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Jack or Tiger: Who's the greatest - Page 253

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

 
  • 69% (1634)
    Tiger Woods is the man
  • 30% (718)
    Jack Nicklaus is my favorite
2352 Total Votes  
post #4537 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
 

 

I don't think anyone is disagreeing that Jack beat great players, he just beat less of them than Tiger has.

 

Also, doesn't Tiger beating "non-great" players (Bob May, Chris DiMarco, Woody Austin, Rocco Mediate) illustrate the strength of the field during the Tiger era? Hope that makes sense, you asked about players coming out of nowhere. 

 

And you can keep saying 18>14 all you want but there's just more to it than that.

 

 

mvmac, how are those players any better than the ones that Jack beat? How can you quantify that? Add up all of their career wins and then add up all of the career wins of the guys jack beat and Jack's group has more high quality wins among them. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post
 

 

No, but the guy you think is the best ever had a pretty strong opinion about this.  There may be no way of knowing, but there is lots to base an opinion on.

 

 

And the guy you think is the best has said that the 18 majors are his target. Works both ways. 

post #4538 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

Please multiquote rather than have multiple responses in separate posts.

 

I'm not going to go back and look, but off the top of my head, we've got Sean Micheel, Mike Weir, Michael Campbell, Ben Curtis, etc. Todd Hamilton's pretty bad too.

 

The point is not about who won. It's about who could have possibly won. Their equivalents in 1972 or whatever were club pros who had NO CHANCE at all of winning.

 

Jack had to beat 15 or 20 guys. Tiger has to beat 100. Now, yes, some of those 100 have around a 1% chance of winning, but 80 of the players in the field in Jack's day had much closer to a 0% chance.

 

 

No, I don't think that it is, or that you're really reading what I've been saying.

 

 

Okay.

 

Jack's era: 5 A players.

Tiger's era: 150 A players.

 

Go ahead, compare.

 

Do you understand yet why the way you want to look at things is skewed? That any A player from Jack's era is likely going to have more "achievements" than any player from Tiger's era?

 

Seriously, guys: the good guys on the Web.com Tour are better than the average PGA Tour pro during the 1970s. It's probably not even that close.

 

@david_wedzik qualified for the Web.com (then Nike) Tour in the 90s. He can tell you - and he will - that the talent pool has changed enormously since then, let alone from the 60s and 70s.

 

 

I don't think it's impossible at all.

 

If you have to choose the five best basketball players for your high school team, are you likely to get a better team choosing from a pool of 500 students or 5,000 students?

 

Far, far more people - and better athletes at that - play golf now as opposed to the 30s and 40s and 50s when Jack's competition was growing up. The talent pool is deeper - significantly so.

 

Plus, @jamo just wrote an article that quantifies quite a few aspects of this debate.

 

 

Let's be reasonable about this: a club pro had roughly 0.00000000001% chance of winning an event into which he was entered if 10 of the top 20 guys were playing. They had as much chance of winning as a modern +2 handicap golfer has of winning on the PGA Tour. It ain't happenin'.

 

 

You can't, because you cannot compare field strength. The guys Jack was playing against - the half of the fields comprised of club pros - don't even qualify these days (PGA Championship excluded, and when was the last time any of the 20 club pros contended in that?). They don't even make the Web.com Tour.

 

 

I haven't seen anyone state that.

 

Equipment being better narrows the gap. It makes it tougher for the better player to separate himself. Give a 3 handicapper modern equipment and take him back to 1913 and we'd have never heard of Francis Ouimet because that guy would have won by ten.

 

Players are better because they're drawing from a much larger pool of talent, are more driven to put time and energy into practicing because of the tremendous amount of money available, etc.

 

 

Better equipment narrows the gap between "great" and "good enough to win." It reduces that "edge" that better players have that allow them to separate themselves.

 

 

And Tiger has had to beat more guys capable of actually winning the thing than Jack did.

 

 

And I believe you're smoking something. " src="http://files.thesandtrap.com//images/smilies/new/a1_smile.gif">

 

Bear in mind that "the majors" presents a very small sample size. We could include the entire PGA Tour results as a means of assessing the strength of field.

 

But really, it's common sense. The basketball example clarifies this nicely. You take your team from 500, I'll take my team from 5,000. I'm far, far more likely to win with my team, and the best player on my team is more likely to be better than the best player on your team.

 

 

If Jack fans roll their eyes, they may as well plug their ears and hum a tune.

 

18 > 14 is a simplified, simple-minded way to look at things. Talking about strength of field is anything but.

 

Tell you what. Let's go back in time to Phil MIckelson's rookie year, and make a rule that only left-handed (playing) golfers can compete on the PGA Tour or in majors. BAM. Phil wins 25 majors. He wins just about 40% of the events in which he ever plays, particularly the first few years until other golfers switch to lefty and become decent players.

 

Best ever? No. Diminished strength of field.

 

 

Betting on someone who has about a 1% chance is still a wiser bet than betting on someone who has a 0.00000001% chance… which is what you'd be doing if you bet on a good chunk of the field in Jack's day.

 

Basic math, guys. A basketball team from 5,000,000 people is far more likely to beat a basketball team from 5,000 people, assuming the two pools are fairly similar (i.e. the 5,000,000 can't all be pygmies or something).

 



Okay, you pulled me back in. I don’t know why because nothing anyone says is going to dissuade you from your obvious bias. I could shoot holes in every one of your ridiculous arguments in which you bend and tilt numbers in an attempt to provide evidence of something that simply is not there.

“Jack had to beat 15 or 20 guys. Tiger has to beat 100. Now, yes, some of those 100 have around a 1% chance of winning, but 80 of the players in the field in Jack's day had much closer to a 0% chance”
“And Tiger has had to beat more guys capable of actually winning the thing than Jack did.”



from 1962 to 1973 there were 21 different major winners, from 1997 to 2008 there were 22 different major winners. Looks like the odds were more similar than you think.





"Okay.
Jack's era: 5 A players.
Tiger's era: 150 A players.
Go ahead, compare.
Do you understand yet why the way you want to look at things is skewed? That any A player from Jack's era is likely going to have more "achievements" than any player from Tiger's era?
Seriously, guys: the good guys on the Web.com Tour are better than the average PGA Tour pro during the 1970s. It's probably not even that close.
@david_wedzik qualified for the Web.com (then Nike) Tour in the 90s. He can tell you - and he will - that the talent pool has changed enormously since then, let alone from the 60s and 70s."


Again, assuming facts not in evidence. The US population was 203 million in 1974. It was 290 million in 2004. Why would a 30% increase in population result in a 3000% increase in the number of great golfers? It just doesn’t make sense.

"I don't think it's impossible at all.
If you have to choose the five best basketball players for your high school team, are you likely to get a better team choosing from a pool of 500 students or 5,000 students?
Far, far more people - and better athletes at that - play golf now as opposed to the 30s and 40s and 50s when Jack's competition was growing up. The talent pool is deeper - significantly so."

While your 500 vs 5000 analogy is generally correct, that does not mean it applies in every case. At the risk of repeating myself, I will again point out the Belgium vs US soccer results. The US population is 28 times that of Belgium. Cuba has proven to be better than the US at baseball, BASEBALL! Exceptions to this generality abound. The state of Pennsylvania has produced FAR more NCAA wrestling champions than the States of California, New York and Texas COMBINED.As far as “better athletes” is concerned, I’m assuming you mean they are better because they start at a younger age and have better physical and skills training techniques, which really has to be eliminated from the discussion as it’s comparing apples to oranges. Surely you can’t possibly believe that people are physically superior to what they were one or two generations ago. Genetics and evolution simply don’t work that way.

"18 > 14 is a simplified, simple-minded way to look at things. Talking about strength of field is anything but."

This goes to one of the main points of Jamo’s argument that I disagree with. He (and you) contends that the number of major victories is a weak indicator of greatness due to its arbitrary nature. That’s like saying post season performance in the World Series is a weak indicator of greatness because it’s an arbitrary collection of 7 games. Performing under the attention, scrutiny and heightened pressure of a major tournament, much like a World Series game or an NBA finals game requires a different skill set than that of a regular tournament. This skill set, while in and of itself doesn’t automatically indicate greatness, is a key component of it. You’ve listed a number of accolades and statistical achievements that Tiger has that Jack does not, but I would point out that when comparing Alex Rodrigues with Reggie Jackson in that same manner Reggie pales in comparison. Arod has a better lifetime BA, more career HR’s and RBI, more league MVP’s, etc. But if I’m putting together a baseball team that I intend to take to the post- season, I’LL TAKE REGGIE ALL DAY LONG THANK YOU VERY MUCH. As I said having this skill set by itself doesn’t necessarily make one great. No one would call Brian Doyle or Scott Brosious great (similarly, Larry Nelson in golf) but in order to be considered great (or near great for the purposes of this discussion) it would be a requirement. I’m not saying Jack was Reggie and Tiger is Arod. What I’m saying is they are both Babe Ruth but Jack’s main competition was 5 or 6 Reggie’s and Tigers was 10 or 12 Arod’s, as evidenced by the fact the main recurring theme of most of Tiger’s major victories was that, while entering the final round with the lead, all he had to do was play solid golf (he was very good at that) and watch all of his pursuers fall apart. I don’t mean to diminish what Tiger did because playing solid golf when you have to is not easy. It is generally accepted ( and evident in most cases)that playing with the lead is harder than playing from behind and Tiger was VERY good at it, yet his competitors were VERY bad at playing from behind, and that’s supposed to be easier. The golf commentators would point to Tigers intimidation factor as the reason but I think that’s nonsense. It’s not like tigers going to knock them on their ass. They all knew they were playing the golf course and not Tiger. It was the pressure of the moment that got to them. They simply could not handle it, therefore; NOT GREAT.
post #4539 of 4685

rb72 makes a great point about proving yourself under the brightest microscope. Major wins do exactly that. Anyone can make a putt when it does not count, but try making one when everyone is watching or when it really matters to you in some competition or another.

 

The 18 wins matter. I could not care less about the guys at the bottom of the field. There were a hell of a lot more than 20 or 30 guys that could win back in Jack's day. We know this because they actually won tournaments. And the guys that win majors today are pretty darn elite, except on very rare occasions as has been laid out.

 

The 150th guy today may or may not have been competitive back then because he would have been doing all the same things those guys did. Who the heck knows how he'd have fared. The fallacy in the whole argument is thinking a guy playing today's clubs and balls can actually go back there. He can't. Nor can Jack in his prime come forward to get to play with all the new toys we play with. He may have gone wild playing today's equipment. Impossible to know.

 

Who is the more fierce competitor, a guy who wins 10 world championships or one who wins 0 world championships? If the guy who won 10 competed 50 years ago, would it make his feat any less impressive? Hardly. Nor would it make today's run of the mill guy the better competitor.

 

Lastly, since people like to argue that jack's 18 are not worth as much as Tiger's 14, which 4 should he give back?

post #4540 of 4685

I'm going to attempt to be short, because this is about the 100th time I've made the same points… and I'm sure it's getting tiresome for all.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abu3baid View Post

I concede if we are going to talk about 1% or less of winning.. "So, you are saying there is a chance!!!l". In the end, they are no names who basically have no chance... Statistical anomalies should rarely be spoken realty..

 

Tiger still has to beat 20 A players and 130 B players, while Jack had to beat only 20 A+B players and could largely ignore 130 C players.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abu3baid View Post

You make some good points, but I really want to contest Tiger having to legitimately going through 100 players to win... Come on now.. Back to the 500$ bet on the 115th player and his 1% chance.. At what point does that become 5% chance for example? I think there are still just a handful of guys that can win tournaments each and every week..

 

Let's use the PGA Championship as an example that illustrates both sides:

1) Rickie Fowler has what % chance to win the PGA Championship this year? Greater than 1%? How about Tim Clark prior to last week? He was #153 in the world.

2) What percentage chance do the 20 qualifying PGA professionals (the club pros) have of making the cut, let alone being on the first page of the leaderboard at the PGA Championship in a few weeks?

 

Tiger (or whomever) has to beat Rickie Fowler, of whom there were very few in Jack's day (guy has one PGA Tour win, no majors, etc.), and most of the rest of the field is comprised of players like Tim Clark. The guy was #153 entering last week but clearly had the game to win on the PGA Tour.

 

Contrast that with your answers to #2, which should basically be "about three or four will make the cut" and "no chance to be on the leaderboard," and then realize that half to one-third of the field was comprised of club pros in Jack's day, and the next level above them were not much better.

 

Jack faced very, very few "B" and "A" level players.

 

Here's another way to put it: the PGA Tour back in the 60s and 70s was a lot more like the LPGA Tour now than the PGA Tour now. On the LPGA Tour, you have 5-15 top-level players, and then a few decent players who can win any given week if it all comes together for them, and then a bunch of scrubs. The leaders are often -10 and the cut line comes at +4. The gap is huuuuuuuge.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abu3baid View Post

I concede that the average player these days is better than the average player bak then.. What I'm asking and questioning are the top 10 better than the top ten back then.. Saying that is not a fair look because the modern players have more competition is just not cutting it for me!

 

Then you don't understand that a golf tournament is not contested amongst only the top ten, but everyone in the field. In Jack's day, much of the field had no real chance to win. Today, virtually everyone has a chance.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abu3baid View Post

Also, I will give you 10 American soccer players and their pool while I'll take 10 German players and tier pool and I will put your theory to test and see how that works out... ;). What do you think?

 

@turtleback answered that already.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post
 

Size of Pool

While I agree totally that a pool size of say 500 million people will produce more talent than a pool size of say 100 million people, I don't think it can be simplified to this argument. If it were this easy then you really would see more major winners coming from out of nowhere.

 

Incorrect. They do not come from "out of nowhere" because they have to qualify to play on the PGA Tour or to play in the majors themselves.

 

I'm saying, and this is pretty much fact, that if you take only the top 150 players, they're going to be more talented when you choose from 500,000,000 than 100,000,000. That speaks directly to the depth of the field.

 

We're not talking about a Tin Cup scenario here. It's disingenuous to act as if that's my argument.

 

The entire rest of your post is skewed because you care only about the victories, and who finished high in those events, and as has been stated many times, just as Jack played against weaker fields and benefitted by winning more often, so too did Arnold Palmer, Billy Casper, Lee Trevino, etc.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post
 

Jack won 18 times. Tiger 14.

 

Again, a very simple mindset and approach to what I see as far more complex. You're certainly entitled to think that way, but I'm also as entitled to think that boiling down a subject to "18 > 14" is an awfully silly way of looking at it.

 

BTW, Jack used to count his U.S. Am wins until Tiger started winning majors and had one more U.S. Am win than he did…

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post
 

And if today's 100th ranked guy were playing in 1913 we'd still know about Ouimet. The 100th ranked guy today wouldn't know a niblet from a mashie and his wedges had not yet even been invented. I doubt he could putt on those greens anyway.

 

Agree to disagree. He'd have demolished the guys back then.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post
 

If Tiger Woods played in jack's era with jack's equipment, would he have 18 majors? Maybe. Maybe not.

If Jack played today with today's modern equipment, would he have 14+ majors? Maybe. Maybe not.

 

There is simply no way of knowing. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

 

And your eyes are too nostalgic.

 

Jack would not have 18 majors playing in Tiger's era. Not only would Tiger have taken a few off him (Tiger wouldn't have 14, either, as the reverse would likely be true), but the depth of field would have prevented him from getting as many. Nor would he have finished second so many times.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post
 

mvmac, how are those players any better than the ones that Jack beat? How can you quantify that? Add up all of their career wins and then add up all of the career wins of the guys jack beat and Jack's group has more high quality wins among them. 

 

Seriously… The guys Jack played against and lost to were also benefitting from the same weak fields as Jack.

 

Of course Arnold Palmer's major total is higher than Phil. Phil played against much, much, much stiffer competition than Arnie. Or Jack. Or Greg Norman.

 

You can't keep using the win totals of contemporaries. It's the same kind of simple math as "18 > 14."

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rb72 View Post

Okay, you pulled me back in. I don’t know why because nothing anyone says is going to dissuade you from your obvious bias. I could shoot holes in every one of your ridiculous arguments in which you bend and tilt numbers in an attempt to provide evidence of something that simply is not there.

 

It's not a "bias." It's an opinion, and one I feel I've backed up fairly well. But it's fine that you disagree - and I won't go labeling your opinion with the word "bias."

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rb72 View Post

from 1962 to 1973 there were 21 different major winners, from 1997 to 2008 there were 22 different major winners. Looks like the odds were more similar than you think.

 

The field matters too. Not just the winners. The major winners from 1997 to 2008 were better golfers that week, on average, than the winners from 1962 to 1973.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rb72 View Post

Again, assuming facts not in evidence. The US population was 203 million in 1974. It was 290 million in 2004. Why would a 30% increase in population result in a 3000% increase in the number of great golfers? It just doesn’t make sense.

 

You do realize we would have to consider far more than the U.S. population. The first two things that spring to mind are obviously a) the WORLD population (and not the growth of the world population, but the ADDITION of the world population, as golf was very U.S.-centric in Jack's day), and b) the motivation (the $$$$) available today, that drives more people to actually PLAY golf - in other words, the participation levels. Additionally, those on the Tour have more incentive and more drive to compete, to practice, etc.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rb72 View Post

"I don't think it's impossible at all.
If you have to choose the five best basketball players for your high school team, are you likely to get a better team choosing from a pool of 500 students or 5,000 students?
Far, far more people - and better athletes at that - play golf now as opposed to the 30s and 40s and 50s when Jack's competition was growing up. The talent pool is deeper - significantly so."

While your 500 vs 5000 analogy is generally correct, that does not mean it applies in every case. At the risk of repeating myself, I will again point out the Belgium vs US soccer results.

 

@turtleback already addressed this point. We don't care about people who will never play soccer. We care only about the size of the pool. Adding the rest of the world and skyrocketing purses has greatly increased the size of the "golfer pool" from which we draw.

 

Again, PGA Tour events were half local club pros in Jack's early years. Now we have 150 exempt PGA Tour players, another 150 on the Web.com Tour, and thousands more who are close or try to get through Q-School. The 150 on the Web.com Tour are better than the club pros from Jack's day. Heck, most of the people who attempt to qualify via Q-School are better than the club pro's from Jack's day.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rb72 View Post

The US population is 28 times that of Belgium. Cuba has proven to be better than the US at baseball, BASEBALL! Exceptions to this generality abound. The state of Pennsylvania has produced FAR more NCAA wrestling champions than the States of California, New York and Texas COMBINED.

 

Wrestling is big in PA. We have a bigger pool of wrestlers. Canada produces more hockey players than the U.S. Guess what? That also completely makes sense.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rb72 View Post

This goes to one of the main points of Jamo’s argument that I disagree with. He (and you) contends that the number of major victories is a weak indicator of greatness due to its arbitrary nature.

 

No, it's not arbitrary, nor have we ever said that.

 

Number of majors won is a factor, but it must be considered in context. That context includes the strength of the competition.

 

Again, imagine that the year Phil Mickelson turned pro, the PGA Tour limited all events (and the majors did too) to only players who played left-handed. Phil would have likely blown away records for wins, majors, etc. Who was his competition? Heck, Mike Weir might have ten majors, Nick O'Hern might have eight… etc.

 

Strength of field is a key piece in figuring out how difficult it was to win a major, and how good one has to be to win 20 in the 60s-80s or 17 in the 90s-10s.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rb72 View Post

That’s like saying post season performance in the World Series is a weak indicator of greatness because it’s an arbitrary collection of 7 games.

 

I think you're using the word "arbitrary" incorrectly.

 

If you took an arbitrary (i.e. random) seven game sample throughout the year, and assigned the team who went 7-0 the title "world champions," then that would be an arbitrary way to determine that, yes.

 

A playoff is not.

 

But imagine if MLB had four powerhouse teams (say one each of the Yankees and Red Sox in both the National and American leagues) and the rest of the teams were equivalent to the 2006 Pittsburgh Pirates. It would not be surprising if the four teams often met in the World Series and won a fair share of them.

 

The Pirates equivalents would occasionally win a wild card round, but the odds that they'd play above their level while the YankSox teams played below their level in the second round, the League Championship Series, or the World Series (it'd be a pretty big fluke to get a 2006 Pirates team to the World Series) are slim to none.

 

Jack played against a lot more 2006 Pittsburgh Pirates teams (I chose the year "arbitrarily" from the 20-year shitty gap between post-season appearances. Their record was 67-95 that year.) than Tiger does.

 

* Baseball's a bit goofy since there's no real salary cap, so you can have some pretty stinky teams. Like the 2006 Pittsburgh Pirates. In modern day PGA Tour level golf, virtually everyone "spends to the salary cap" because if they don't, there are 1,000 guys waiting to take their place on the PGA Tour.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rb72 View Post

You’ve listed a number of accolades and statistical achievements that Tiger has that Jack does not

 

That's usually @turtleback's job, actually. :)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rb72 View Post

I would point out that when comparing Alex Rodrigues with Reggie Jackson in that same manner Reggie pales in comparison. Arod has a better lifetime BA, more career HR’s and RBI, more league MVP’s, etc. But if I’m putting together a baseball team that I intend to take to the post- season, I’LL TAKE REGGIE ALL DAY LONG THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

 

And you'd find a lot of disagreement there. But that's kind of off-topic, and I don't particularly care about Reggie Jackson, so…

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rb72 View Post

No one would call Brian Doyle or Scott Brosious great (similarly, Larry Nelson in golf) but in order to be considered great

 

Since you brought up Larry Nelson, I have a question for you: were the odds that someone could take up the game at age 21 and win three major championships greater in 1968 or in 2008?

 

I know how I'd vote.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rb72 View Post

What I’m saying is they are both Babe Ruth but Jack’s main competition was 5 or 6 Reggie’s and Tigers was 10 or 12 Arod’s, as evidenced by the fact the main recurring theme of most of Tiger’s major victories was that, while entering the final round with the lead, all he had to do was play solid golf (he was very good at that) and watch all of his pursuers fall apart.

 

a) Jack said the same thing - he'd just play solid golf and let others fall away. And the argument could easily be made that in Jack's day they were more likely because they were worse players. :)

b) It's tough to lose majors when you're winning by 12 or 15 shots. I don't care how good the people behind you are - it just ain't happenin.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post
 

rb72 makes a great point about proving yourself under the brightest microscope. Major wins do exactly that. Anyone can make a putt when it does not count, but try making one when everyone is watching or when it really matters to you in some competition or another.

 

:doh: It's a straw man.

 

More people are capable of playing better today than in Jack's day. The fields are much, much stronger. Tiger - or anyone - have to beat far more players today than the players did 40 years ago.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post
 

The 18 wins matter. I could not care less about the guys at the bottom of the field. 

 

You don't care because it suits your opinion. The guys in the field matter today - they have a chance to win. They did not in Jack's day. (That also speaks to how poorly Jack's cuts record stands up to Tiger's.)

 

Just because you don't care doesn't make it a relevant point.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post
 

There were a hell of a lot more than 20 or 30 guys that could win back in Jack's day. We know this because they actually won tournaments. And the guys that win majors today are pretty darn elite, except on very rare occasions as has been laid out.

 

It's a circular argument. The guys who won are elite because they won. Never mind that they were playing against a bunch of schlubs, so winning was much easier.

 

Thought experiment for you:

Clone Jack Nicklaus and enter him 150 times in a 150-player field. How many majors or tournaments does Jack Nicklaus Clone #32 win?

Do the same for Tiger. How many times does Tiger Clone #121 win?

 

Now keep Jack as who he is, and put 149 club pros in the field. How many times will Jack win? Not all of them, but a lot more than Jack Nicklaus Clone #32 will win in his tournaments.

 

Those are the extremes of the scale, but Jack played closer to the "149 club pros" end of the scale and farther from the "150 Nicklaus Clones" end than Tiger has.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post
 

The 150th guy today may or may not have been competitive back then because he would have been doing all the same things those guys did.

 

Wait, what? You just wrote "because he would have been doing all the same things those guys did?"

 

I don't even know how to respond to that because, to me, it's so stupefying that you would even say that. You've completely missed the point if you think transporting players and making them perform as if they were in that era is a relevant point. Tim Clark probably wouldn't even play golf if he grew up in the 30s to the 50s. But the fact of the matter is that the 153rd ranked player in the world just won the Canadian Open.

 

He's 153rd of a HUGE number of golfers, which makes him the top 0.00001% of golfers, as opposed to the guy ranked 153rd in Jack's day, who was perhaps only the top 0.01% of golfers.

 

Tim Clark is a much, much better golfer than the 1964 equivalent of the 153rd ranked player in the world. That scale does not extend all the way up to #1, but at anything outside of the top 10, it's extremely likely.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post
 

The fallacy in the whole argument is thinking a guy playing today's clubs and balls can actually go back there.

 

Nobody is talking about that.

 

Well, you are.

 

Golf is a fair sport in that everyone gets the same equipment, plays the same course, and plays under the same Rules. In other words, you simply must beat your opponents.

 

That's why discussing the competition is so relevant. You can only beat the guys against which you're competing. Tiger's done it 17 or 79 or whatever number of times. Jack did it 20 or 72 or whatever number of times. Arnie did it in the majors 7 times. Phil Mickelson has done it 5 times.

 

A top-level college football team today (let's say whoever ended up ranked fifth last season) would likely CRUSH the first NFL teams, even their champions. They're better players today than they were in the 1960s. The Steelers team that didn't even make the playoffs last year would probably win the majority of a series of games against the 1970s Steelers. They're better players.

 

The quality of the competition matters.

 

Heck, you see it in hockey these days, and they literally call it "quality of competition." It's used to assess the play of different lines. The third line forwards might be tasked with playing against the first line of the other team, so while they may have a negative goal differential, shot differential, Corsi Close, Fenwick, etc. they might be a much better third line than another team's third line that plays against the third lines of their opponents and has a positive goal differential, Corsi, etc. because they're playing against stiffer competition.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post
 

Who is the more fierce competitor, a guy who wins 10 world championships or one who wins 0 world championships?

 

Again back to the simple, circular argument.

 

Sergio Garcia is a pretty tough competitor. Ditto Lee Westwood. Henrik hasn't won a major yet. Kuchar. Day. Spieth. All pretty damn good, and far better players than their equivalents in the 60s.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post
 

If the guy who won 10 competed 50 years ago, would it make his feat any less impressive?

 

YES!

 

It's less impressive to win five majors in the 1960s than in the 2010s.

 

Arnie won 7. Phil's won 5. I'm not even particularly a Phil fan but he's a much better golfer than Arnold Palmer.

 

This thread isn't about them, but it continues to make my point: unless you want to take the simple approach that "18 > 14" and consider ONLY those numbers, then you must consider strength of field (among other things) in answering the question posed by this thread. Strength of field is high on the list of those things that you must consider.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post
 

Lastly, since people like to argue that jack's 18 are not worth as much as Tiger's 14, which 4 should he give back?

 

You don't seem to understand the question, or the points being made, if you ask that.

 

How about this: in some sports you get a "degree of difficulty" multiplier. If you do trick A, you get 1.0 multiplier. It's a "baseline" jump, trick, stunt, or whatever. If you do trick B, you get a 1.2 multiplier. It is a significantly harder trick.

 

Who then is better:

  • Athlete A attempts Trick A, does a fabulous job, and earns an average score from the judges (pre-multiplier) of 9.0.
  • Athlete B attempts Trick B, does pretty well, and earns an average score of 8.1.

 

Athlete B wins.

post #4541 of 4685

So much for keeping that short.

 

Executive summary: strength of field matters.

 

Jack (and many of his top-level peers) had significantly better odds of winning any given week due to weaker overall competition. That is summarized in this graph. It's the top end of a bell curve. The red line might represent the top 0.001% of golfers (because you still need 150 golfers to make up a field) while the blue line might represent the top 0.00001% of golfers. The lines represent the bottom players who qualify for the event, Tour, whatever.

 

 

The odds of a player near the red line elevating his game the same weak a green arrow player has a bad week are significantly lower than the odds that a player near the blue line can pull it off.

 

Remember, both areas (red to green arrow, blue to green arrow) must have the same number of lines. You've gotta fit 150 or so lines in both areas. In the red area (the area above the red line), the lines will be spaced out more. They'll be thinner, as the talent level was thinner back then.

 


 

Note that I didn't differentiate between Jack and Tiger. I'm still close to 50/50, but if pressed, will tell you that Tiger's 14 or 17 is a greater accomplishment than Jack's 18 or 20.

 

In my opinion. Based on the above (and others, like Tiger's other accomplishments).

post #4542 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

Here's another way to put it: the PGA Tour back in the 60s and 70s was a lot more like the LPGA Tour now than the PGA Tour now. On the LPGA Tour, you have 5-15 top-level players, and then a few decent players who can win any given week if it all comes together for them, and then a bunch of scrubs. The leaders are often -10 and the cut line comes at +4. The gap is huuuuuuuge.

This is a really good analogy.  And I think it's true of other women's sports as well.  A few have mentioned soccer lately, and I think women's soccer works here.  The US has a really good women's soccer team.  Why?  Is it because our womens soccer training program is way better than our mens soccer training program?  Or is it perhaps because the sport isn't nearly as popular with women in other countries as it is with men, thus, we have less competition?

 

Also consider the Olympics.  The US dominated womens softball because they had no competition (so much so that they eliminated the sport from the Olympics).  We still dominate mens basketball but not like we did back in the early days of the Dream Team.  Why?  Are our athletes that much worse, or is it perhaps because basketball is more popular internationally and other countries like Spain, Germany and Argentina can field some decent teams?  Are Russians now bored with hockey to the point that they don't try anymore?  Or did the entire rest of the World start taking it more seriously, start using their pros as well, and start providing better competition for the Russians?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

Thought experiment for you:

Clone Jack Nicklaus and enter him 150 times in a 150-player field. How many majors or tournaments does Jack Nicklaus Clone #32 win?

Do the same for Tiger. How many times does Tiger Clone #121 win?

 

Now keep Jack as who he is, and put 149 club pros in the field. How many times will Jack win? Not all of them, but a lot more than Jack Nicklaus Clone #32 will win in his tournaments.

 

Those are the extremes of the scale, but Jack played closer to the "149 club pros" end of the scale and farther from the "150 Nicklaus Clones" end than Tiger has.

Another good example.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

 

 

The odds of a player near the red line elevating his game the same weak a green arrow player has a bad week are significantly lower than the odds that a player near the blue line can pull it off.

I watched Tiger sneak by Bob May last night during "Golfs Greatest Rounds" on TGC.  It was an amazing round of golf by both of them and Tiger snuck this one out by the skin of his teeth.  The leaderboard looked like this:

 

Tiger -18

May -18

Bjorn -13

Appleby -12

Chalmers -12

Olazabal -12

Franklin Langham  -11

Notay Begay -10

 

And I tried to imagine what it would have looked like in Jack's day.  Maybe:

 

Tiger -18

Bjorn -13

Olazabal -12

Clark -9

Love III -9

Mickelson -9

Watson  -9

 

Seems like he'd probably have had a much easier time of it back in the day.  Heck, he probably even grinds a little less on a few of the birdie putts down the stretch and "only" finishes -16.  The Bob Mays, Franklin Langhams, and Greg Chalmers of the '60's likely weren't sniffing the top of the leaderboards.

post #4543 of 4685
I understand the arguments being made about strength of field.. In fact, this same argument will be used in 30 years from now to justify how player X is the GOAT even though he only may have 8 majors.. It will be said "hey, he isn't playing scrubs like Tiger did"!
post #4544 of 4685
@Iacas, all that makes perfect sense. But, of course, it doesn't prove the case, becasue the case is unprovable.

Back in the day, in the 1960 Rome Olympics 1500 metres, an Australian called Herb Elliott destroyed the field. He was massively superior to his contemporaries. But, of course, he was running much slower than the guys who break world records today, and the quality of his opposition was vastly inferior.

But I still think he was the most talented middle-distance runner I have seen.

I feel a bit the same about this debate. Elliott was as good as he needed to be. He was an amateur, there was no money in it, he had to work for a living. He trained hard, but nowhere near as hard or scientifically as do the professional runners today. He just trained hard enough - more than hard enough - to win, consistently.

By the same token, I have absolutely no doubt that the golf Woods was playing in 2005 was much better than the golf Nicklaus was playing in 1970. I'm prepared to concede that even having taken account of the improvements in club and ball technology. But the question is, how good would Nicklaus, or Elliott, have been had they been faced with the level of competition that now applies. Some of us believe that their talent and determination would have made them more than competitive. After all, human evolution is slow. What has changed in the last half-century is not human potential, but opportunity. They'd simply have trained harder, and taken advantage of what is now available, and improved.

Others disagree. We'll never know, but neither opinion is irrational.
post #4545 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abu3baid View Post

I understand the arguments being made about strength of field.. In fact, this same argument will be used in 30 years from now to justify how player X is the GOAT even though he only may have 8 majors.. It will be said "hey, he isn't playing scrubs like Tiger did"!

 

If someone's able to get to 8-10 majors, it probably (and perhaps justifiably) will. We'd have to see continued growth. China could be a big source of that growth. Growth within the U.S. is stalled or at the very least slowed dramatically.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chasm View Post

@Iacas, all that makes perfect sense. But, of course, it doesn't prove the case, becasue the case is unprovable.

 

I've never said it does. It's simply the foundation for my opinion. If it was provable, it would be fact, and this poll would be as stupid as a poll asking for the answer to "2+2".

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chasm View Post

Back in the day, in the 1960 Rome Olympics 1500 metres, an Australian called Herb Elliott destroyed the field. He was massively superior to his contemporaries. But, of course, he was running much slower than the guys who break world records today, and the quality of his opposition was vastly inferior.

But I still think he was the most talented middle-distance runner I have seen.

 

I don't know anything about Olympic running, and it could hinge on your definition of "talented," but it sounds like he is not the best middle-distance runner ever. Today's runners are likely stronger and faster.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chasm View Post

I feel a bit the same about this debate. Elliott was as good as he needed to be. He was an amateur, there was no money in it, he had to work for a living. He trained hard, but nowhere near as hard or scientifically as do the professional runners today. He just trained hard enough - more than hard enough - to win, consistently.

 

We cannot keep shaping this debate like that. The question is not how Jack would fare today or how Tiger would fare in the past. The question is how each has fared in their careers. Tiger's faced much stiffer competition.

 

Yes, if Tiger was allowed to be as lazy and still win as often, he may have been. Or maybe he'd have 30 majors by now if he faced Jack's competition and their laziness (i.e. "not training hard").

 

That's not the point, or the discussion. We can't magically morph someone into another era. Tiger is beating stronger fields. Is the "difficulty multiplier" 1.3 or higher? I would say yes, which puts 14 * 1.3 > 18.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chasm View Post

By the same token, I have absolutely no doubt that the golf Woods was playing in 2005 was much better than the golf Nicklaus was playing in 1970. I'm prepared to concede that even havin taken account of the improvements in club and ball technology. But the question is, how good would Nicklaus, or Elliott, have been had they been faced with the level of competition that now applies.

 

That is not the question. At least, it's not the question anyone here is really discussing. Too fanciful, too much whim. "Well, Jack would have trained harder…"? What if he couldn't? What if he had maxed out to get to 18? What if the best he could do now is a Phil-like 5? Or if he trained more, 7?

 

They had the careers (or are having the careers) they had. That's what we can discuss.

 

But, credit where due, at least you're not making it "18 > 14."

post #4546 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

If someone's able to get to 8-10 majors, it probably (and perhaps justifiably) will. We'd have to see continued growth. China could be a big source of that growth. Growth within the U.S. is stalled or at the very least slowed dramatically.
If Tian Guinlang is China's next hope, not sure our next GOAT is comin from there. May take a few more generations. ;)
post #4547 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by rb72 View Post

I don’t think it’s a stretch at all. Is it more likely than that he was only a good golfer playing in a mediocre field as a 29 year old and remained a good golfer in a “deep” field at 59. There’s no way a 59 year old T. Watson has the same physical abilities as a 29 year old T. Watson, and I would venture to say he actually practices and plays far LESS now.


Again, Tom Watson playing well in the 2009 Open is one data point. There's a reason that I used several decades worth of data for the graphs in the article.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rb72 View Post

It has been argued that there were just as many “near greats” in the Tiger era as in Jack’s era but they could not distinguish themselves as clearly because of the “depth” of the field in general.


No. It's being argued that there are more "near greats" in the Tiger era but they could not distinguish themselves because there are so many of these greats players and only so many tournaments/majors in a season.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rb72 View Post

My arguments against that are twofold. One is that the recent performance of Watson while not proving it, strongly suggests that he is a player that would have been able to distinguish himself as a “near great” in any era (and by association, his contemporaries with equal success).


Sure. It's entirely possible that Watson would have been a near-great player in the 2000s. He wouldn't have won as many majors, but he could have still been among the huge amount of near-great players.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rb72 View Post

The other is that there is one player (Phil)during Tiger’s reign and several others (Rory, Bubba, Martin, Adam) post Tiger era, that ARE, or look to be on their way to distinguishing themselves as “near greats”, so depth of field alone does not explain away the absence of more “near greats’ during Tigers reign. I don’t know why it’s so hard for people to accept the possibility that part of Tiger’s success was due to a dry spell of “near greats” during his heyday. It happens all the time in sports. It’s cyclical. There have been dry spells in term of great NFL quarterbacks, MLB pitchers, MLB home run hitters, American tennis players, etc.


You really think that just as golf was getting HUGELY more global the game stopped producing near-great talents (still using your terminology here)? I think it's much more likely that the game started producing so many near-great talents that none of them could distinguish themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmoan2 View Post

If you think club pros are in the same category as guys at the bottom of the cut line in majors right now, you're honestly pretty lost on the level of talent out there. Good club pros these days couldn't even qualify for the PGA Tour, let alone make the cut in majors.


Yup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post

I just checked the Official World Golf Rankings for players currently ranked between 90 and 100 and not one of them has a single PGA Tour win.


That's self-fulfilling. If they won, they wouldn't be between 90 and 100 in the OWGR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post

Now, players ranked above and below that range have won, but it isn't like we are talking about a lot of guys winning a lot of events.


Which shows just how arbitrary the numbers 90 and 100 are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post

If we looked at the players ranked between 130 and 140, the guys rounding out fields today, you have Pat Perez who last won in 2009, Robert Garrigus who last won in 2010, and Scott Brown and John Huh who won B Tournaments, the Puerto Rico Open and the Mayakoba Classic. All of these guys are better than club pros, but none of them has won a major and none has won a primary field tour event in a long time.


Because a) there are so many similarly good players that they are competing with, and b) the amount of events in a season hasn't changed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post

So you'll get your occasional Rich Been or YE Yang winning a major, but these guys are the exception not the rule. If you take the entire world golf rankings top 150, how many have won majors in the past 5 years (there can be only 25 at most, I know) and where are they ranked? Almost all of them are ranked quite high. You can get really long odds on the lower ranked guys to win majors for good reason. It isn't very often they ever do so.


In large part because you shoot way up the OWGR rankings when you win a major. That win also opens doors, allowing you to play in more lucrative (in terms of money and OWGR points) PGA Tour, WGC, and major events.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmoan2 View Post

If you think club pros are in the same category as guys at the bottom of the cut line in majors right now, you're honestly pretty lost on the level of talent out there. Good club pros these days couldn't even qualify for the PGA Tour, let alone make the cut in majors.


Right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by taxgolf View Post

I second that. Every era has his own great player. 

I don't remember why I originally included this post. I don't even remember its context.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abu3baid View Post

They don't really believe that anyone can win though! I think they just say it in jest.. Otherwise, I'd love to see the gamblers out there put $500 for example on the 115 ranked player at the next major! Any takers?

Again though, it's now really all about winning. The person who comes it second often played better than the guy who won.

Think of it this way - which would you rather put money on:

a) The 115th ranked player in 1970 to finish in the top 10 at the British Open, or
b) The 115th ranked player in 2010 to finish in the top 10 at the British Open?

(And yeah, I know the OWGR didn't exist in 1970. Humor me a little. a1_smile.gif)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbishop15 View Post

The debate over whether the strength of field is stronger now or then is just ludicrous to me. Look at literally any other sport, talk to anyone who played/plays/coaches baseball or basketball or football; they'll tell you the strength of field is a billion times better. 

Let's use basketball as our prime example.

Jerry West is regarded as one of the best players to ever play the game. Well-respected by his peers and fans alike. He would get destroyed in todays game. Literally massacred. Players like Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook would tear him apart. 

Bill Russell is regarded as one of the top three players of all time. He was so dominant that was able to lead his Celtics to 11 championships in 13 seasons. In today's era? He wouldn't be regarded as one of the top two players of all time. His modern equivalent is Dwight Howard, who is definitely NOT regarded as one of the top 50 players in history. 

Every decade the talent pool gets better and better for every sport. I'd wager you could stick Mike Trout in the MLB in the sixties and he would rip that league to shreds. I'd wager you could put Adrian Peterson in the NFL in the 1960's and he would run for 3000 yards. I'd wager you could stick Nate Robinson in the NBA in the sixties and just on sheer athleticism alone he would be a All-Star. 

So why is that so hard to imagine for golf? 


I agree that's probably true, but it's almost beyond the point. It's not that today's athletes are intrinsically better than yesterday's athletes, it's that there are so many of those top-tier athletes today that. Micky Mantle might have been just another decent player if he had been born 40 years later. Put Yasiel Puig on the 1950 Dodgers and he probably rakes.

Cy Young never had to face a black man, or a hispanic player, or anyone from Asia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakester23 View Post

Why is it an unfair comparison when its a fact. Every player on tour even the lower tours are concentrating only on getting better. How many guys in Jack's era were afforded that luxury? Better technology (not only in clubs but about the swing) make for a better player.


There's a difference between saying that everyone today is better and that everyone today scores better, for sure. If I had been born 40 years earlier, my average scores would be higher, but that doesn't mean I would have been less talented.

That said, one of the arguments I made in the article (in the context of Walter Hagen) was about how that relative mediocrity only serves to allow the better players to separate themselves. Nicklaus made enough money that he could spend more time focusing on golf than most other players did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post

Size of Pool
While I agree totally that a pool size of say 500 million people will produce more talent than a pool size of say 100 million people, I don't think it can be simplified to this argument. If it were this easy then you really would see more major winners coming from out of nowhere. Here is your list:

Sean Micheel, Mike Weir, Michael Campbell, Ben Curtis, etc. Todd Hamilton. Since these are the very least accomplished to have won a major during the Tiger era, let's examine these players that you believe represent the "anyone" that can win a major today.


There's also Vijay Singh. If he was born 40 years earlier (hell, even 20), he probably never golfs his way off Fiji.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post

And if today's 100th ranked guy were playing in 1913 we'd still know about Ouimet. The 100th ranked guy today wouldn't know a niblet from a mashie and his wedges had not yet even been invented. I doubt he could putt on those greens anyway.


He also would have been raised in the 1900s and (presumably) taught golf on the time-specific equipment and courses. But I'm not entirely sure what theory of time travel you subscribe to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tefunk View Post

It's impossible for anyone to know how that would turn out.


Btw, wasn't Nicklaus a stand out basketball and baseball player in high school as well? Did Woods ever play anything other than golf? So how could you possibly say Woods was/is a better athlete? I'm not saying he was or wasn't, but your making something a fact, that isn't necessarily fact.


Oh c'mon. Everyone in the 1950s was a three-sport high school athlete. There were like 50 kids in a graduating class. a3_biggrin.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post


mvmac, how are those players any better than the ones that Jack beat? How can you quantify that? Add up all of their career wins and then add up all of the career wins of the guys jack beat and Jack's group has more high quality wins among them. 


Again, there are only so many PGA Tour wins to go around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rb72 View Post

Again, assuming facts not in evidence. The US population was 203 million in 1974. It was 290 million in 2004. Why would a 30% increase in population result in a 3000% increase in the number of great golfers? It just doesn’t make sense.


First, that's a very U.S.-specific argument.

Second, it's not even a good U.S.-specific argument a3_biggrin.gif. It doesn't get into the fact that more Americans gained access to golf and golf courses. Here's a quote from an article in GolfDigest linked to in a recent thread:

Quote:
There were about 5 million golfers in 1960. While U.S. population has increased only some 75 percent since then, the number of golfers has more than quintupled to around 25 million.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rb72 View Post

While your 500 vs 5000 analogy is generally correct, that does not mean it applies in every case. At the risk of repeating myself, I will again point out the Belgium vs US soccer results. The US population is 28 times that of Belgium. Cuba has proven to be better than the US at baseball, BASEBALL!


Because you're focusing on just soccer and just baseball. That's why the countries with huge populations (Russia, U.S., China) and long histories of caring about sports (U.K., Germany, etc.) tend to do well at the Olympics.

There was a stat that I read during the World Cup: the best correlation between any one thing and World Cup success is simply "World Cups qualified for." Even more than population, more than GDP. Countries with years of success tend to do better than ones where the sport is new. It's a slow build.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rb72 View Post

This goes to one of the main points of Jamo’s argument that I disagree with. He (and you) contends that the number of major victories is a weak indicator of greatness due to its arbitrary nature. That’s like saying post season performance in the World Series is a weak indicator of greatness because it’s an arbitrary collection of 7 games.


THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT I'M SAYING!

Have you seen the Boston Red Sox this year? They're awful! And they were awful in 2012! Over three years, despite having roughly the same roster, the Red Sox have won the World Series once and missed the playoff twice! Crazy shit happens in small sample sizes with arbitrary endpoints.
post #4548 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post
 

 

 

mvmac, how are those players any better than the ones that Jack beat? How can you quantify that? Add up all of their career wins and then add up all of the career wins of the guys jack beat and Jack's group has more high quality wins among them. 

 

I think Erik answered that already (below)

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

Seriously… The guys Jack played against and lost to were also benefitting from the same weak fields as Jack.

 

Of course Arnold Palmer's major total is higher than Phil. Phil played against much, much, much stiffer competition than Arnie. Or Jack. Or Greg Norman.

 

 

In Jack's era there was a smaller pool of great players, they could rack up more wins, more accomplishments because when they teed it up they only had to realistically beat 20 or 30 players. That is not the case during the Tiger era.  

 

Not saying that Jack wasn't a great player, he'd be a hall of famer in any era you put him in. You just can't simplify the discussion of GOAT to 18>14. 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

Again, PGA Tour events were half local club pros in Jack's early years. Now we have 150 exempt PGA Tour players, another 150 on the Web.com Tour, and thousands more who are close or try to get through Q-School. The 150 on the Web.com Tour are better than the club pros from Jack's day. Heck, most of the people who attempt to qualify via Q-School are better than the club pro's from Jack's day.

 

 

 

During the Hogan/Snead era I actually had a great-great uncle who played on tour when it came out to California. He was a club pro. So guys imagine your local pro who's a solid player, a legit +1/+2, qualifying and playing at the Farmers or AT&T. Hard to imagine right? It should be because a player like that wouldn't even make a living on the Canadian Tour.

post #4549 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
 

Not saying that Jack wasn't a great player, he'd be a hall of famer in any era you put him in. You just can't simplify the discussion of GOAT to 18>14. 

 

Well, you can. Whether or not that's the best method is part of what's being debated… ;-)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
 

During the Hogan/Snead era I actually had a great-great uncle who played on tour when it came out to California. He was a club pro. So guys imagine your local pro who's a solid player, a legit +1/+2, qualifying and playing at the Farmers or AT&T. Hard to imagine right? It should be because a player like that wouldn't even make a living on the Canadian Tour.

 

Perfect example.

 

Again, Jack (and his contemporaries) literally competed against club pros in PGA Tour events. That's honestly not that far off from ME playing against Tiger Woods or even, I dunno, whoever is ranked 100th on the PGA Tour right now.

post #4550 of 4685
Really impressed by all the quoting:-D and the explaining of iacas.

In Holland Soccer is really big. In 2010 we were nearly there. In 2014 we lost unfortunately. We had a tremendous player, Johan Cruijff. For a long time, I would argue he was a better player than Pelé, Maradonna, Messi and on. Cruijff could make other players perform better. I still think he is the best, but the best in his own time. If you watched the national team in 1974, they played exceptional new styled football. Never shown before. But in this day, they would probably loose from an amature team. The place is so much quicker, they couldn't keep up with it.

To me, and my 2c of €, given that time frame, Pelé was the best in his prime, same goes for Cruijff and Maradona. There will be another TW and wie will have probably the same discussion.
post #4551 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

We cannot keep shaping this debate like that. The question is not how Jack would fare today or how Tiger would fare in the past.

On the contrary, that is the only way of shaping the debate that makes any sense at all. Jack didn't play in the present, Tiger didn't play in the past. The only way we have to compare them is to speculate on how each might have performed in the other's era. That may be futile, but it is impossible to have the discussion on any other basis.
Quote:

They had the careers (or are having the careers) they had. That's what we can discuss.

But those careers took place at different times under vastly different circumstances. If our discussion has to ignore those differences, it is meaningless.
post #4552 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamo View Post

Think of it this way - which would you rather put money on:

a) The 115th ranked player in 1970 to finish in the top 10 at the British Open, or
b) The 115th ranked player in 2010 to finish in the top 10 at the British Open?

(And yeah, I know the OWGR didn't exist in 1970. Humor me a little. a1_smile.gif)

 

 

 

 

Funny you put it this way, jamo,  because Bunky Henry was 96th on the PGA Tour money list in 1970 and he had a 9th place US Open and 11th place PGA Championship just the year before that. Never did anything before or after that 1969 year, but he accomplished pretty much what you suggest is only remotely possible. He is the only guy I tried to figure this out about and what do you know, the shoe fit. I found Cinderella indeed. :-)

 

Also, and nearly equally interesting as Bucky Henry, is the fact that Jerry Abbott finished that year 115th on the PGA money list (which probably means he was about the 150th or 170th best player in the world at that time, much lower than your WG ranking of 115) and he had an 8th place finish in the Byron Nelson Classic. I am guessing he was slightly better than "just a club pro".

 

http://www.databasegolf.com/seasons/season_earnings.htm?yr=1970

post #4553 of 4685
Quote:
Originally Posted by chasm View Post

On the contrary, that is the only way of shaping the debate that makes any sense at all. Jack didn't play in the present, Tiger didn't play in the past. The only way we have to compare them is to speculate on how each might have performed in the other's era. That may be futile, but it is impossible to have the discussion on any other basis.

 

Nah. Pointless, futile, whatever you want to say…

 

You can't keep changing things like "Tiger wouldn't have to work as hard as he did" or "Jack would have had to work harder." Too many variables, too much guessing and speculation, etc.

post #4554 of 4685

Nicklaus was a beast. Strong bear of the forest!

 

He had probably the best golf swing also, lots of power in that body. Tons of distance for an average size man. Efficiency.

 

Tiger at his prime, was also powerful, but in all honesty Nicklaus would probably equal or even surpass Tiger with all the advancements of modern golf technology. Though it would be a close call I think... Nicklaus really could pound some drives if he wanted to go max power. I'm assuming that young Jack Nicklaus would be transported into the future with a time machine, and Tiger would play against Nicklaus  who has successfully acclimated himself to modern golf balls and golf clubs.

 

Nicklaus also had relative good consistency I would think. Jack's top 5 finishes in tournaments attest to that fact of consistent golf. In tournament golf strokeplay, I would put my money on Jack Nicklaus... But in matchplay Tiger vs Nicklaus, Tiger would have better chances I'd wager.

 

Tiger Woods is a wreck. Golf broke Tiger's body down, where as Nicklaus is still happily  golfing in his senior days at the Champions tour... as far as I know.

His dominant swing was only in effect in 1990s and early 2000s. Tiger's dominant swing is no more. He has sustained too many injuries. This to me personally was just a sad thing to finally realize because I used to be a huge Tiger fan in my earlier years. Tiger really got me into trying out golf for the first time as a kid. The Tiger effect.

 

 

Maybe this tidbit is slightly skewing my opinion towards Nicklaus's superiority as a golfer over Tiger... Tiger's was not a swing for a lifetime as is plainly evident, sadly.:-(

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