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Who Wins This 30-year Bet (3 and 16 Handicap)?


iacas

3 vs. 16 Handicap 30-Year Wager  

34 members have voted

  1. 1. Who wins the bet?

    • The 3 Handicap
      4
    • The 16 Handicap
      30


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51 minutes ago, klineka said:

Where is your 1/125 odds of the "true chance" for the 16 (who is actually probably closer to 20+) coming from?

The 1/125 number I came up with (which isn't necessarily accurate I know) came from if the "16" became a 10, not if they stayed at "16" aka probably a 20.

Oh fair enough. I misread. Still, point remains. Even at 1/125 the chances of the 16 (becoming a 10) never winning is low.

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3 hours ago, iacas said:

it almost certainly won't be here in another 30 for us to see.

This is the most depressing thing I've heard you say.  😢

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On 2/13/2024 at 9:47 PM, billchao said:

I find this bet pretty funny. A 16 can beat a 3 tomorrow if the 16 has a great round and the 3 has a terrible one. The odds are low, but it's possible. What happens in five years if the 16 improves to a 10 and the 3 regresses to an 8? The odds get better. 29 years is a long time to have a running bet.

I voted for the 16. As a high handicapper myself I routinely play rounds with golfers in the single digits. All it takes is for a bad day and a good day to show up on the same day.
And really the 3 has a very low ceiling, where the 16 has a high ceiling for improvement.

I would also point out that the 3 may not be a 3 over the course of the next 30 years (same can be said for the 16). But as any old person will tell you, it only takes the lingering effects of 1 good injury to change your game. 

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I voted for the 16, but I will share that I had a regular partner who is a 13 and I varied between a 6 and 8. This guy came close once or twice, but I don’t recall him ever tying or beating me in maybe 40 plus rounds.

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One thing I haven't noticed anyone mention is this is a pretty loaded bet. The 3 can't win for 30 years. The 16 in theory could win next weekend. 

I would hope that they have some sort of proviso built in - like a certain minimum number of times that they have to play in a given year or timeframe. Otherwise, the 16 starts improving and the 3 starts to struggle for whatever reason and suddenly the 3 becomes scarce. Could definitely see that happening. The other thing would be what's to stop the 3 from deciding he has to leave after 9 if it's close. Assuming that that is all ironed out, I think the 16 has to be pretty heavily favored over the 30 year period.

I do however think there is a certain amount of mental game going on here. Both players on the day where their scores are looking like they're going to be close are going to start to feel the pressure. The 16 on the day when he's playing well and the 3 on the day when he's playing badly. I've played with people who absolutely fell to pieces when pressure was applied. I could see this depending a fair amount on how well each can stick to their gameplan and hold on when they're under the gun.

 

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1 hour ago, Ty_Webb said:

I do however think there is a certain amount of mental game going on here. Both players on the day where their scores are looking like they're going to be close are going to start to feel the pressure. The 16 on the day when he's playing well and the 3 on the day when he's playing badly. I've played with people who absolutely fell to pieces when pressure was applied. I could see this depending a fair amount on how well each can stick to their gameplan and hold on when they're under the gun.

Like I said earlier, since it only takes one time, the 16 could gain confidence from getting close, while the 3 can only lose confidence/get more nervous.

The 16 only has to win once.

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I went with the 16 thinking he has a better opportunity to improve while the 3 is likely as good as he will get, especially given that it’s a 30 yr bet timeline.  Makes me wonder who will be more driven on winning….the 16 to get better or the 3 to try to stay better.  

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2 hours ago, Ty_Webb said:

One thing I haven't noticed anyone mention is this is a pretty loaded bet. The 3 can't win for 30 years. The 16 in theory could win next weekend. 

Good point 

Stuart M.
 

I am a "SCRATCH GOLFER".  I hit ball, Ball hits Tree, I scratch my head. 😜

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On 2/15/2024 at 6:49 PM, Ty_Webb said:

One thing I haven't noticed anyone mention is this is a pretty loaded bet. The 3 can't win for 30 years. The 16 in theory could win next weekend. 

 

Great point I didn’t even think of

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  • 3 weeks later...

The 16 only needs to have one good day to win this bet.  The 3 always needs to be on his game.  This favours the 16 because anybody can strike form and have a lights out round once in a decade or so.  And that is reflected in the voting of 90+% to the 16 handicapper, which I also contributed to.

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25 minutes ago, pganapathy said:

The 16 only needs to have one good day to win this bet.  The 3 always needs to be on his game.  This favours the 16 because anybody can strike form and have a lights out round once in a decade or so.  And that is reflected in the voting of 90+% to the 16 handicapper, which I also contributed to.

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1 hour ago, snapfade said:

I'm into my second decade and waiting on the lights out round. 

Maybe next time! (It's what keeps all of us coming back)

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Okay, I'm taking the 3. 

AND, I say this as a guy who has over the last 30 years had a handicap which has been as high as 28 and as low as single digits a couple of times. All I know is if I stop working on my game it falls apart fast. 

Here's my thoughts: 

First, the 16 is a vanity capper. That's the first problem. He has to improve to get to 16. Nobody, probably not even he knows how much he has to improve to get to 16. 

Second, the fact that you have to motivate him to get better is a red flag. I work hard on my game because I want to get better. I know other guys who are the same. I don't know a lot of guys who work hard on their game because somebody else wants them to get better. 

Third, it's a 30 year bet, but if the 16 doesn't get it done in the next couple of years, I think he's more likely to hang it up than he is to be more motivated to go after it. 

Finally, I know this 3. He doesn't seem like the kind of golfer to just let his game deteriorate. 

My bag is an ever-changing combination of clubs. 

A mix I am forever tinkering with. 

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7 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:

Okay, I'm taking the 3. 

AND, I say this as a guy who has over the last 30 years had a handicap which has been as high as 28 and as low as single digits a couple of times. All I know is if I stop working on my game it falls apart fast. 

Here's my thoughts: 

First, the 16 is a vanity capper. That's the first problem. He has to improve to get to 16. Nobody, probably not even he knows how much he has to improve to get to 16. 

Second, the fact that you have to motivate him to get better is a red flag. I work hard on my game because I want to get better. I know other guys who are the same. I don't know a lot of guys who work hard on their game because somebody else wants them to get better. 

Third, it's a 30 year bet, but if the 16 doesn't get it done in the next couple of years, I think he's more likely to hang it up than he is to be more motivated to go after it. 

Finally, I know this 3. He doesn't seem like the kind of golfer to just let his game deteriorate. 

Speaking from (bitter) personal experience, the desire to not let your game deteriorate and the will to put in the time to stop it from happening is not enough to stop it from happening. If he catches a bad dose of the yips, which is very possible, then his will to play is going to deteriorate even faster than his game does. Heck Ian Baker-Finch couldn't break 90 for a spell and he was so far better than a 3 handicap it's not funny. Now that kind of fall off may be unlikely, but the stats on the number of players who wind up with some kind of yip is much more plausible. 

The other thing I'd say is the vanity portion of his handicap is probably also an indication that he'd like to be better. That could be a stretch too and I agree that this is an aspect of the bet that I didn't consider.

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3 minutes ago, Ty_Webb said:

Speaking from (bitter) personal experience, the desire to not let your game deteriorate and the will to put in the time to stop it from happening is not enough to stop it from happening. If he catches a bad dose of the yips, which is very possible, then his will to play is going to deteriorate even faster than his game does. Heck Ian Baker-Finch couldn't break 90 for a spell and he was so far better than a 3 handicap it's not funny. Now that kind of fall off may be unlikely, but the stats on the number of players who wind up with some kind of yip is much more plausible. 

The other thing I'd say is the vanity portion of his handicap is probably also an indication that he'd like to be better. That could be a stretch too and I agree that this is an aspect of the bet that I didn't consider.

Your points are good. But I'm still taking the three. I think the 16 has just as much, possibly more chance of developing the yips. Plus, since he is a vanity capper, he may not be willing to do the things it takes to work through his problems. I know a number of vanity cappers and my experience is that they only "work" on stuff on the range they are good at. They often don't want to be embarrassed by hitting terrible shots on the range. So, they only work on stuff that looks good.

You could be right though. .... But I'm still sticking with the 3.  👍😁👍

My bag is an ever-changing combination of clubs. 

A mix I am forever tinkering with. 

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This reminds me of my wife and I, maybe 20 years ago.  I might have been a 6 or 7 then, and she was 18 or so.  But given some time, she's improved a lot, I've not gotten much better than 3 and am now on the aging downslide, and she's beaten me more times than I can count.  Handicaps aren't really static over long periods, and the 36-year old players in the OP will be 66 at the end of their bet.  While there are no guarantees, the better player's skills are reasonably likely to decline towards the end.  The higher handicapper has room to improve substantially.  If he gets to be a 12, and the 3 "balloons" to a 6 or 7. the higher handicapper is almost certain to win at least once.  And like many, I'm assuming they'll play pretty regularly together, maybe a couple dozen times every year.

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I would bet this bet never gets paid out 🙂 30 years is such a long time. Assuming they play over 30 years I’d have to go w the 16. 
 

One season I was a 7-10 handi and had a similar rivalry with a golf buddy who was about a 3. I really wanted to beat him. He was a long established player and I was improving over the past few years. We played 34x that summer on the same course on the same day. Some rounds were league so weren't always in the same group. I never beat him once. I can still remember one round I shot my season low 74 and thought this is it! He shot a 73 and I’ve never been more deflated after playing so well, haha. 
 

He wasn’t very long off the tee and never went super low score wise, but damn he was consistent and didn't shoot higher than 79 anytime we played that year. We still talk about that magical summer he had. 
 

It’s been a few years since I last played with him after playing so many rounds together. Miss those times, glad this thread triggered some good memories. 

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