I was wrong in detail, but not in the truth of my message: Jones and Hogan were celebrated for winning MAJORS and not for local or regular tour events. I know that congress did not get involved in ticker-tape parades and that it was convenient because that is where the boats came in. My point was very simply that the majors were important events well before Nicklaus came onto the scene. To deny this is quite bizarre. (By the way, I hope that you are not belittling Richard Byrd's exploits flying over the poles in a 1930 plane! Would you have flown in one of those? LOL)
My comment about Tiger and the WGC's was simply to say that for some reason (a very good reason) the Majors are very important to him: because they are very important to "all" of the players out there (I place "all" in quotation marks because I know there are a few odd-balls like Lietzke and others that didn't care too much). Ask tour players what they would prefer winning and I believe the answer would be clear.
We all know that Jack never questioned his own importance (when he was younger especially), but to say that he plotted with Dan Jenkins to make everyone believe that the Majors are important is just a little far-reaching. The majors were always important. Why would Hogan EVER go there with everything that it took (financially and physically). Don't forget that one aspect of the 4 majors was traditionally the challenge of playing golf in distinctly different playing conditions. It took different skill sets to win a US Open, different skill sets to win the Masters, different skill sets to win the British Open, and even much different skills when the PGA was in match play. Unfortunately we are losing that dimension of the Majors, as the Masters is playing more like the US Open and the PGA.
There is surely an added importance of the majors since the 60's, but is that because of Jack's "decree" that it be that way or is it because of television? It would be just like if Tiger declared the WGC's as being the gold standard: that is quite hard to believe.
As far as winning a tournament against the "field," when someone wins, he beats everyone in the field, including those who don't make the cut. It means that you are the "Champion golfer" for that week. Better than everyone else who was there. The person who does that the most in a career, not only in the regular events, but especially in the BIG ones, is the best ever. Jack is not better than Snead ONLY because he won the most majors. You seem to talk like Jack sucked except for the majors!
Do you not think that Snead falls out of the contention for best ever because he couldn't win a US Open? Why do you think he failed to finish it off in the US Open? Because it DIDN'T matter?! Don't you think that in a competitive sport, one of the credentials to greatness is to be able to pull it off under pressure? I always like to say that my mom could make a 2-1/2 foot putt, if it doesn't matter. It's when it matters that it becomes difficult. You can always argue that it didn't matter for Snead, Hogan, Hagen (who I too would put on my top contenders list), but that just doesn't cut the cheese.
Going back to my comment (referring to rolopolo), do you really think that many of the youngsters can play championship golf like Jack? Especially by saying, geez, everyone gets better in all the sports, so they are better than him. Seems to me like there are a lot of shortcuts in that reasoning. As I was saying in my original post, being a champion golfer is not a matter of becoming a better athlete! Yes, there is more to it than hitting it far, having a great swing, knowing about bio-mechanics, and whatever else was posited. Yes, there is a dimension to being GREAT that transcends physical skill/ability/athleticism or whatever you want to call it. In fact, the physical aspects may weigh very little in the end.
Yes, most tour players are good athletes, better athletes, than in the 60's and 70's. But is there a player on tour today that we can clearly pretend to place above Jack as the BEST competitive golfer of all time? (let alone many, like rolopolo wants to imply!)
Of course, only one name could possibly come to mind: Tiger. If his career stands as it is at 14 majors, and another 7-10 regular tour victories (not sure if I am being generous or not), I will have to say NO. Jack would remain the BEST ever. Please remember that I never once said that Tiger could NEVER be considered the best. He just hasn't done enough yet.
As far as being "snide," I was just reacting to my "warm" reception after my initial post (which if you read again is not all that snide. And I am still sticking to my point that athletics is NOT what gets the job done under pressure).