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Who do you think is the best ball striker of all time? Why? - Page 2

post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

I understand your argument, but Hogan played blades where as today a good percentage of pro's use GI irons (Ping G series, cavity backs, etc)  Even the muscle backs of today are more forgiving than the blades of Hogan's era.  Eliminating distance from the equation, I don't think many will dispute that hybrids and more forgiving irons have made it easier for the pro's today to be good ball strikers.

I've seen guys wearing the G series hats but always assumed they were plying the I or S series. Who do you know of that actually plays a G-series on tour? Not doubting you, just surprised.

post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Jones View Post

I've seen guys wearing the G series hats but always assumed they were plying the I or S series. Who do you know of that actually plays a G-series on tour? Not doubting you, just surprised.

 

I remembered Westwood did, but he's since switched to I-20's.  Only pro listed on Pings website using G-series is Doug Labelle.  The rest are Anser, S or I series. 

post #21 of 31

i might put Jim Furyk up there, he's constantly in the top 20 in proximity to the hole from the fairway the past 10 years. This is a guy who isn't long off the tee as well. So he's hitting longer irons into the green than most. 

 

Ben Hogan is probably the most notable. 

 

I think Nick Price is one of the better ball strikers of the 90's, a very very good iron player

 

Moe Norman would be another one as well

post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by clearwaterms View Post

correct me if I am wrong, but as the equipment has changed, so to have the courses and the scores correct?  I am fairly certain that is the case for amateurs.  Pros it might be slightly less noticeable. 

 

Yes, I'm not saying golf is easier now, just different. Pure ball striking is at less of a premium and being able to putt on ultra slick greens (as 1 example) is more important than previously.

post #23 of 31

On most courses the pro's play today, precision ball striking is not as important as when Hogan and others played. Length is the key and even missing the fairway is not a big deal as long as you don't need a long iron from the rough. Even on a 490 yard par 4, the modern PGA pro is hitting a 7-8 iron approach which they can get close. The only exception would be in majors where the rough is up or in the wind or with a pin tucked behind a bunker. In the case of a tough pin position, the tee or approach better give a good angle to the hole. Only courses like Harbourtown, Riviera, AGNG and a few others require real shot making.
 

post #24 of 31

I'd probably select Hogan based on everything I've seen, heard and read about him. Moe Norman would be up there for the same reasons. It's hard to recognize sometimes since we have so much media access to players of today that we didn't have then (or weren't really alive or paying attention at the time like myself). Given the unforgiving equipment they played and what they were able to do, they had to be great ball strikers. 

 

RE: Hunter Mahan, outside of the two obviously bad shots on video, isn't he generally considered one of the better ball strikers on tour?

post #25 of 31
I say Harry Vardon even though it's hard to compare someone from so long ago and not having any video to watch of him. The equipment they used back then was so much harder to play with and be consistent. Also the rules made it so much harder to play when Harry was playing. He was able to hit the ball around 280 yards depending on conditions and if he let it all hang out. Even though that was an occasional drive, you really had to hit it pure to to hit it that far. That was the least of it though. They had no lift and clean rules back then. If the ball plugged anywhere you had to play it where it lay, even on the green. That meant carving the ball out of muddy lies. I remember reading about one instance in the US Open where he had to carve the ball out of a plugged lie on the green and then putt the ball with a chunk of mud on it. He had to actually take into account how the mud would affect the roll of the ball and he made the putt. If an opponents ball was in your way while putting you had to try and make the ball spin around it and make it curve to the hole, there was no marking the balls on the green. The bunkers back then were virtual waste lands with rocks, twigs, mud and whatever else happened to be laying in there. A lot of the time they were trying to just get the ball out of the bunker any way they could much less get it near the hole. The courses were in no where near the pristine condition the courses are now a days. And they had to be consistent for 36 holes a day, not just 18 like they play now. That's a lot harder to strike the ball on the sweet spot over and over.

I don't think a lot of people realize how different the game was back then because of the equipment and the rules.

I would also add Seve Ballesteros as one of the great ball strikers of all time. He could make any kind of shot with any kind of club and had the imagination to make shots no one else could even think of.
post #26 of 31

Sam Snead was a better striker than Hogan, much longer and just as straight. 

He also won more tournaments on the PGA tour than anyone else (82) and a reputed 200+  worldwide.

He scored 59 on several occasions, one of which was in the Greenbrier Tournament, and achieved before Geiberger's.

He was involved in three playoffs with Ben Hogan, one of which was for the Masters, and won them all.

AND----what a swing!!!!

IMHO, only Bobby Locke made a purer contact with the golf ball than Sam.

post #27 of 31

Hogan was good, no denying that, but his was a forced swing.  He had to practice like 10 hours a day to maintain it.  

 

The name that keeps coming to mind for me, which nobody else has even mentioned, is Byron Nelson.  There is no telling what he might have done had he not had more interest in ranching than golf.  Once he made enough on tour to buy his ranch, he just quit.  Say all you want about the lack of competition, but 11 tournaments in a row is still an amazing feat, and he had to be hitting the ball well over an extended period to accomplish that.

post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

The name that keeps coming to mind for me, which nobody else has even mentioned, is Byron Nelson.  There is no telling what he might have done had he not had more interest in ranching than golf.  Once he made enough on tour to buy his ranch, he just quit.  Say all you want about the lack of competition, but 11 tournaments in a row is still an amazing feat, and he had to be hitting the ball well over an extended period to accomplish that.

Per Ken Venturi, in his interview with Feherty :

"Nicholas was the greatest winner of all time. Hogan was the best course manager. Sam Snead was the most aesthetic. And Byron Nelson was the purest stiker of the golf ball that any man ever---No one hit it straighter than this man."

 

So, I think I'll have to go with Nelson as well...

post #29 of 31

Oops. Mis-spelling the name of the greatest, arguably, golfer of any generation: Jack Nicklaus. A product of Ohio, and The Ohio State University.

post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandLaird View Post

 

He has been forgotten in America, because of the jealousy of the American pros, who did not like him taking what they considered to be "their" money!!  After he left the USA, he invited Sam Snead to play in South Africa, and they played 18 matches against each other.  Locke won 17, and the other one was halved!!

 

 

 

It was 12 out of 16.  Still impressive, but not a complete sweep.

 

Following the end of World War II, Locke successfully resumed his career in South Africa in 1946. He hosted Sam Snead, one of the top American golfers of the day, for a series of exhibition matches in South Africa in 1946, winning 12 out of the 16 matches. So impressed was Snead that he suggested that Locke come to the United States and give the PGA Tour a try, advice that Locke quickly followed.

 

Also, he was banned by jealous US pros in 1949 and 1950.  The ban was lifted in 1951, but Locke didn't come back to regularly play in the US.  Plus Locke was mostly known for his putting and actually is credited with the phrase, "drive for show, putt for dough."   Great golfer.  One of the best ever.

post #31 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandLaird View Post

 

He has been forgotten in America, because of the jealousy of the American pros, who did not like him taking what they considered to be "their" money!!  After he left the USA, he invited Sam Snead to play in South Africa, and they played 18 matches against each other.  Locke won 17, and the other one was halved!!

 

 

 

It was 12 out of 16.  Still impressive, but not a complete sweep.

 

Following the end of World War II, Locke successfully resumed his career in South Africa in 1946. He hosted Sam Snead, one of the top American golfers of the day, for a series of exhibition matches in South Africa in 1946, winning 12 out of the 16 matches. So impressed was Snead that he suggested that Locke come to the United States and give the PGA Tour a try, advice that Locke quickly followed.

 

Also, he was banned by jealous US pros in 1949 and 1950.  The ban was lifted in 1951, but Locke didn't come back to regularly play in the US.  Plus Locke was mostly known for his putting and actually is credited with the phrase, "drive for show, putt for dough."   Great golfer.  One of the best ever.

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