Originally Posted by boogielicious
Also, referring to Nicklaus as "self serving" really was not needed in your post. It made you come off as a hater trying to find a way to discredit and took away from your argument. It also probably turned off a lot a readers to your point.
I don't think Nicklaus is self-serving at all. He probably didn't even come up with that metric himself. Winning Majors has been very important for a very long time.
My quote was a direct quote from Jack, so yes, he was a big part of that metric. AFTER he had the most majors he said that the fairest way to compare players of different eras was number of majors. He KNEW that he had already had many more opportunities than players in those other eras. He already KNEW that he would have many MORE opportunities to play majors, increasing his advantage in opportunities over the players in earlier eras. Take Harry Vardon. When you say players chose not to play majors you miss on two counts. Vardon never had an opportunity to play a Masters or a PGA. And travel in that era made playing the US Open a very exceptional undertaking, expensive in both time and money. Players in Hogan's era effective only could play in 3 majors a year at most because the PGA and British Open were scheduled too close together to play both. Oh, and Jack knew that when players in Hogan's era did not play majors in the early 40s it wasn't through choice or injury, it was due to WW2.
You said that winning majors have been very important for a very long time. Based on what? You yourself claim that these historically great players didn't play as many as Jack because they chose not to (and in Hogan's case were hindered by injury). How important could they have been n the best players were just choosing not to play them? Do you seriously contend that majors had the same import back then and that players had the same opportunities to play them that Jack had when the top player over a 60 year period only amassed 5 years when only one of them played all four majors while Jack himself, in his prime, did it 19 times? And even if we were to concede that majors were important, that is a far cry from saying that most majors should be the metric. NO ONE thought Hagen was the GOAT when Jack passed him in pro majors. If most majors is really important then how do you explain the fact that Jack is the only person who has ever been acclaimed the GOAT by the majority of the golf world based on having won the most majors?
So sorry, it was self-serving. Just as it would be self-serving today if Tiger came out said that the only fair way to compare players in different eras in by the total number of majors, WGCs and Players they have won. If he were to do so the screams would be heard throughout the golfing world. Yet when Jack effectively did the same thing for most majors the golf world just silently nodded. And no, I am not a Jack hater. As anyone who has read what I have posted here would know Jack was my very first favorite player and is still one of my favorites. But that doesn't mean he hasn't disappointed me from time to time. And this was one of those occasions, because his "fairest way" to compare players of different was just about the most UNFAIR way to compare players of different eras.
If one is going to declare that a certain metric is the fairest way to compare players in different eras, doesn't fairness demand that the metric should in some way attempt to adjust for the circumstances of and differences between those eras? Did Jack's statement do that? Did a failure to try to adjust for the differences in eras work directly to Jack's benefit, and effectively declare him the GOAT? And isn't that practically the definition of self-serving?
In what way was record in majors more "fair" than just number of PGA tour events won? At least, barring the WW2 effect, the players in the Hogan era had similar opportunities to amass PGA tour victories. In fact passing Sam Snead in total tour victories WAS Jacks goal and his way of getting recognized as the greatest at an earlier point in his career. But then it looked like it wouldn't happen and there was this other metric which, while patently unfair to every great golfer of the earlier eras, had the advantage of already being owned by Jack.
And note, I am not arguing for any particular metric. I am arguing AGAINST the current metric as being about the most unfair one that could be devised, given the scope of golf history.
As to those who think the discussion is pointless because we will never agree? This is sports and this is a discussion board. If we are only going to discuss things on which agreement is likely or even possible then the discussion is going to be thin. I know there will be people who will hold to the most majors metric no matter what anyone says - and some of them have fallback positions prepared based on number of seconds or perceived strength of field. I know there are people who will hold to the position that there is no metric by which players of different eras can be compared (although for them it would be nice if they were consistent and directly dismissed Jack's claim that the most major metric is the only fair one). But there are still a lot of interesting points that can be discussed. Like the relative importance of longevity based accomplishments versus dominance accomplishments. About the scope of the accomplishments that should be considered. About the effect of improvement in equipment. About strength of fields.
I find these things interesting and worth discussing If no one agrees then the thread will die a quiet death. But this is what my point was in starting this thread. Not to be limited to Jack and Tiger. Not even to advocate for Hogan. But to discuss what the metric SHOULD be. And to get there I had to destroy the logical basis for the current most majors metric. I think I have done that although I recognize that not everyone would agree. But I do notice that no one has actually even attempted to refute any of the specifics of my analysis. I hope someone does, as that would be an interesting discussion.
Although I used your comment as the jumping off point for the above, most of it is not directed specifically to you.