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Jack or Tiger: Who's the greatest - Page 254

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

 
  • 69% (1634)
    Tiger Woods is the man
  • 30% (716)
    Jack Nicklaus is my favorite
2350 Total Votes  
post #4555 of 4672
You clearly have not been reading the thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by late347 View Post

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.

Tiger has missed a lot fewer cuts than Jack.-Against weaker pros.
Quote:
Originally Posted by late347 View Post

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.

Jack does not play CHampions Tour golf.-Gave it up awhile ago. Ceremonial golfer only now-a-days. Plus so what?-So what if Tiger retired tomorrow? Look at the mans body of work to this point.-Five wins last year too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by late347 View Post

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.

=======

I played over 20 PGA Tour events when I was a younger guy.-Made the cut in almost half.
But I see college kids who probly wont even turn pro with more skill than I had back then.

Y'all are crazier than a 4 dollar bill if you think winning 14 majors now-a-days is just the same as winning 14 back then. 18 aint 14 but 14 aint 14 either.
post #4556 of 4672

The basic irony of this thread never ceases to amuse me. So much hand-wringing over whether Jack or Tiger is the GOAT; the essential reality is that, in golfing terms, they are the same guy. If they weren't, we'd also be asking ourselves whether Faldo, or Seve, or Snead, or Hagen, or Vardon, or Hogan, or whomever wasn't also, perhaps, the Greatest of All Time. In some respects, all of the aforementioned were, too...but for the fact:

 

"Greatest of All Time" doesn't exist. Every man exists only in the time that he is given; for professional sportsmen, in sporting terms, that time ain't long. Jack: the superstar of the 1960s and 1970s; Tiger: the superstar of the 1990s and 2000s.

 

Why are Tiger and Jack so important?

 

1./ In a game dominated, in geographical terms, by the USA, they are both Americans; both of whom competed at their sport within living memory.

 

2./ They are quintessentially American sportsmen - they are to golf as Joe Namath was to football, Joe DiMaggio was to baseball, or Michael Jordan was to basketball. That's why American youths pestered their parents for a MacGregor persimmon driver on account of Jack, or a Nike titanium-balloon-on-a-stick thanks to Tiger - and then went to the driving range or golf course. Tiger & Jack  "moved the needle, " (much as I hate that phrase). Are American sports-obsessed kids ready to get that fixated about a meticulous German or curly-haired Northern Irishman who blows hot and cold?

 

3./ They are both charismatic and looked the part at the peak of their powers. Jack the Golden Bear, Tiger immaculate in his red-and-black Sunday best - in a sport that has seen some truly horrible images [the kids aren't going to look at Daly or Poulter and think, "Now, where do I buy those pants?"]

 

4./.They won - a lot more than anyone else during their respective eras - [see 1./ (above)].

 

In other words, they're both great. Comparison is largely meaningless.

post #4557 of 4672
Largely meaningless to you. Johnny
post #4558 of 4672
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post

 

 

 

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

 

Actually it does not because the nature of the questions are completely different.  If you think the question of what the effect of modern equipment and the strength of fields is anything like the question of what the criteria should be for GOAT than there is not much more to say.  Except that Tiger really had no choice given the fact that it has been over 40 years since Jack convinced the golf world that majors are all that counts for GOAT.

 

If anything you should give Tiger credit for not changing his criteria,  Tiger had a goal and he has stuck too it.  While Jack had the goal of being recognized as the best ever, he kept changing the way of getting there as he failed in his original quest, which was to beat Snead's total victories record.  So then it became the calendar slam - if he could accomplish that he would be the best ever.

 

But that didn't happen and did not look like it would and he came to the realization tht since he had the most majors, THAT should become the criteria, buttressed by his new "most fair way to compare players of different eras", way if looking at majors even though it would be hard to come with a more unfair way to compare Jack with his predecessors because he had far more opportunities than they had.  Jack played in all four majors for 36 years in a row.    Hogan played less than 60 majors in his whole career.  144 opportunities for Jack, less than 60 for Hogan.  So OF COURSE total number of major wins is the only fair way to compare these two.

 

It would be exactly like tiger coming out and saying that the only fair way to compare golfers of different eras is their combined wins in majors, wgc events, and the players.  Of course a big difference is that the golf world would erupt in outrage, whereas they rolled over without a second thought for Jack.

 

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"!

 

Very likely.  And I hope there are people around like me, iacas, and the other Tiger supporters who will look at the overall situation and make a judgement based on the totality of the guy's career and not try to bottle him up by saying he never matched Tiger's 30+ wins in majors/wgcs/players, period, end of story, as so many do with Jack's 18.

post #4559 of 4672
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakester23 View Post

Largely meaningless to you. Johnny

 

Not unless hypothetical propositions are important to you.

 

By all means compare Woods and Mickelson; Faldo and Seve; or any other golfers who directly competed against one another,

 

Unless you can find a way of putting Woods at the height of his powers on the same tee-box as Nicklaus at the height of his powers, all you're left with is guesswork (which can be fun - hence this thread's 300 pages or whatever), but that's all. Nothing provable.

 

Debates about equipment are largely meaningless too; it's like saying, if we dropped Senna, Schumacher, Hunt, and Vettel in Fangio's Maserati....who would win?

post #4560 of 4672
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScouseJohnny View Post
 

Unless you can find a way of putting Woods at the height of his powers on the same tee-box as Nicklaus at the height of his powers, all you're left with is guesswork (which can be fun - hence this thread's 300 pages or whatever), but that's all. Nothing provable.

 

If it was provable we wouldn't need to have a discussion.

 

This is the kind of stuff sports fans do. If you don't care to, don't.

post #4561 of 4672
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post

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. a1_smile.gif

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

Again, that 8th place finish at the Byron Nelson Classic was against a field of scrubs. Occasionally one of the proverbial blind squirrels is going to find a nut.
post #4562 of 4672
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScouseJohnny View Post
 

 

Not unless hypothetical propositions are important to you.

 

By all means compare Woods and Mickelson; Faldo and Seve; or any other golfers who directly competed against one another,

 

Unless you can find a way of putting Woods at the height of his powers on the same tee-box as Nicklaus at the height of his powers, all you're left with is guesswork (which can be fun - hence this thread's 300 pages or whatever), but that's all. Nothing provable.

 

Debates about equipment are largely meaningless too; it's like saying, if we dropped Senna, Schumacher, Hunt, and Vettel in Fangio's Maserati....who would win?

 

It is sports.  Talking about who is better than who is what we do, even though it is unprovable.  But just because something cannot be proven* doesn't mean we cannot talk about it.  Very little in this world outside of the narrow worlds of symbolic logic and mathematics is actually provable.  But for the vast body of things which are not provable w can still collect and analyze information and make inferences, which are not proofs, but are evidence.

 

Debates about equipment are meaningless if you are talking in terms of how Tiger would play with the equipment Jack used (actually we know this one because the equipment with which he blew the field away in 1997 was evolutionarily better than what Jack used, but not the revolutionary difference which came later.  Steel shaft in his small headed driver hitting a balata ball (not positive about the last point but I'm fairly sure).  

 

Where debates about equipment become germane is when we consider the question of whether the improvements in equipment help everyone the same or do they help lesser player close the gap on better players, thereby making it harder for the better players to separate themselves.  Jack said the latter in his 1996 book and it makes perfect sense.  One of the big advantages Jack had (and Tiger had, and now Rory has) is the ability to hit long irons very high in the air so they land softly.  This was a very significant advantage over lesser players.  But then came hybrids that now enable the lesser players to hit similar high soft shots.  And so the gap closes.  One of the big advantages Seve had over his contemporaries was his wonderful hands that allowed him to play short shots around the green that were otherwordly.  But now with the advent of 60 degree and even 64 degree wedges lesser players can do some of the things that only Seve used to be able to do.  And so the gap closes.

 

So the opinion of one of the all time greats is that equipment improvements close the gap.  We can reason how this might happen  No other top notch golfer of now nor then has made a clam that the equipment improvements benefit the better players more.  None of that "proves" anything, but it gives us a good idea of what is very likely to be the truth.

 

*and it doesn't mean it isn't true.  There is a theorem in math that says that in any system that is sufficiently complex there will be statements which are true but which cannot be proven within the axioms of the system.

post #4563 of 4672
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil McGleno View Post

Y'all are crazier than a 4 dollar bill if you think winning 14 majors now-a-days is just the same as winning 14 back then. 18 aint 14 but 14 aint 14 either.

 

That's a good way of putting it

post #4564 of 4672
Quote:
Originally Posted by taxgolf View Post
 

 

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

Really?  Who was the great player of the era between Tiger and Jack?  For me there weren't any.  There were a lot of very very good players, but Faldo and Price were the closest.  Norman could have been but while majors are not the only things they still count for quite a bit and his major record never lived up to his record in non-majors.

post #4565 of 4672
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

Really?  Who was the great player of the era between Tiger and Jack?  For me there weren't any.  There were a lot of very very good players, but Faldo and Price were the closest.  Norman could have been but while majors are not the only things they still count for quite a bit and his major record never lived up to his record in non-majors.
Well somebody has to be the best ... And I'd agree that Faldo fits the bill the best. And he spans the era perfectly; his first major was the year after Nicklaus' last and his last was the year before Tigers first.
post #4566 of 4672

Interesting discussion. One which can be never-ending and is no clear answer on in my opinion.

 

Yes, the competition in Jack his days is most probably much weaker then it is for Tiger nowadays. But if you would be able to put Jack in the present time, with better material, better proffesional guidance both in training as mentally he would probably be a better golfer then he was in his days. Would he win as much, that we can never know, because of the better competition also. Same goes for Tiger, put him in the 60's and his level of playing would probably be less (but maybe even win more?).

 

To me, they both dominated an era in the golfsport, they both were (and Tiger still is) very important for the sport and brought it to the next level. Very impressive.

post #4567 of 4672

I do think that the Jack Nicklaus had more effective golf swing than Tiger. How many times did Jack overhaul his swing, in his primetime of career, as they say? Was Nicklaus swing effective or not?

 

If you look at Tiger's win percentage, I think if I recall correctly, it's a tad bit higher than Nicklaus at the moment... We're comparing win percentage of career (tournies participated/ tournies won)

 

However, the comparison is somewhat skewed from Tiger's point of view. He is competing these days, but he's contending less and less. He has suffered so many injuries and surgeries that his age in numbers terms isn't quite reflective of his physical age, the toll on his body. We shall see if he can recover from injuries in 2015, because this has been a downward trend sofar in 2014.

 

Quote from Paul Azinger:

 

"Jack never made those mistakes. Jack understood that if he could stay the same, he would still dominate. Tiger didn't need to get better. He just didn't need to get worse. He needed to stay the same and he could still dominate, and in his quest to get better, it's kind of backfired on him"

 

I used opine that Jim Furyk's swing is just horrible, but he plays well enough with that swing. His father is his coach, I don't think they're trying to change Jim Furyk's swing anymore.

post #4568 of 4672
If Jack had a more effective golf swing how did Tiger pass him on the all time wins list before he turned 38?
post #4569 of 4672
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakester23 View Post

If Jack had a more effective golf swing how did Tiger pass him on the all time wins list before he turned 38?


well I guess Sam Snead is better than Tiger then...

 

Sam was great golfer though, I'm not denying it... maybe top three golfer... hard to really assess...

post #4570 of 4672
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

So much for keeping that short.

 

Executive summary: strength of field matters.

 

 That is summarized in this graph. It's the top end of a bell curve.

 

 

Others would argue this is the bottom end of a bell curve because, well, they like to argue.  :whistle:

post #4571 of 4672
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakester23 View Post

If Jack had a more effective golf swing how did Tiger pass him on the all time wins list before he turned 38?

 

 

 

Jack had about a million 2nd places finishes. OK, I exaggerated that number a bit, but you get the point. Jack did play against a lot of great players who knew how to win. :-)

post #4572 of 4672

Side Note: Jack may have 73 official PGA Tour wins, but he has 22 other wins from around the world durimng his prime. About 20 of the 22 would have been against players of tour quality. Events like the Australian Open, World Match Play and World Series of Golf. He never gets credit for those wins. 

 

Gokf Digest did a comparison of Tiger's first 73 wins vs. Jack's 73 PGA Tour wins. They give the edge to Jack for some pretty interesting reasons. 

 

Nicklaus' record shows more variety and scope in how it was achieved. His 73 wins were done in 35 events, played over 49 courses. His total reflects a more wider-ranging schedule than Woods, a schedule that had very few limited-field/no-cut events to feast upon; Jack won just six of such tournaments.

 

Woods took strong advantage of limited-field events, with 22 victories, most of them of the World Golf Championship type. Woods' 73 wins were done in 26 events done over 43 courses.

 

Another telling Woods stat is that he built his record by dominating a small group of events; nearly half his victories, 35, have taken place in just six tournaments: Arnold Palmer Invitational, WGC Bridgestone/NEC Invitational, Buick Invitational, BMW/Western, Memorial and WGC American Express Ch. Nicklaus' best domination took place in the Masters, PGA Championship and Tournament of Champions.  

 

http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-tours-news/2012-06/jack-nicklaus-tiger-woods-pga-records

 

 

It is interesting that the pro Tiger group brings up an idea that the bottom of the field in Jack's era was not competitive, but the bottom of the field in Tiger's era, at least in 22 of his wins, did not even exist. Tiger is the undeniable champion where winning limited field events is concerened. 

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