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Jack or Tiger: Who's the greatest - Page 217

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

 
  • 69% (1634)
    Tiger Woods is the man
  • 30% (719)
    Jack Nicklaus is my favorite
2353 Total Votes  
post #3889 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post
 

This is the crux of the debate.  I hear sports analysts always debating if Chamberlain or Jordan were the best in the NBA.  Chamberlain supporters always refer to how he dominated the game with seven scoring titles, 11 rebounding titles, four MVPs and a 100-point game.

 

The Jordan supporters cite the fact that with the exception of Russell, Chamberlain was a giant on the court and that given the height advantage he had he should have led his team to more titles.  They also believe that had Chamberlain played today his lack of height/size advantage, poor work ethic and lack of leadership skills might have resulted in a mediocre career. 

 

The analogy is that while Jack was a giant of his time, he might not have done as well if he had to compete against Tiger, Phil and the other top pro's of today every week.  Would he have had the confidence he demonstrated during his time if he was playing in the shadow of Tiger?  Obviously we'll never know the answer, but I can see the argument that Jack might not be "Jack" if he was born 20 years later.

Yeah, because Phil and the other top pros of today are just so much better than Palmer, Player, Casper, Trevino, Miller (at his best), Watson, et al.  Right?

post #3890 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post
 

 

Actually, it may indeed "cause" Bolt run slower if the other runners are slower. If Bolt absolutely needed to run a 9.70 to win a race because there was someone else in the race with the ability to run close to that, then he probably runs 9.70. But suppose the next fastest guy is going to run 10.30, then maybe Bolt only runs 10.00.

 

If your round 3 lead is 1 shot aren't you going to play differently than if it is 7 shots? I think you are.

Brandon makes a good counter-argument below that I agree with.  But I'd like to go a different route, and say that your argument is precisely why I think that "field strength" isn't a good metric.  Because how could you possibly know if Bolt slowed down or not?  You can't.  He won, and that is all that mattered.  Same is true in golf.  If Tiger wins 15 majors by an average of 3 shots, and Jack wins 19 by an average of 2 shots, does that mean anything at all (other than Jack has won 4 more).  No, of course not.  It could just as easily be argued that Jack had "tougher" competition, or perhaps Tiger "slowed down" because he didn't need to press.  There is no way to know.

 

Competition is not really measurable, but wins are.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bplewis24 View Post
 

 

Except that Bolt didn't ever need to run 9.7 or 19.1.  Both times he blew away the field, and in one of those instances the only person that could have beaten him was injured and not racing.  So that kinda disproves the theory that he would run slower.

Bingo.  The other 7 guys could have false started and he very likely would have still hit those numbers.

post #3891 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenf View Post
 

What a glurge.  "A" for effort, certainly, but the logic...man.

 

Let's work up from the bottom:

 

Awesome. Well researched and well stated..

post #3892 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

Nope. If it were provable, people would have proven it by now.

 

It's not a fact. It's an opinion, and as such, since it can't be proven, it will remain an opinion; one held by, among others, Jack Nicklaus.

 

 

If there are 80 people capable of winning the major being played, then that's far more daunting a task than beating eight, ten, or even twenty other people capable of winning the major. Jack faced far fewer people capable of winning the major than Tiger.

 

 

I'll take the current guys. :)

 

 

Let me put it to you this way. Let's assume that a "star" player is someone who is rated an A. A "good" player is someone rated like "B" or above.

 

Let's assume 100 players to keep things simple:

 

Jack vs. Tiger A Players B Players C Players D Players E Players
Fields in Jack's Era 5 10 30 30 25
Fields in Modern Era 10 50 38 2 N/A

 

I'm just making this up, but this speaks to the point I and others make: the fields are stronger today. If "C" players are capable of winning a major if the stars align, and "B" players simply need a good week, then in which era is it more difficult to win majors?

 

Let's do something crazy, even, and take the "10" in the modern era and make it a "3" and put the other 7 players wherever you choose. Do you still think that with 50 B players it's easy for the top three to win a bunch of majors?

 

Jack had less competition. In fact, you can name most of them (especially if you prefer to ignore the fact that many of the eras in which they won majors overlap at the edges of Jack's time).

 

Of course the stats (major victories) of Jack's peers are similarly inflated - they too benefited from the weaker fields.

 

Here's more of the foundation to my argument: far fewer people played golf at a high level in the 1960s and 70s. There was a much smaller pool of golfers to pull from. There was less money involved, so there was less training. The average ability of the average player on the PGA Tour is way, way higher now. Rather than pulling from the top 5% of pro golfers (making these percentages up, but you should get the point), we're now filling major championship fields from the top 0.5% of pro golfers. There are just so many more of them, that alone raises the bar, undeniably.

Incidentally, speaking of Merion, you may know that four previous U.S. Opens were played there, before Justin Rose won it this year with a one-over total.  One of those could be said to be in Nicklaus's prime -- the 1971 Open, where he and Trevino tied for the 72-hole lead at even par, with Trevino posting a 69 to catch Jack, who -- after a double-bogey at #5 to drop him to even par -- reeled off 13 straight pars to get into the playoff.

 

Among the top six pro finishers in 1971, you had scores ranging up to three over.  Among the top six in 2013, scores ranged up to five over.

 

Among the top six in '71, you had a total of 154 regular-tour wins and 28 major championships.  Among the top six in 2013, there were 109 wins, 11 majors.   (That's including all of the Eurotour wins for Rose and Els, and none of the Eurotour wins for any American player, which heavily favors the 2013 bunch.  It also includes Billy Horschel's one win on the PGA Tour, even though he's the seventh guy on that 2013 list, included here because he was tied with three of the top six, at four shots back.)

 

See how this objective-check-against-relative-finish-comparisons thing works?  You could postulate that the 2013 top finishers had fewer wins (by about 30%) and less than half as many majors only because the fields today are so strong, and your evidence would be (if true) that they shot the same course in the same kind of pressure at a distinctly lower score, proving their superiority as a field despite the win totals.  But the facts don't match, because they actually shot it a little worse.

 

Cut line in 1971:  148 (+8).

 

Cut line in 2013:  148 (+8).

 

Mean score among finishers, 1971:  291.0.

 

Mean score among finishers, 2013:  294.5.

 

There's your more awesome field.

 

In 1981, the year after Nicklaus won the U.S. Open and the PGA at age 40, they played the U.S. Open at Merion again.  David Graham won at seven-under.  Nicklaus shot even par that year.  

 

So, in the two times Nicklaus played the Open at Merion, he shot even par.  Either time, it would've beaten Rose this year.

 

That's just one example of many.  

post #3893 of 4685

Also also:  Just because you haven't heard the proof doesn't mean there are no "people" who have proved it.

post #3894 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by bplewis24 View Post
 

 

In my humble opinion, Jack would still have been Jack because he was that good.  However, I believe he may not have had as many 2nd place finishes as he did.  The rationale behind that being, when he was at his best, he would still be the best.  But when he wasn't, a stronger field would push him further down the list of finishers.  For the sake of this hypothetical, I'm assuming he's not competing against Woods, as it is unfair to both of them to try and project their ability to win in the era of another one-in-a-generation type of talent.  I try and contemplate it as if he was replacing Woods, and vice versa.

 

 

Except that Bolt didn't ever need to run 9.7 or 19.1.  Both times he blew away the field, and in one of those instances the only person that could have beaten him was injured and not racing.  So that kinda disproves the theory that he would run slower.

Re Jack's second-place finishes, what is the evidence that the field is "stronger" today in the sense of having so many more people who actually threaten to win majors?

 

My own somewhat educated and pretty well-researched belief is that you might see some minor reduction, but not as much as nearly everybody thinks.  Sheer numbers might result in the occasional freak result -- they usually in this game, given enough opportunity -- but by and large, it's not going to matter how many Kevin Chappells and Jerry Kellys are making half a million to a million bucks a year down at the midlevel.  Those aren't the guys who wouldn't be contending with Nicklaus, Trevino, Watson, Palmer, Player, Casper, Miller, et al., for major championships most of the time, at the finish.  Occasionally, maybe. Not usually.  Besides, one thing people don't seem to get is that you're not talking about the difference between zero and a lot.  There have always been journeyman players who could have a good week and jump into contention at a major.  And the average score on the PGA Tour today, with an almost endless list of advantages to players today -- equipment, course conditioning, perfect greens pretty much every week, fitness trailers, entourages, perfect clubfitting, a much cushier go of it, no worries about making cuts in the all-exempt structure, etc. -- is typically a stroke or less better than it was 30 or 40 years ago, which is just absurd when you think about it.  I'm not convinced at all, because there really is no evidence to say so, that midlevel players now are any better than they were then.

 

As for the comparisons to sprinters and other athletes, they just don't apply, for various reasons, the most obvious of which is that physical strength and athleticism are only one component that makes up a championship golfer, while they are almost totally what makes a track athlete.  Although it does remind me of this ridiculous argument of how "athletic" today's players are compared with past players.  Nicklaus, for instance, ran a 100-yard-dash time that would've placed something like 5th in the state of Ohio last year.  He was a premium basketball player, as many people know, on a very good team his senior year (19-4, and I think he also played on the Ohio State freshman team), and had been a catcher in baseball and a good football player as well.  Sam Snead was a freak multisport athlete (track, baseball, football, boxing, and just about anything else) who ran the 100 in times that would've put him in the Olympic trials back then.  Watson was a well-regarded footballer and basketballer, with awards.  Hale Irwin was an all-Big Eight defensive back at Colorado.  And so forth.  Against that, you have people swearing Woods could beat 'em all at everything, just because of how awesome he looks and how "intimidating" he's supposed to be (*cough* -- I'd love to see him "intimidate" a Nicklaus, or a Ray Floyd or Irwin).  There's a tint of racism in that, as far as I'm concerned -- the presumption that anybody with even a small percentage of "black" heritage must be a superior athlete -- but probably more than that is just the need for sheep to do the hero-worship thing when prompted by the media, like an extended "Bill Brasky" skit on Saturday Night Live.  

post #3895 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by phan52 View Post

Awesome. Well researched and well stated..

I have to admit, this is the first long post I read with continued interest.

Very well thought out, stephanf.
post #3896 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

Nope. If it were provable, people would have proven it by now.

 

It's not a fact. It's an opinion, and as such, since it can't be proven, it will remain an opinion; one held by, among others, Jack Nicklaus.

 

 

If there are 80 people capable of winning the major being played, then that's far more daunting a task than beating eight, ten, or even twenty other people capable of winning the major. Jack faced far fewer people capable of winning the major than Tiger.

 

 

I'll take the current guys. :)

 

 

Let me put it to you this way. Let's assume that a "star" player is someone who is rated an A. A "good" player is someone rated like "B" or above.

 

Let's assume 100 players to keep things simple:

 

Jack vs. Tiger A Players B Players C Players D Players E Players
Fields in Jack's Era 5 10 30 30 25
Fields in Modern Era 10 50 38 2 N/A

 

I'm just making this up, but this speaks to the point I and others make: the fields are stronger today. If "C" players are capable of winning a major if the stars align, and "B" players simply need a good week, then in which era is it more difficult to win majors?

 

Let's do something crazy, even, and take the "10" in the modern era and make it a "3" and put the other 7 players wherever you choose. Do you still think that with 50 B players it's easy for the top three to win a bunch of majors?

 

Jack had less competition. In fact, you can name most of them (especially if you prefer to ignore the fact that many of the eras in which they won majors overlap at the edges of Jack's time).

 

Of course the stats (major victories) of Jack's peers are similarly inflated - they too benefited from the weaker fields.

 

Here's more of the foundation to my argument: far fewer people played golf at a high level in the 1960s and 70s. There was a much smaller pool of golfers to pull from. There was less money involved, so there was less training. The average ability of the average player on the PGA Tour is way, way higher now. Rather than pulling from the top 5% of pro golfers (making these percentages up, but you should get the point), we're now filling major championship fields from the top 0.5% of pro golfers. There are just so many more of them, that alone raises the bar, undeniably.

 

Looking back at your argument once again, it's even weaker than I thought.  Where is your "I'm just making this up" rationale coming from, anyway?  You're committing the logical fallacy of "begging the question" (a term almost universally misused now), or petitio principii -- essentially just restating a premise as if it were a proven conclusion.

 

Let me try to simplify this:  There is a limited number of players on the PGA Tour, and a limited number of players in the field at any tournament.  What is your evidence that the midlevel players now are significantly better than they were during the Nicklaus era?

 

I'm asking because I have, quite frankly, tons of evidence that they are not significantly better.  Your argument is theoretical, based on made-up presumptions.  Mine is based on actual performance records.  

 

The problem is, you admit making up the ratio of players, and then you use the loose linguistic expression of how your postulate "speaks to" the point you're trying to make.  But you haven't proven your point at all.  You haven't even begun to prove it.  At heart, your argument really is one from authority:  "Everybody knows" players today are just that much better, so let me make up a table with a ratio in it.  Doesn't work.

post #3897 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenf View Post
 

 

Looking back at your argument once again, it's even weaker than I thought.  Where is your "I'm just making this up" rationale coming from, anyway?  You're committing the logical fallacy of "begging the question" (a term almost universally misused now), or petitio principii -- essentially just restating a premise as if it were a proven conclusion.

 

Let me try to simplify this:  There is a limited number of players on the PGA Tour, and a limited number of players in the field at any tournament.  What is your evidence that the midlevel players now are significantly better than they were during the Nicklaus era?

 

I'm asking because I have, quite frankly, tons of evidence that they are not significantly better.  Your argument is theoretical, based on made-up presumptions.  Mine is based on actual performance records.  

 

The problem is, you admit making up the ratio of players, and then you use the loose linguistic expression of how your postulate "speaks to" the point you're trying to make.  But you haven't proven your point at all.  You haven't even begun to prove it.  At heart, your argument really is one from authority:  "Everybody knows" players today are just that much better, so let me make up a table with a ratio in it.  Doesn't work.

At this point you're basically just piling up on top of yourself. Why not wait for a rebuttal of some kind from someone, anyone, before continuing to chase those cars.

post #3898 of 4685
How you can honestly think that when more people are playing golf the quality of players stays the same? Do you think that personal trainers, dietitians, swing coaches, video analysis, ect.... hasn't improved the quality of players?
post #3899 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenf View Post
 

Yeah, because Phil and the other top pros of today are just so much better than Palmer, Player, Casper, Trevino, Miller (at his best), Watson, et al.  Right?

 

Despite your sarcasm--and my dislike of Phil--it can definitely be argued that he is better than several of those players, if not many of them.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by phan52 View Post
 

 

Awesome. Well researched and well stated..

 

Other than it being severely flawed, of course.  Characterizing the 08 Open as a "laydown" by all opponents is asinine and revisionist.  The rest of the post is filled with many subjective assumptions as well.  The whole "he faced no competition because people handed him wins" is tired and completely abstract.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakester23 View Post

How you can honestly think that when more people are playing golf the quality of players stays the same? Do you think that personal trainers, dietitians, swing coaches, video analysis, ect.... hasn't improved the quality of players?
 
While those are fair points, the single greatest aspect of improving the depth of the field is the money.  People can make great livings in golf and that increases the demand for participation at the highest level.  It draws from a wider range of demographics, cultures, regions, athletes, etc.  That's also a part of the reason why they invest so much in their diet, nutrition and fitness: the rewards are great if they maximize their potential.
post #3900 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Jones View Post
 

At this point you're basically just piling up on top of yourself. Why not wait for a rebuttal of some kind from someone, anyone, before continuing to chase those cars.

Like you, maybe?

 

If you have any substantive response whatsoever, feel free to post it.  Otherwise, I'm going to post responses as and when I see the need for it, and you're not going to control that.  I mean this not as hostile in the least, just direct.

post #3901 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post


I have to admit, this is the first long post I read with continued interest.

Very well thought out, stephanf.

Thanks to both of you, very much.  Much appreciated.

post #3902 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenf View Post
 

Like you, maybe?

 

If you have any substantive response whatsoever, feel free to post it.  Otherwise, I'm going to post responses as and when I see the need for it, and you're not going to control that.  I mean this not as hostile in the least, just direct.

Nope. Not like me, I don't think it's possible to answer the question so I would just annoy you by responding with noncommittal expressions like, "I hear what you're saying," and, "yes, that is absolutely a valid point of view." I don't think you'd get any pleasure out of that and besides, I'm wearing a new sweater and don't want to get any foam or spittle on it.

post #3903 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Jones View Post
 

Nope. Not like me, I don't think it's possible to answer the question so I would just annoy you by responding with noncommittal expressions like, "I hear what you're saying," and, "yes, that is absolutely a valid point of view." I don't think you'd get any pleasure out of that and besides, I'm wearing a new sweater and don't want to get any foam or spittle on it.

 

Ah, so I see you don't understand the meaning of "not hostile, just direct," so you just do that internet-commenter thing where you accuse the other person of being out of control, sort of ("foam or spittle").

 

If you have no substantive response, what is the point of your effort to control how and when somebody else posts?  And if you don't think it's possible to answer the question, what's your interest in reading the posts at all?

post #3904 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenf View Post

Ah, so I see you don't understand the meaning of "not hostile, just direct," so you just do that internet-commenter thing where you accuse the other person of being out of control, sort of ("foam or spittle").

If you have no substantive response, what is the point of your effort to control how and when somebody else posts?  And if you don't think it's possible to answer the question, what's your interest in reading the posts at all?
I hear what you're saying.
post #3905 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenf View Post
 

1.  "Far fewer people played golf at a high level in the 1960s and 1970s."  Even assuming that's true, so what?

 

So what? If the simple logic of that statement doesn't make sense to you, you're not what I would call a worthy foe. Is the best player of a pool of ten likely to be the best player from a pool of 10,000? Which city is likely to produce the best basketball player? Los Angeles or Lost Springs, Wyoming?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenf View Post
 

2.  You presume, but cannot prove, that the stats (I think you mean career win totals) of Jack's 1Bs are "inflated" because of a lack of competition -- specifically because of a lack of greater numbers.  Put another way, you merely restate another of your conclusions -- that "more" competition (more players) equals the notion of "better" competition, in the sense of making it harder for top players to win. But you only assume it.

 

It's not an assumption. It's a statistical likelihood. And I'm not using the words "statistical" to imply "proof" - none of this can be proven. But it's a FACT that more players play golf now, and more players have more and better tools available to them, so it stands to reason that the best 100 or 125 or 10 (or whatever number you want to choose) is "better" than the players that existed when they were drawing from a pool of much smaller size and with far less advanced training, knowledge, etc.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenf View Post
 

Do you know who the 100th-ranked player in the world is right now?  Victor Dubuisson.  Yes, that Victor Dubuisson.  104 is Paul Casey (you know him).  106 is Scott Jamieson.  Just behind them is Kevin Stadler.  The five from 95 to 99 are Ryan Palmer, Kevin Chappell, Luke Guthrie, Marcus Fraser, and Sung Joon Park.  I'm sure they're all fine players. But do you really contend that a surplus of players in that category make it harder for Tiger Woods to win a major than it was for Jack Nicklaus, or would've made it harder for Jack to win, if he'd had more of those guys to worry about?  Say it with a straight face. Try it.

 

Those players you listed? They'd have been top 30 in the world in any of the years Jack was winning majors. Who was ranked 95th in 1966? Clue: a club pro somewhere. Jack himself has pointed out that a third of the field back in his days was comprised of club pros.

 

Your argument is weak and entirely subjective. You're doing the same exact thing you accused me of - you think Jack was great, and his competitors were great, so you're putting down today's competitors based solely on your pre-conceived notion. This is not "research" - it's just looking up who is 95th in the OWGR and then sharing with us your opinion that they suck.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenf View Post
 

But the real hilarity of your assumption is its self-contradictory quality.  You appear to be saying that Jack's win totals, and the win totals of his top competitors, were due to the relatively lower number of guys who could shoot 72s and become millionaires without ever winning anything, so there were fewer midlevel players to challenge the top players.  But at the same time, you -- and inevitably others -- will point to Woods' easy wins, runaway wins, unchallenged wins, as evidence of his superiority. Surely you see the irony in that argument.

 

I appreciate your attempts at mockery, but if you knew who I was, you would know it wouldn't work on me. :) Sorry.

 

Golfer A is good but competes against nine other good golfers and 90 average golfers.

Golfer B is good but competes against 79 other good golfers and 20 average golfers.

 

In the first scenario, we'd expect Golfer A to win a lot of majors, but we'd also expect the nine others to win their fair share too.

In the second scenario, we'd expect the major wins to be spread about pretty evenly among 80 people.

 

That is what makes Tiger's ability to get even CLOSE to Jack Nicklaus's that much more incredible, and is in large part why many already feel that Tiger is the better player or the GOAT.

 

Here's what you want me to say: I'm pre-supposing, in a way, that today's competition is stronger. You're darn right I am, because everything logical points to that being a fact, including Jack Nicklaus himself saying as much.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenf View Post
 

These "80 guys" you're talking about, if you put them all together at the same time, were the odds on the winner coming from that group even as good as the top two of Jack's competitors from any phase of his career?  That would be a statistically answerable question. I've got five bucks. How about you?

 

That's not statistically answerable. How many cuts did Jack Nicklaus miss? If you gave me 80 players - say numbers 21-100 in the OWGR - against the top three from any year Jack was playing, the 80 players would win far more often than any of the "Top three." Heck, there would be plenty of weeks your "Top 3" would all miss the cut (assuming they had a cut in an 83-player field). Geez.

 

As someone else pointed out, the bulk of your post is filled with "subjective assumptions." It's simply inconceivable to you that Ryan Palmer could beat Arnold Palmer, when even if his winning percentage was 1 in 10 the fact that there are 100 more of those players today than there were in 1962 makes the overall strength of field stronger, and thus much, much more difficult for Tiger than Jack.

 

The fact that you think 80 PGA Tour players from today would almost never beat even THREE players from Jack's era underscores how fundamentally flawed your subjective assumptions are, because you seemingly desperately want Jack Nicklaus to be seen as great while Tiger is not.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenf View Post
 

3.  What I'm saying can in fact be "proven" in the sense of reaching a fairly high level of certitude.  Not absolute certainty, of course.  But an elevated level that is far better than speculation, assumption, and guesswork.

 

Absolutely none of it can or you'd have done so.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenf View Post
 

4. If you really think you'd want Woods' top four against Jack's top four, well...I'll just let people make of that what they will. If you wanted a real game for Jack's top competition, you might have to go back to Hogan's era and pick up Nelson, Snead, and any other two top guys (I'd probably start with Demaret and Mangrum).

 

I'll tell you what - I'll give you a dentist who quit his practice at age 26 to take up PGA Tour golf, name was Cary Middlecoff, and he won three majors. Or Larry Nelson, who didn't even play golf until he was in his 20s. Those golfers wouldn't earn a PGA Tour card these days let alone win a major. Even Bobby Jones said that Jack plays a game with which he is not familiar - and Jack said the same of Tiger. The game advances, and the competition gets better.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenf View Post
 

5.  Re your repeated reliance on Jack's statements, you can keep repeating it without addressing anything I've said about it, but that isn't an argument, it's a proclamation.  Jack is going to be generous and promotional with the Tour that gave him a chance to be rich and famous. If you know him at all, you know that much.

 

I know Jack pretty well, and he never passes up a chance to talk about how good he was, either. So I'll disagree with you on how to read comments like that from Jack's lips.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenf View Post
 

This is true for the top players as well.  Average strokes for Vardon Trophy winners:  Nelson, 1945, 68.33.  Demaret, 1947, 69.9.  Trevino, 1980, 69.73.  Woods, 2013, 68.98.

 

Were the courses in the same exact condition in all of those years?

 

I don't even need to say more than that - you're not comparing anything alike. Put Tiger - or Ryan Palmer - on the courses Sarazen played and they'd shoot 63s on a bad day.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenf View Post
 

So, around a stroke per round, some years not even that much, despite the differences in course conditioning and player conditioning, all the coaching and entourages, the generally easier setups, etc., and also despite the fact that nearly every pro plays with equipment that has various game-corrective features (including the ball) and a driver that allows the average player to hit it 25-30 farther than they used to.

 

This is getting comical now.

 

If you think the courses as set up now are easier than the ones played in 1962, I'm sorry, but you're clearly on something that's unlikely to be legal over the counter.

 

And regarding the italicized stuff, better equipment makes it more difficult to separate yourself from the field. It has the effect of narrowing the competitive gaps. It does more to raise the levels of the lesser players than it can to raise the levels of the better players ("lesser" and "better" being relative terms). In Hogan's day, you had to be awfully damn good just to keep your ball on the fairway. Today you can mishit your driver five times a round and still get around in 67 strokes.

 

 

You later admit this yourself with the sentence that starts "Ironically." The irony, though, is that you're arguing against yourself in that instance.

 

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenf View Post
 

I'm wondering: Are you aware of the MacGregor experiment from a few years ago, when they brought out a couple of Nicklaus-era persimmon drivers, no-help forged irons, and the old ball?  The average distance that players could hit the old persimmon was something like 245 to 255.  The longer hitters could get it to around 265-270.  Nobody hit it farther than Nicklaus or Snead used to; in fact, nobody even got that far.

 

I remember the experiment, and if you think that given a day or two to practice with the old equipment, modern PGA Tour players couldn't drive the ball as far as Nicklaus or Snead, you're nuts. Tiger even played the PGA Tour with a small-headed, 43", steel-shafted (i.e. heavy) driver, and was routinely pumping it past where Nicklaus would get to. This was back in the days of steel headed drivers, not titanium, and if you want to go back farther than Tiger (I'm including his amateur days too, playing places like the TPC Sawgrass that Jack competed on), John Daly certainly could outdrive Jack whether you gave him a modern driver or a 

 

The simplest experiment that would disprove your belief? Let modern PGA Tour players swing an old persimmon driver, and measure their clubhead speed. The modern driver and ball don't do as well when struck the way you had to hit a persimmon driver and balata ball. Players have developed techniques to hit the modern equipment. Give 'em a day to figure it out, and again, the higher clubhead speeds would win out. Clubhead speeds on the PGA Tour have increased quite a bit from Jack's day, as players have better technique, better science, better understanding of ball flight and launch conditions, better fitness programs, and better equipment. Take away the latter and you still have everything beforehand.

 

Originally Posted by stephenf View Post

 

In sum, you are missing the objective comparison that gives meaning to the relative comparison of players.

 

I've yet to see anything objective - scoring averages are only objective when the difficulty of the courses being played (and the weather, and equipment, and so on) are exactly the same. They are not, thus rendering the scoring average largely subjective.

 

Originally Posted by stephenf View Post

 

It had most of the features of the Tiger Laydown

 

I'm done. You're goofy.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenf View Post
 

Yeah, because Phil and the other top pros of today are just so much better than Palmer, Player, Casper, Trevino, Miller (at his best), Watson, et al.  Right?

 

Yes. Prove otherwise. Oh wait, you can't…?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenf View Post
 

Cut line in 1971:  148 (+8).

 

Cut line in 2013:  148 (+8).

 

Mean score among finishers, 1971:  291.0.

 

Mean score among finishers, 2013:  294.5.

 

So, the course and weather were exactly the same in both of those competitions?

 

Oh, wait, they weren't? :doh::doh: Hmmmmmmm…

post #3906 of 4685

BTW, two additional things.

 

  1. Please multiquote. More on this here.
  2. There are a few people who have the power to restrict you from posting in this thread, stephenf. We use this power sparingly, but I'm considering granting this privilege to Ernest Jones for this thread and you alone. :-) I trust that he'll use the power wisely.

 

Oh, a third thing (the software doesn't allow you to set your list's starting number):

 

  1. Though I've engaged in discussion with you just now, I've made this argument countless times already in this very thread, often against more foes who presented their opinions far better than yourself, and my response above is not a guarantee that I will continue to repeat myself by posting more. Rather my response should be seen as an indication that I was either sufficiently bored or in desperate need of a viable method of procrastination at about 4:45pm on Thursday, October 17, 2013.

 

Now, it's pizza night, so… good luck.

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