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Strength and Depth of Field in Jack's Day and Tiger's Day - Page 12

Poll Results: Loosely Related Question (consider the thread topic-please dont just repeat the GOAT thread): Which is the more impressive feat?

 
  • 15% (14)
    Winning 20 majors in the 60s-80s.
  • 84% (76)
    Winning 17 majors in the 90s-10s.
90 Total Votes  
post #199 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally Fairway View Post

2000 - Tiger 67.79, players under 69.80 is 7 that's right SEVEN

2001 - Tiger 68.81, players under 70.81 is 64 (big change year-to-year)

2002 - Tiger 68.56, players under 70.57 is 34

 

1980 - Trevino 69.73, players under 71.73 is 40

 

So I'm not sure if there is a huge difference or not -

 

using pgatour. com stats - scoring average

I do believe that Tiger absolutely dominated in his early career, which is what those statistics show. I think we're talking about the more recent majors (within the last five to ten years) where more and more players with talent have cropped up as a response to the surge in golf that Tiger created. Around 2006 or so it became more evident that the fields were tougher 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally Fairway View Post
 

I understand your comment about players being within 2 shots of the leader in scoring average, but I do not understand why you are using last year  - nobody dominated the majors last year, not sure if that proves it was harder or not.

But go back to when Tiger was winning a bunch of majors 2000-2001, the number of players within 2 strokes of Tiger were (since the poll deals not with last year but with when it was easier to win multiple majors):

 

2000 - Tiger 67.79, players under 69.80 is 7 that's right SEVEN

2001 - Tiger 68.81, players under 70.81 is 64 (big change year-to-year)

2002 - Tiger 68.56, players under 70.57 is 34

 

1980 - Trevino 69.73, players under 71.73 is 40

 

So I'm not sure if there is a huge difference or not -

 

using pgatour. com stats - scoring average

While I do concede that it has only been closer recently, I would also like to point out that (excluding the three years, 2008, 2010, and 2011 where Tiger was excluded from the scoring average rankings on the PGA website for some reason) that Tiger has never placed lower than second in scoring average at the end of a year. Jack Nicklaus, in 1980, was placed 14th. Perhaps Tiger was more dominant on the whole? I'm not exactly sure what to make of it though, as there are missing years on the PGA website from before 1980 and for three years in Tigers' career.

 

The one thing to note about the 2000 scoring averages is that in 2000 Tiger set a PGA record for the lowest ever season scoring average, meaning it was likely an outlier. I do see your point though, in that Tiger was miles above the field most years in his career. Looking at the statistics it almost surprises me that he hasn't won a major since the 2008 US Open, but I would bet that part of it is a huge mental barrier. I don't know though, just because nobody but Tiger really does.

post #200 of 314

Give the top 100 today clubs. Balls and training technology from the 60s and 70s. Now take the top 100 in Jack's day give them modern golf tech and the benefits of 30 or 40 more years of golf history to learn from. I think the comparison is not a valid one. Tiger back in Jack's day would still be Tiger, wouldn't be anymore or less accomplish ed than he is in his own day.

My opinion.

post #201 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by madolive3 View Post
 

Give the top 100 today clubs. Balls and training technology from the 60s and 70s. Now take the top 100 in Jack's day give them modern golf tech and the benefits of 30 or 40 more years of golf history to learn from. I think the comparison is not a valid one. Tiger back in Jack's day would still be Tiger, wouldn't be anymore or less accomplish ed than he is in his own day.

My opinion.

 

That's not the topic.

 

And virtually everyone agrees that the equipment has hurt Tiger's ability to separate himself on his skill. Tiger might have 20+ majors if they had the same equipment as they had in the 60s. The equipment has helped the players close the gap.

post #202 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

That's not the topic.

 

And virtually everyone agrees that the equipment has hurt Tiger's ability to separate himself on his skill. Tiger might have 20+ majors if they had the same equipment as they had in the 60s. The equipment has helped the players close the gap.

 

Correct we're talking strength of field, not Jack vs Tiger, already got a thread for that.

post #203 of 314

There have been more than one thread on this forum related to the competitiveness of the modern PGA tour Vs days of old.  I admit to my participation.  Like most I just argued without data which for an Engineer a cardinal sin.  So here is my first attempt to "measure" the competitiveness of the modern PGA with days of old.  These data were gathered from Wikipedia and limited to PGA events only.

 

In 1960 there were 45 PGA tournaments, 9 players accounted for a total 27 wins with Arnold Palmer the leader with 8 wins and the next was Billy Casper with 3 wins.  

 

In 1980 there were 45 tournaments.  5 players accounted for 17 wins with Tom Watson the leader with 7 wins and the next leaders were Trevino and Staddler (Craig) with 3 wins each.

 

In 2000 there were 50 tournaments.  6 players accounted for 21 wins.  The leader (surprise) was Tiger woods with 9 wins and behind Tiger for second place (another surprise) was Phil Mickelson with 4 wins.  

 

In 2010 (presented as an anomaly) there were 50 tournaments and 8 players accounted for 16 wins.  There was no leader as they each had 2 wins.   

 

I personally believe the last datum is just a Post Tiger anomaly and someone, maybe Rory, will step up an become the dominate player of his time.  I did pick these years at random without knowing what each datum would show.   Maybe I'll pick 1970, 1990 and the mid years for the next data set.

 

But these data are certainly not the only way to view the tour competitiveness but would seem to indicate to me (other than the 2010 datum)  that regardless of the improvements over the years there are still dominate players and the tour isn't any more or less competitive than in 1960. I am trying to be dispassionate about this and will look at some more data when I get time but am interested in others responses.  I really don't have an Axe to grind here but would like to know the answer to the question (is the modern tour more competitive and less likely to have a dominate player than days gone by?).

post #204 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghalfaire View Post
 

But these data are certainly not the only way to view the tour competitiveness but would seem to indicate to me (other than the 2010 datum)  that regardless of the improvements over the years there are still dominate players and the tour isn't any more or less competitive than in 1960.

 

Charting only the winners does little to speak to the topic of depth or dominance.

 

Consider a golf tournament taking place in the year 2000.

 

Tiger Woods wins it.

 

That does little to tell you about the depth of the field. Was it a PGA Championship (strongest field of any major)? Or did Tiger play a charity event against some high school golfers for fun?

 

Looking at the winners does little to tell you about the depth of the field.

 

Imagine two scenarios, which I'm making extreme for simplicity's sake. The "player ratings" I'm giving to people are going to be of the letter grades as follows:

A) One of the all-time best players.

B) Someone who keeps his Tour card most years, but wins maybe one to three times in a career.

C) A fringe player; he may get his Tour card one year with a hot streak at Q-School, but that's his pinnacle.

D) A mini-tour player.

 

Imagine a PGA Tour field with:

a) 5 A players

b) 20 B players

c) 75 C players

 

You might expect to see the five players win a fair amount, the 20 grab a win now and then too, and the C players to occasionally get a top 5 finish.

 

Now imagine:

 

a) 5 A players

b) 93 B players

c) 2 C players

 

You'd expect to see almost the same results the way you've accounted for things, yet the second field is WAY deeper.

 

Simply put, you're still confusing "winners" with "depth of field."

 

I said in the other thread we really have no way of comparing Tiger to Jack directly, with certainty, but we can make reasonable assumptions and explain with logic the depth of the field.

 

The PGA Tour is ostensibly the 150 best players on the planet. That number doesn't change. If there were 7500 golfers in the world, you'd only have to be in the top 2% of all golfers to make it to the PGA Tour as one of the 150 best. If the pool is 75 million, you have to be in the top 0.0002%.

 

And so, we can round-about compare Tiger to Jack by comparing how they did against the field.

 

Tiger dominated stronger fields MORE than Jack dominated weaker fields, ergo, Tiger was "more dominant" than Jack.

 

BTW, I'm going to merge this thread with this one: http://thesandtrap.com/t/74049/strength-of-field-in-jacks-day-and-tigers-day . @ghalfaire, now you have 11+ pages to flip through. :-)

post #205 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

Charting only the winners does little to speak to the topic of depth or dominance.

 

Consider a golf tournament taking place in the year 2000.

 

Tiger Woods wins it.

 

That does little to tell you about the depth of the field. Was it a PGA Championship (strongest field of any major)? Or did Tiger play a charity event against some high school golfers for fun?

 

Looking at the winners does little to tell you about the depth of the field.

 

Imagine two scenarios, which I'm making extreme for simplicity's sake. The "player ratings" I'm giving to people are going to be of the letter grades as follows:

A) One of the all-time best players.

B) Someone who keeps his Tour card most years, but wins maybe one to three times in a career.

C) A fringe player; he may get his Tour card one year with a hot streak at Q-School, but that's his pinnacle.

D) A mini-tour player.

 

Imagine a PGA Tour field with:

a) 5 A players

b) 20 B players

c) 75 C players

 

You might expect to see the five players win a fair amount, the 20 grab a win now and then too, and the C players to occasionally get a top 5 finish.

 

Now imagine:

 

a) 5 A players

b) 93 B players

c) 2 C players

 

You'd expect to see almost the same results the way you've accounted for things, yet the second field is WAY deeper.

 

Simply put, you're still confusing "winners" with "depth of field."

 

 

I agree with this (above) and you're exactly correct.  What I don't know is the distribution of A, B, and C players significantly different today than in earlier eras?  How would one objectively "measure" that?  I agree what I did doesn't measure the field depth or as I called it competitiveness.  Because it is clear that today's tour scores are, on average, better than in the sixties.  

 

Here is what I have been trying to say.  If we could plot the average score of each tour player in 1960 and then do the same for the tour in 2000 what would we see?  I would think both curves would resemble a "bell curve".  I believe that the "mean or average of the curves would be different with the 2000 tour have a lower or smaller average score.  But if we could "slide" the 1960 tour curve down such that the 1960 average was at the same point as the 2000 average what would we see.  Would the "width" of the of one curve be more that the other?  If the 2000 curve is significantly narrower width than the 1960 curve then one would expect it would be more difficult for an individual player to separate themselves from the rest of the tour than is was in 1960.  But if the curves fit over each other fairly closely (e.g. the widths of the curve are relative the same), then it would not be more difficult to for a 2000 tour player to separate them self form the rest of the tour than it was in 1960.  I concede that either of these could be true and I don't know the answer. 

 

Well  I am going to read the 11 pages and see what I learn.  

post #206 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamo View Post

From something I've been working on:

I took the lists of the top 175 players in scoring average for all the even years from 1980 (as far as the data goes back) to 2012. Then I took the average of those top 175 stroke averages, and unsurprisingly you see a pretty sizable drop from then to now. I wouldn't consider that very pervasive in terms of field depth, but it's worth nothing.

Then I took the standard deviation of the top 175, and again there was a pretty serious drop, but the data was somewhat noisy. I applied a five-year rolling average to remove a lot of the noise, and got this:




That's a pretty serious drop of about 25% in standard deviation. That shows that the scoring is getting tighter - the distance between first and worst (and 25th and 150th) is getting smaller, which indicates that the fields are deeper.

And that's only going back to 1980. I would expect even more extreme results going back to the heydays of Jack and Arnie.

This is what I was talking about.  This would certainly indicate it is getting more difficult to win as the scoring deviation is getting tighter.  

post #207 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

Charting only the winners does little to speak to the topic of depth or dominance.

 

Consider a golf tournament taking place in the year 2000.

 

Tiger Woods wins it.

 

That does little to tell you about the depth of the field. Was it a PGA Championship (strongest field of any major)? Or did Tiger play a charity event against some high school golfers for fun?

 

Looking at the winners does little to tell you about the depth of the field.

 

Imagine two scenarios, which I'm making extreme for simplicity's sake. The "player ratings" I'm giving to people are going to be of the letter grades as follows:

A) One of the all-time best players.

B) Someone who keeps his Tour card most years, but wins maybe one to three times in a career.

C) A fringe player; he may get his Tour card one year with a hot streak at Q-School, but that's his pinnacle.

D) A mini-tour player.

 

Imagine a PGA Tour field with:

a) 5 A players

b) 20 B players

c) 75 C players

 

You might expect to see the five players win a fair amount, the 20 grab a win now and then too, and the C players to occasionally get a top 5 finish.

 

Now imagine:

 

a) 5 A players

b) 93 B players

c) 2 C players

 

You'd expect to see almost the same results the way you've accounted for things, yet the second field is WAY deeper.

 

Simply put, you're still confusing "winners" with "depth of field."

 

I said in the other thread we really have no way of comparing Tiger to Jack directly, with certainty, but we can make reasonable assumptions and explain with logic the depth of the field.

 

The PGA Tour is ostensibly the 150 best players on the planet. That number doesn't change. If there were 7500 golfers in the world, you'd only have to be in the top 2% of all golfers to make it to the PGA Tour as one of the 150 best. If the pool is 75 million, you have to be in the top 0.0002%.

 

And so, we can round-about compare Tiger to Jack by comparing how they did against the field.

 

Tiger dominated stronger fields MORE than Jack dominated weaker fields, ergo, Tiger was "more dominant" than Jack.

 

BTW, I'm going to merge this thread with this one: http://thesandtrap.com/t/74049/strength-of-field-in-jacks-day-and-tigers-day . @ghalfaire, now you have 11+ pages to flip through. :-)

Thank you for doing all of this, I agree 100% with everything and especially the fact golf equipment has narrowed the gap even more in Tigers case, I really think Tiger still has enough in the tank over these next 6 seasons to pull off the majors he needs to break Jacks mark, statistics don't lie and other than total major victories Tiger has been way more dominant.

post #208 of 314

These sissies today would have a hissyfit if they had to play on the greens and fairways back in Jacks day not to mention the equipment.Kinda hard to compare because tiger would not have been able to play the way he did back then because all the technology wasnt around and im not talking about the equipment but the training equipment.

post #209 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aflighter View Post
 

These sissies today would have a hissyfit if they had to play on the greens and fairways back in Jacks day not to mention the equipment.Kinda hard to compare because tiger would not have been able to play the way he did back then because all the technology wasnt around and im not talking about the equipment but the training equipment.


Im pretty sure Tiger would have been fine with the old technology.  http://golfweek.com/news/2014/aug/20/tiger-woods-golf-equipment-nike-golf-irons/

post #210 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aflighter View Post
 

These sissies today would have a hissyfit if they had to play on the greens and fairways back in Jacks day not to mention the equipment.Kinda hard to compare because tiger would not have been able to play the way he did back then because all the technology wasnt around and im not talking about the equipment but the training equipment.


Oh please, and those guys before wouldn't know which end of the wrench to hold to adjust the loft on a modern driver, Tiger would be Tiger and Jack would be Jack, he was born in 1975 and was already scratch at around 11 or 12 and players were still hitting perssimon even in 1987 he would have dominated just as much and probably more the PGA tour had Q school back then now you do that just to make it on web.com.

post #211 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aflighter View Post
 

These sissies today would have a hissyfit if they had to play on the greens and fairways back in Jacks day not to mention the equipment.

 

Bobby Jones probably said the same thing about Jack ;-)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aflighter View Post
 

and im not talking about the equipment but the training equipment.

 

 

They didn't have dumbbells and barbells in the 60's and 70's?

post #212 of 314

You guys are all wrong.  The strongest field ever was when Old Tom Morris had to play Young Tom Morris.  :-P

post #213 of 314

After reading a lot of the posts and especially the more recent ones,  one really does have to ask "does the entire PGA tour really matter or is it just the top players that have a realistic chance to win?".  

post #214 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghalfaire View Post
 

After reading a lot of the posts and especially the more recent ones,  one really does have to ask "does the entire PGA tour really matter or is it just the top players that have a realistic chance to win?".  


In Jack's day, perhaps only 30 players really had a chance to win each week. 1/3 of the field in Jack's day was local club pros.

 

Currently, every player (except maybe some local celebrity type who is given a sponsor's exemption) has a chance to win.

 

That's further proof that the strength of field is stronger these days.

post #215 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aflighter View Post
 

These sissies today would have a hissyfit if they had to play on the greens and fairways back in Jacks day not to mention the equipment.Kinda hard to compare because tiger would not have been able to play the way he did back then because all the technology wasnt around and im not talking about the equipment but the training equipment.

 

Silly argument for 2 reasons  In Jack's case he played with the same equipment and course conditions as the guys he had to play against.  And in Tiger's case, so did he.  It is not like Tiger gets to putt on 21st century greens and his opponents have to putt on 1960s era greens.  

 

And the second argument is that Jack himself said that the technology improvements narrow the quality gap and make it harder for the best players to separate themselves.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
 

 

They didn't have dumbbells . . .  in the 60's and 70's?

 

We sure have then now.  ;-) 

post #216 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by flopster View Post
 


Oh please, and those guys before wouldn't know which end of the wrench to hold to adjust the loft on a modern driver, Tiger would be Tiger and Jack would be Jack, he was born in 1975 and was already scratch at around 11 or 12 and players were still hitting perssimon even in 1987 he would have dominated just as much and probably more the PGA tour had Q school back then now you do that just to make it on web.com.

I guess what im saying is there isnt going to be anyone in Tigers shape including Tiger himself if he played back then because it wasnt part of golf to be in that kinda shape strength wise.The condition of the greens back then were clearly not as good as they are nowadays because of knowledge and equipment to work on greens.I think in any sport its not fair to say the earlier years guys were not as good because things are not the same.

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