Thursday, July 25, 2013

Golf and performance measurement ... more in common than you might think

I'm teaching a Fundamentals of Performance Measurement class in Sydney this week, and it struck me how much we can use from golf that applies to performance measurement. For example:
  • Measuring performance: performance in golf is measured quantitatively (a player's score), just as we do with performance
  • Benchmarks: Here we have at least two standard methods:
    • An index: the course's par
    • A peer group: the field that the player is part of. E.g., Phil Mickelson just won "The Open" (aka, the British Open); anyone else playing in the tournament arguably had a chance to win.
  • Rules: performance measurement has the BAI standards, the ICAA standards, the GIPS(R) standards, while golf has the PGA standards
  • Risks: we have various risks that come into play in investing, such as market and idiosyncratic, while golf has bunkers, water hazards, woods.
Anything else come to mind?

Metaphors, analogies, etc., are very helpful ways to communicate ideas. It helps folks better to relate to concepts, and tying golf in (something many are familiar with) is just one example.


  1. Larry Campbell wrote a great article in the Spring 2011 issue of The Journal of Performance Measurement titled: Golf and the Art of Portfolio Performance Measurement where he compares the two methods of keeping score (match play vs. medal-play) to time-weighting and dollar-weighting. If anyone would like a copy of the article please send Dave a note.

  2. Ah, I forgot ... so, I guess this wasn't an original idea!


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