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Arnie Versus Phil - Who was the Better Golfer?

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  1. 1. Who is/was the better golfer? Arnold Palmer or Phil Mickelson?

    • Arnold Palmer
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    • Phil Mickelson
      20

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52 posts in this topic

Arnie - 7 majors, 65 PGA Tour wins, 2 Euro Tour, 2 Australasia Tour wins

(1958, 1960, 1962, 1964 Masters, 1960 U.S. Open, 1961, 1962 British Open)

Major victories spanned 1958-1964.

PGA Tour victories spanned 1955-1971 (16 years).

Phil - 5 majors, 42 PGA Tour wins, 9 Euro Tour, 6 Other Tour(s) wins

(2004, 2006, 2010 Masters, 2013 British Open, 2005 PGA Championship)

Major victories spanned 2004-2013.

PGA Tour victories spanned 1991 (amateur)-2013 (22 years).

Both won a U.S. Amateur.


Vote in the poll, then discuss below. :)

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I love Arnie but had to vote for Phil. 5 majors and 42 wins during the Tiger era, quite an accomplishment. And by Tiger era I don't mean that he was just beating Tiger, it's referring to the strength of the field. Phil had to beat a much larger pool of "A" players than Arnie did.

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Phil IMO has already passed Arnie. Mainly because he has so many 2nd's in the US Open. ;)
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Better golfer Phil. More important to the game Arnie. The only reason Phil hasn't won more is Tiger.

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LOLZ - what is next?

Lee Trevino vs Ernie Els

Ray Floyd vs Vijay Singh

Freddie Couples vs everyone else with "just" 1 major

Colin Montgomerie vs Steve Stricker

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LOLZ - what is next?

Lee Trevino vs Ernie Els

Ray Floyd vs Vijay Singh

Freddie Couples vs everyone else with "just" 1 major

Colin Montgomerie vs Steve Stricker

Trevino, Singh, Everyone else, Montgomerie

Next... ;-)

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I love Arnie but had to vote for Phil. 5 majors and 42 wins during the Tiger era, quite an accomplishment. And by Tiger era I don't mean that he was just beating Tiger, it's referring to the strength of the field. Phil had to beat a much larger pool of "A" players than Arnie did.

Can you elaborate on this whole "stength of field" argument?  I don't think it's ever really been brought up before and it's likely a new concept to a lot of us. :bugout: :-P :banana:


For now, I'll go with Arnie.  If Tiger and Jack don't exist, but everybody else still do, Arnie could have as many as 11 majors and Phil would have 6.  The strength of field is quite possibly enough to overcome that discrepancy, but I'll stick with Arnie for now.  Also, he did it with such a goofy looking swing. :beer:

@Dave2512 just wanted to link you here because of your comment about Tiger being the only reason Phil hasn't won more.  That's certainly true, and I don't know the extent of it either, but as far as majors go, there is only ONE where Phil finished second to Tiger:  the 2002 US Open at Bethpage.  Conversely, Arnie has four seconds to Jack major victories.

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Trevino, Singh, Everyone else, Montgomerie

Next...

Incorrect.

The right answer is to start a separate thread for each of them & have the same asinine debate in each and every one of them. The "debate" that your opinion is the correct opinion, then restate it over and over and over for the next 250+ pages.

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I am actually surprised that Erik started this thread! I pick Phil as Arnie played against club pros while Phil is playing against people that would mop the floor with anyone from the previous era! Come on guys you must of expected that right? It will be really hard to argue with what I mentioned actually, but hey it is all in good fun! ;)
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Arnie because Phil's career is not done yet.

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Incorrect.

The right answer is to start a separate thread for each of them & have the same asinine debate in each and every one of them. The "debate" that your opinion is the correct opinion, then restate it over and over and over for the next 250+ pages.

Nah. Just trying to figure out where the line is.

Some may resort to "7 > 5" logic. I suspect most will give it a little more consideration than that…

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Last I checked, Phil doesn't have a delicious beverage named after him, so I'm gonna have to go with Arnie.

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Last I checked, Phil doesn't have a delicious beverage named after him, so I'm gonna have to go with Arnie.

Bingo!  Arnie is also way cooler so that is my logic for picking him.

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Last I checked, Phil doesn't have a delicious beverage named after him, so I'm gonna have to go with Arnie.

I'll go with Phil, based on his opponents and when he's had his era.

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This is a tough one for me.  Unlike the case of Tiger and Jack, there is more going for Arnie than just 7>5.  To me the biggest difference is that for a period of several years Arnie was rightfully regarded as the best player in the game whereas at no point in his career has Phil been widely considered as the best player in the game for even a single season.

Arnie has 2 POY awards, Phil has none.

Arnie has 4 Vardons, Phil has none.

Just as it is facile to use the 18>14 argument, I think it is equally facile to pick Phil solely on the basis of strength of field, even if we all agreed on what that effect was.

So I am not picking Arnie because of 7>5, I am picking Arnie because:

1) Phil was never considered the best player in the game, while always among the top 5.  But Arnie was considered the best player in the game for a period of time.

2) Arnie has the POY(2) and Vardon(4) awards that Phil has never really even gotten close to

3) contra all of that, Phil played in more challenging fields.

4) 7>5 - but this is the least important factor, for me, in Arnie's favor - and if we just look at this metric I think an excellent case can be made that Phil's major victories are more impressive than Arnie's.  But as I have said all along majors are not the only factor.  Even if everyone agreed wit the proposition that Phil's 5 majors are more impressive than Arnie's 7, there is more to the comparison than just majors and in this case the older guy has more going for him in the comparison than just 7>5 - which I will again point out is NOT the case in the Jack/Tiger comparison, where 8>14 is ALL the Jack people really have.

So for me it is a very close call but I have to go with Arnie by a whisker.

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This is a tough one for me.  Unlike the case of Tiger and Jack, there is more going for Arnie than just 7>5.  To me the biggest difference is that for a period of several years Arnie was rightfully regarded as the best player in the game whereas at no point in his career has Phil been widely considered as the best player in the game for even a single season. Arnie has 2 POY awards, Phil has none. Arnie has 4 Vardons, Phil has none. Just as it is facile to use the 18>14 argument, I think it is equally facile to pick Phil solely on the basis of strength of field, even if we all agreed on what that effect was. So I am not picking Arnie because of 7>5, I am picking Arnie because: 1) Phil was never considered the best player in the game, while always among the top 5.  But Arnie was considered the best player in the game for a period of time.   2) Arnie has the POY(2) and Vardon(4) awards that Phil has never really even gotten close to 3) contra all of that, Phil played in more challenging fields. 4) 7>5 - but this is the least important factor, for me, in Arnie's favor - and if we just look at this metric I think an excellent case can be made that Phil's major victories are more impressive than Arnie's.  But as I have said all along majors are not the only factor.  Even if everyone agreed wit the proposition that Phil's 5 majors are more impressive than Arnie's 7, there is more to the comparison than just majors and in this case the older guy has more going for him in the comparison than just 7>5 - which I will again point out is NOT the case in the Jack/Tiger comparison, where 8>14 is ALL the Jack people really have.  So for me it is a very close call but I have to go with Arnie by a whisker.

I have to admit my friend, I got a real chuckle from reading this post.. I can some it up for you real nice, and I explain how point#3 for you just renders anything else you say including your conclusion null and void! If it wasn't for the fact that half the field Arnie wan plying in were club pros then he wouldn't have gotten any POY honors, not any vardons for that matter.. For Phil to get the majors he did is a testimony to how great he is! It might as well be 7>5 as they are all due to one factor the fact that he was playing against scrubs, while Phil obviously not so much!

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I played against Arnie a coupla times.-Phil is a better golfer.
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I have to admit my friend, I got a real chuckle from reading this post..

I can some it up for you real nice, and I explain how point#3 for you just renders anything else you say including your conclusion null and void!

If it wasn't for the fact that half the field Arnie wan plying in were club pros then he wouldn't have gotten any POY honors, not any vardons for that matter.. For Phil to get the majors he did is a testimony to how great he is!

It might as well be 7>5 as they are all due to one factor the fact that he was playing against scrubs, while Phil obviously not so much!

Number of majors is important but not determinative, IMO.  And it is the same with strength of field.  You are just elevating strength of field to the one and only criteria, which I disagree with, the same as I disagree with elevating number of majors to be the one and only factor.  So agree or disagree with me I am being consistent in looking at the whole career including degree of dominance which I consider very important.  And since it is very unlikely at this stage of his career he will have a season where he gets that elusive POY or Vardon, the only way I see him passing Arnie in my estimation would be if he completed the career GS.  That would be enough to push me over even though 7 would be bigger than 6.

But of course we both know that, based on your position in the JvT thread, you were just being tongue in cheek.

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