Originally Posted by phan52
There are a lot more good players today, but Jack definitely played against better competitors. You have to remember that most of those guys were playing every day to just be able to eat the next week. There were no sponsors paying for their every whim (they can all thank Arnold for that) and they had to win to make decent money. There was no guaranteed 125 man Tour card cutoff, it was 60. About a third of every field was made up on Monday in qualifying and they all had to rely on local caddies who they didn't know. No courtesy cars, no fresh balls piled on the range; they had to bring their own shag bag full of beatup balls. Those guys would cut off your nuts to make a check. Today's guys are so spoiled it is ridiculous. Just making the cut is all most of them want to do.
If I follow your logic, you're saying that back in Jack's day the golfers were better because the purses were smaller? I don't think that logic makes sense. If you were a damn good golfer, but the best you could hope for from playing golf professionally was eking out a living, and could make more money by working a 9-5 job, you'd likely choose the latter. That means Jack wasn't competing against all those damn good golfers who went that route.
With today's purses and the other spoils you mention, a damn good golfer is more likely to be out on tour. Plus, as you also pointed out, there are more guys with a tour card which means *more* competition, not less.
I said they were better competitors. There is a difference. They were playing every week for their livlihood. Today, you are lucky to see 10 out of the top 30 even playing every week.