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Jack or Tiger: Who's the greatest - Page 193

Poll Results: Tiger or Jack: Who's the best?

 
  • 70% (1620)
    Tiger Woods is the man
  • 29% (694)
    Jack Nicklaus is my favorite
2314 Total Votes  
post #3457 of 4304
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post



Lets say Phil never won a major, would he be any less of a golfer?

Short answer: yes. (See Colin Montgomerie)
post #3458 of 4304
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

If you look at the criteria for the World Golf Hall of Fame: (10 TOUR wins or 2 Majors or PLAYERS Championship wins).  The math is more obvious here, as it seems they consider 1 Major = 5 TOUR wins.  Not directed at you, but why does the math not apply in determining GOAT?     

 

If it does, then Tiger will be the GOAT if he reaches 90 wins...even without another major. a2_wink.gif

post #3459 of 4304
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

 

 

 


Have to agree. Honestly i don't even think Pro Golfers measure the greatest of all time by majors. They measure it knowing the person and knowing there golf game. There's respect for the talent and work ethic. If the guy happens to win 18 majors that just adds to the guys legend.

 

Lets say Phil never won a major, would he be any less of a golfer? I don't' think so, there so much that goes into playing a round of golf, some bad breaks, who your playing partner is, etc. All these things make you comfortable or not. That is a huge thing. It doesn't discredit how much a great talent Phil is. I would say the majors and other wins validate his legacy and ability, not diminish it in any way. It helps us remember, cause its easier to remember winners.

I don't agree with any of this. How come nearly every pro golfer strives to be eligible to play in the majors? Why were Ernie Els and his fans upset that he wasn't invited to The Masters as he hadn't qualified? Tiger and Jack are not the only players who aim for these tournaments. And for this reason, they measure their and others careers by major wins.

 

If Phil won 42 tournaments with none being majors. he'd be thought of as the second coming of Fred Couples, minus Fred's Masters win. I'm not demeaning Couples, but in his era, he's a lesser golfer than Nick Price, Sir Nick Faldo and Greg Norman without doubt. Mick's career is great because of his 5 major's.

post #3460 of 4304

Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

To make it very simple, you're missing the point that virtually nobody truly applies a single metric when they determine, for themselves, who they feel the GOAT is.

 

If that were the case everyone would say "Jack" right now. They don't. They use a mix of things and weight them as they wish.

 

Who started this topic?

 

Turtleback made three points: (1) total major's isn't a good barometer of GOAT; (2) major winning percentage is a better barometer; and (3) the widespread use of total major's was at least in part due to Jack's own focus on that as the barometer.  

 

The only thing you've said that's relevant to any of those was that winning percentage doesn't account for level of competition--and even that isn't particularly insightful since it equally affects the total major count.  

 

Meanwhile you repeatedly accuse the guy who started the thread of missing your irrelevant point that people consider factors in addition to total majors? Not to mention calling him rude when he says you're missing his point, then making it "simple" so he can understand that he's the one missing your point.  Fantastic.  

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

This is the real problem with Turtleback's contention.  There is no common denominator to make any sort of a formula work.  I still say that the main contenders are too far separated from any measurable standard that direct comparisons are invalid.  Most never played against each other, at least not in any meaningful way.  They used different generations of equipment, played on courses which evolved through the years from barely more than a groomed pasture to the primped and preened tracks of today.  The most significant factor, major tournaments, varied in the actual tournament used in the metric (Western Open - Really?), the style of play (match vs. stroke), even in the level of competition (amateur vs. professional).   

 

Baseball statisticians have come up with a way to account for some of this.  For example, this is supposed to let you compare players across minor leagues, major leagues, and historical eras.  

 

Quote:

Equivalent Average. A measure of total offensive value per out, with corrections for league offensive level, home park, and team pitching. EQA considers batting as well as baserunning, but not the value of a position player's defense. The EqA adjusted for all-time also has a correction for league difficulty. The scale is deliberately set to approximate that of batting average. League average EqA is always equal to .260.

 

With strokes gained putting, perhaps the statistical revolution is on its way to golf.

post #3461 of 4304
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsc123 View Post

 

Who started this topic?

 

Turtleback made three points: (1) total major's isn't a good barometer of GOAT; (2) major winning percentage is a better barometer; and (3) the widespread use of total major's was at least in part due to Jack's own focus on that as the barometer.  

 

The only thing you've said that's relevant to any of those was that winning percentage doesn't account for level of competition--and even that isn't particularly insightful since it equally affects the total major count.  

 

Meanwhile you repeatedly accuse the guy who started the thread of missing your irrelevant point that people consider factors in addition to total majors? Not to mention calling him rude when he says you're missing his point, then making it "simple" so he can understand that he's the one missing your point.  Fantastic.  

 

 

 

 

 

Baseball statisticians have come up with a way to account for some of this.  For example, this is supposed to let you compare players across minor leagues, major leagues, and historical eras.  

 

 

With strokes gained putting, perhaps the statistical revolution is on its way to golf.

 

Not really, even for baseball, its all theoretical. Its not hard science. There is just more statistics guys in baseball, and its statistics driven.

 

Basically how basically sabermetrics work is, they look at each play, what was the score before and after. So each event is given a value based on the runs it produced. For example, a HR will produce runs because its a HR. But it also looses runs because now your on base situation has gone from lets say, man on third and second to no men on base. Now the next batter's run potential has gone down. Also even though a hit is a hit. A single is less productive than a triple. So that's how they compare different years, by this runs produced. But the problem still is. Lets say your comparing Babe Ruth's era to our era. Would Babe Ruth have had as many HR's in our era. I think the overall athletic ability, the overall training, is different than was back then. So Baseball has done a good job at this, but its not perfect.

 

Not sure if you can do this for golf. Each shot is a shot. I know have strokes gained, but that is based on comparing that particular stat to the field. Strokes gained putting changes each round. Its all about how well that person is at something above someone else. Its not really assigning a hard metric to it. So strokes gained does compare you to the field you are currently playing against. Its a good way to give you the now, but there is still the trouble of assessing overall talent.

 

I guess the thing you could do is, if USGA had historical numbers on the slope and course ratings of all the touranments. You could handicap the tournaments, and compare scoring average. to me that would be the best metric there. Then you can say, ok the field average scoring was 75, for this slope and raiting. That makes it a 79. Modern day course, scoring average was a 78, but for that slope and raiting its a 82. So this course was harder. Now just take the differential between the two players. So the player A might shoot 70 on a 79 course, 9 strokes. Player B shoots a 69 on and 82, which is 13 strokes better. 

 

So over a career you can judge the talent level by how difficult the course is. No matter what, tough courses are tough courses, and scoring is a direct relation to player ability. So if Tiger has a differential average of 15 compared to jacks 13. Then Tiger is two strokes better on the field, that has been adjusted by USGA handicap rating. So your basically handicapping the field, bringing the baseline equal.

 

That's how i would do it. Cause i don't think you can take each individual shot, to me scoring average based off some reference is the best metric of a golfer. Of course you can go into wins as well. But if a person has the best scoring average for the week, there going to win. If that lines up with a major, i guess you can come up with some sort of clutch factor. They got that for Baseball sabermetrics as well. So maybe, jack's major scoring average differential is the same as tiger. So Tiger might be a better golfer overall, but in major's there the same. 

 

That's how i would take it.

post #3462 of 4304
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

Agree on all points, but our legal system is based on the premise of "innocent until proven guilty".  Given the absence of any evidence of guilt there's no requirement for Tiger to provide evidence of innocence. 

 

 

 

That is true, in a court of law. It doesn't really impact the court of public opinion, which is where we reside right now. In the court of public opinion Tiger's relationship with a Dr. who has been all around PED's is part of the conversation. I hear it all the time in local golf circles, which is why I brought it up here.

post #3463 of 4304
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

 

Not really, even for baseball, its all theoretical. Its not hard science. There is just more statistics guys in baseball, and its statistics driven.

 

 

 

 

So, assuming you had the data, you could calculate everyone's handicap.  Then you could figure out the avg pro HC, the avg under-par (adjusted) to win, or place top 5 or whatever, and from that create some sort of scale.  You can't have one perfect stat that tells the whole story--like you said, even baseball's attempts have their shortcomings--but it could help inform the discussion where people now tend to throw up their hands and say you can't compare players from yesteryear to today.  

 

They probably don't have that data though.

post #3464 of 4304
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsc123 View Post

 

So, assuming you had the data, you could calculate everyone's handicap.  Then you could figure out the avg pro HC, the avg under-par (adjusted) to win, or place top 5 or whatever, and from that create some sort of scale.  You can't have one perfect stat that tells the whole story--like you said, even baseball's attempts have their shortcomings--but it could help inform the discussion where people now tend to throw up their hands and say you can't compare players from yesteryear to today.  

 

They probably don't have that data though.

 

The tough part is, USGA doesn't have slope or course ratings. So we can't compare the golfers on an even playing field. Could we compare 1980's golfers to now, yes. Go back to Hogan, no we can't.

post #3465 of 4304

I just read this whole thread all at once. My head hurts.

post #3466 of 4304

Bottom line is that in the end, you win a tournament by using the least strokes.  All the other stats, driving distance, strokes gained putting, fairways, etc. aren't that important if you don't win.  Snead has the most wins.  Nicklaus has the most majors which everyone agrees has the hardest competition.

 

"if you're not first, your last" - Reese Bobby

post #3467 of 4304

Let's forget what Tiger says about Majors (which is his OWN goal) for a second.  Am I the only one that looks at 79 wins as the true metric?  Tiger has won 79 times over 18 years while Jack won 5 less tournaments over 25 years.    Snead won 82 times over 30 YEARS.  And I'm sure half of those 82 wins were bullshit tournaments with bullshit competition and 4 or 5 (I forget the exact number) of those 82 wins were in team events.

 

Tiger is a victim of his own personal major goal and we have all jumped on him.  Forget what Tiger SAYS his goals are and let's all use a bit of common sense here.  He has won more tournaments than Jack, will win a TON more than Jack and will win and TON more than Snead.  Really, that's the only metric that should be used.  While I feel Majors are important, I also feel we all have gone WAAAY overboard on using majors as the ONLY metric on someone's career (especially Tiger because he has been a prolific winner).

 

Back to the majors, he's got another 35 majors minimum to win 4.  Way to early to make the call on GOAT right now if we are using THAT as the metric.

 

Lastly, it's much easier to win majors when you aren't chasing a particular number.  Jack had the freedom to play in majors without the non stop scrutiny of reaching a "number" like Tiger has to deal with.  Every time Tiger tee's up at a major, there is unprecedented WORLDWIDE coverage, WORLDWIDE press, and WORLDWIDE negative talk on if he is capable.  We all have NO IDEA the level of stress and expectation that can put on an individual.  Jack NEVER had to deal with that, EVER.

post #3468 of 4304
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

To make it very simple, you're missing the point that virtually nobody truly applies a single metric when they determine, for themselves, who they feel the GOAT is.

 

If that were the case everyone would say "Jack" right now. They don't. They use a mix of things and weight them as they wish.

 

I guess the rudeness honors are now even.  The fact is that most of the golf world still holds to the "most majors = GOAT" metric.  That may not be the way the poll here came out, but it is pretty clearly the majority position, particularly in the media.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

 

The tough part is, USGA doesn't have slope or course ratings. So we can't compare the golfers on an even playing field. Could we compare 1980's golfers to now, yes. Go back to Hogan, no we can't.

However they DO have the scoring figures for all of the players.  They already make an attempt at this with the adjusted stroke average that is now used for the Vardon Trophy.  Instead of using raw scoring average they adjust the scoring average to account for the average scoring of the field.  For example, Tiger's raw scoring average is 69.96.  But his adjusted scoring average is 68.62 because the events he play tend to be on tougher courses leading to a higher field average.

 

Since we can never know how two players of different eras would stack up against each other in real time I think that the best way to make an assessment between players is how they stack up relative to their contemporaries.

post #3469 of 4304
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchott View Post

I don't agree with any of this. How come nearly every pro golfer strives to be eligible to play in the majors? Why were Ernie Els and his fans upset that he wasn't invited to The Masters as he hadn't qualified? Tiger and Jack are not the only players who aim for these tournaments. And for this reason, they measure their and others careers by major wins.

 

If Phil won 42 tournaments with none being majors. he'd be thought of as the second coming of Fred Couples, minus Fred's Masters win. I'm not demeaning Couples, but in his era, he's a lesser golfer than Nick Price, Sir Nick Faldo and Greg Norman without doubt. Mick's career is great because of his 5 major's.

They do that NOW, but it wasn't always that way.  Some majors didn't exist (pre-Masters), some majors weren't played (WW2), and some major were too expensive in time and money to warrant playing (British Open).  As I have documented, before Jack came along hardly anyone in the prior era had even played all four majors in a year.

 

And if striving to be eligible to play is that significant, then consider that nearly every pro golfer strives to be eligible to play in the WGC events and the Players.  Maybe they SHOULD become part of the metric.  I have little doubt that they will if/when Tiger reaches 19 majors.  Having the record he will then be able to redefine the metric any way he wants, if Jack's example is any guide.

post #3470 of 4304

I have read about these arguments all the time .how can we really compare.i have looked at the top twenty five winners all time on the pga tour.This is one way to look at competition.

 

In Jacks era,there are six players :Palmer,Casper,Watson,Trevino,Player,Miller.

 

Hogans era there are eight players:Snead,Middlecoff,Mangrum,Smith,Demaret,Runyan,Picard,Nelson

 

Tigers era....so far: two: Mickelson,Singh

 

Now this is the all time winning est golfers on the pga of all time,the top twenty five,the twenty fifth was player who won 24 times on the pga.

My point is i am always reading about how there was no competition.clearly according to this list apparently the most competitive era was hogans.

Granted the era with the most majors won is Jacks,which essentially means he had more competition when playing in the majors,as the players he played against has a higher percentage of winning majors.

Hogan built himself into possibly the greatest golfer of all time.the achievements he made:he was not a natural,and lets face it,i know no one likes to hear it but the incredible fact that he came back from a horrific accident to win six majors before his body finally gave in to the injuries is incredible and HAS to be factored in to any discussion about who is the GOAT.

post #3471 of 4304
Quote:
Originally Posted by far and sure View Post

I have read about these arguments all the time .how can we really compare.i have looked at the top twenty five winners all time on the pga tour.This is one way to look at competition.

 

In Jacks era,there are six players :Palmer,Casper,Watson,Trevino,Player,Miller.

 

Hogans era there are eight players:Snead,Middlecoff,Mangrum,Smith,Demaret,Runyan,Picard,Nelson

 

Tigers era....so far: two: Mickelson,Singh

 

Now this is the all time winning est golfers on the pga of all time,the top twenty five,the twenty fifth was player who won 24 times on the pga.

My point is i am always reading about how there was no competition.clearly according to this list apparently the most competitive era was hogans.

Granted the era with the most majors won is Jacks,which essentially means he had more competition when playing in the majors,as the players he played against has a higher percentage of winning majors.

Hogan built himself into possibly the greatest golfer of all time.the achievements he made:he was not a natural,and lets face it,i know no one likes to hear it but the incredible fact that he came back from a horrific accident to win six majors before his body finally gave in to the injuries is incredible and HAS to be factored in to any discussion about who is the GOAT.

 

But its easier to rack up wins if the competition is weak, right?  

post #3472 of 4304
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deryck Griffith View Post

Jack had the freedom to play in majors without the non stop scrutiny of reaching a "number" like Tiger has to deal with.  Every time Tiger tee's up at a major, there is unprecedented WORLDWIDE coverage, WORLDWIDE press, and WORLDWIDE negative talk on if he is capable.  We all have NO IDEA the level of stress and expectation that can put on an individual.  Jack NEVER had to deal with that, EVER.

Interesting take that I never really considered before.  In and of itself, probably enough to convince a lot of people to go with Tiger if he simply ties Jack.

 

The amount of pressure Babe Ruth had to deal with when he broke the home run record in 1920 (which he set in 1919) had to have paled in comparison to what Roger Maris dealt with in 1961.

post #3473 of 4304
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

They do that NOW, but it wasn't always that way.  Some majors didn't exist (pre-Masters), some majors weren't played (WW2), and some major were too expensive in time and money to warrant playing (British Open).  As I have documented, before Jack came along hardly anyone in the prior era had even played all four majors in a year.

 

And if striving to be eligible to play is that significant, then consider that nearly every pro golfer strives to be eligible to play in the WGC events and the Players.  Maybe they SHOULD become part of the metric.  I have little doubt that they will if/when Tiger reaches 19 majors.  Having the record he will then be able to redefine the metric any way he wants, if Jack's example is any guide.


It's been said in this thread that it's hard to compare among different eras and that's true. But this thread once again, is about comparing Jack and Tiger so none of that matters. And in the last 40-50 years, winning majors has been the metric. Arnie started the modern major talk, Jack ran with it and Tiger measures Jack's record.

post #3474 of 4304
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Recreational Golfer View Post

I just read this whole thread all at once. My head hurts.

Well, there's your problem.  Next time, try reading it one word at a time and it won't be as bad. ;)  P.S.  Love that avatar. ;)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boogielicious View Post

"if you're not first, your last" - Reese Bobby

Yeah, but he didn't really mean it ... he was high at the time. ;)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

The fact is that most of the golf world still holds to the "most majors = GOAT" metric.

Actually, I think Erik is right about that.  People may say that it's most majors, but really, I think if we're honest with ourselves, it's just whatever we feel like, because we don't have to justify our own opinions on this sort of thing.

 

Also, the poll shows that Tiger is in the lead by more than a 2 to 1 margin, so I'd say that "most of the golf world" does not think most majors = greatest.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Random nerdy tidbit:  When people bring strength of field into play, I believe that it only matters when you are talking about tournaments or majors LOST.  I don't think it is fair to consider strength of field solely on tournaments won because you can't scale something properly that is off the end of the scale.  Another reason why I think that your (Turtle) idea of considering percentage of majors won (instead of quantity) has merit.

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