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For non golfers, each golfer has a handicap based on his scoring history. The handicap predicts, on average, how many shots above par that golfer will take to play 18 holes. In theory, when that golfer plays in a handicap tournament against other golfers with their respective handicaps, he should have the same chance as all of the golfers of winning. Some golfers are known to avoid putting in their low scores which in turn keeps their handicap high and gives them an unfair advantage in a tournament. Golfers call this sandbagging.

I play in a tournament where one team won 5 out of 7 years and a second team won 3 out of 4 years. What are the odds of that happening? There are 40 teams in each tournament.

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    $\begingroup$ How many years of records do you have? $\endgroup$ – whuber Oct 31 '11 at 21:40
  • $\begingroup$ I will rephrase the question. Each tournament consists of 40 teams, each of whom have an equal chance of winning. One team goes W, W, L, W over four consecutive tournaments. The second team goes W, W, L, W, W, L, W over The next seven consecutive tournaments. what are the odds of each occurrence? $\endgroup$ – hoppergrass Nov 2 '11 at 2:21
  • $\begingroup$ I know the odds of winning one tournament are: 1 in 40, 2 tournaments in a row: 1 in 1,600. How do you calculate the odds if you have to include a loss in the sequence? $\endgroup$ – hoppergrass Nov 2 '11 at 2:23
  • $\begingroup$ The point of my question is that the odds you seek depend on the time period of interest and whether it was selected independently of the two events you note. After all, in an arbitrarily large set of tournaments (and there have been many golf tournaments), it is practically certain that these two events will occur. The calculations in your comment are somewhat similar in spirit to the one here. $\endgroup$ – whuber Nov 2 '11 at 14:45

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