Originally Posted by Parker0065
Jack played fewer but tougher competitors!
Tiger has played somewhat less tougher, but a higher volume of competitors!
Agree. In any given era, there may be 4-5 great players, 2-3 great players, 1 great player, or even none. But in no era are there 50 great players, in any sport. If there are 50 guys with decent odds to win any given major, that may mean there are 50 very good players at that time, but there are no great ones.
That's what today's game looks like to me. The average level of performance seems very high. But there are no standouts. And just watching some of these tournaments, the level of play even of some of the winners hasn't really been all that inspiring.
Sure, today's players have better technology, better instruction, better nutrition, better training regimines, access to ball flight monitors and statistical data, knowledge of more sound putting methods than were once taught, etc. But what is impressive about being born into such an era, rather than an earlier one? To me, the only fair way to compare across eras, is to assume that any player you choose to bring forward, hypotheically, to today's game, would have also had the benefit of all of these advancements. And I think the truly great golfers throughout history, in those condition, would still have found a way to stand out.
To me, looking at the difference in scoring averages from the 100th best player sort of misses the point. To the great players, it doesn't really matter how good the 100th best player is. Look at the spreads from the 1st to the 5th or 10th and you will see something different. Today those spreads are relatively small, just as they were in 1985, another era when there were no great players in their prime.