Originally Posted by
geauxforbroke
That's a really subjective statement. I'm not going to do research to see if it has merit. I'd be curious to see if you have any stats to back it up.
I did come across a pretty interesting article the other day comparing the strength of the field during Nicklaus's prime vs. Tiger's. They have a method they came up with which seems sound, but I'm sure there have been other analyses performed which are in conflict. Nonetheless, it's interesting, so I thought I would share. The full article can be found here.
The method:
First, the time periods being compared were set at 19621972 and 19972007. Now, I realize that Jack won 7 of his majors after his period. However, using the methodology below, this actually increases the chances of the field appearing stronger during Jack's time than Tiger's (since Tiger has won only 1 major subsequent to his respective "prime" period). For the sake of consistency and unbias, I think the writers just decided to go with the first 10 years after each player's first major.
Then the number of tournaments played for each year during the period was counted up, as well as the number of unique winners for each year. The number of tournaments and the number of annual unique winners was then totaled. Keep in mind that the number of different winners for the whole time span is not the number of overall unique winners, it is the sum of the unique winners for each of the 10 years.
Here are the results:
Category 
19621972 
19972007 
Tournaments

474 
519 
Different Winners 
329 
369 
% Different Winners 
69% 
71% 
Majors 
44* 
44* 
Different Winners 
33 
32 
% Different Winners 
75% 
73% 
*The time spans are actually 11 years, not 10. Therefore 4 majors/year x 11 years = 44 majors.
So what does this all mean? The theory is that the greater the percentage of different winners, the stronger the field. As you can see, the percentages are very comparable. While the field would appear to be marginally stronger in majors during Jack's time, the field appears to be stronger during regular tournaments during Tiger's era. Given that all the percentages are within 6 points, I think it's safe to say there aren't really significant outliers, so we can draw some conclusions from all of this. And what's that conclusion? Tiger is playing against competition that is essentially the same as what Jack faced.
Again, this is just one way to look at it, and I'm sure someone will quickly point out the flaws of this analysis, but I thought it was worth a share.