program is intended primarily for professors and graduate students engaged in advanced analysis, we will consider all applicants.
Academics will have the opportunity to analyze ShotLink data throughout 2015 and submit entries during the first quarter of 2015. The winner will be announced in early March 2015 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, of which CDW is a sponsor. The conference will be held at the MIT campus in Cambridge, Mass.