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Strength of Field in Jack's Day and Tiger's Day - Page 10

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

 
  • 14% (10)
    Winning 20 majors in the 60s-80s.
  • 85% (59)
    Winning 17 majors in the 90s-10s.
69 Total Votes  
post #163 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryleal View Post

How many composers of music are there today? How many people write? How many people are there in countless fields of endeavor compare to 50 or 100 years ago. I'm simply stating that just because there are more doesn't make them better, more importantly doesn't make the average better. 50,000 people with songs on youtube-how many Beethovens or Mozarts are there? 100,000 people taking writing classes-how many Shakespeares?
Genius comes along once in a generation or once every few generations. 

There were always more geniuses than people in the 1500s knew of, but they never heard from/of 99% of them. Most of them were slaves or peasants, couldn't write or read, couldn't board a boat or a plane, or simply didn't live in the few areas of Europe whose dictation of history we now accept. You don't think there were dozens of Aztecs who could have played the piano as well as Mozart but were born into a world that hadn't conceived of instruments?

Humans aren't necessarily genetically "better" today, but they certainly have more opportunities to make something out of their genetic gifts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryleal View Post

There is no way to actually test either end of the hypotheses- so it remains just an opinion- and my opinion is that Jack or Arnie or Lee or Tom Watson or Ben Hogan or Sam Sneed or Bobbie Jones  would've challenged Tiger.

Why not Hagan? Or Vardon? Or Taylor? Or the Morrises? You're drawing a line too, as we all are, but you've yet to provide any reason for doing so.
post #164 of 202

graphite was introduced in 1973-all I'm saying is that you can't point to small differences in scoring averages and say "THERE IT IS-PROOF THAT TODAY'S PLAYERS ARE BETTER!!!"- different era used different balls and different equipment making comparisons fun to talk about but impossible to quantify

post #165 of 202

Sure we can.  

post #166 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryleal View Post

graphite was introduced in 1973-all I'm saying is that you can't point to small differences in scoring averages and say "THERE IT IS-PROOF THAT TODAY'S PLAYERS ARE BETTER!!!"- different era used different balls and different equipment making comparisons fun to talk about but impossible to quantify
While a single scoring average doesn't indicate anything ( comparing Jack Nicklaus' scoring average to Tiger's would be a bad idea), looking at the spread of scoring averages is absolutely a valid statistic. There are more than 2x the number of players within two strokes of the leader in the scoring category. That means two times the number of people who play, on average, within two strokes of the very best.

I fail to see how this means the field today isn't more evenly matched than the field of yesteryear. Nobody here appeared to be talking about a straight-up average of scores, comparing the current averages to previous averages. They were comparing how closely bunched these scoring averages were, showing that more people,are playing on the same level as the best than did before.

(Misty_mountainhop provided the scoring average statistics on the ninth page in the 150th post)

As somewhat of a counterpoint to the modern technology argument, one could say that the people before got to play on much easier and shorter courses. Their greens were slower and softer (the debate of whether this is easier or not is on another thread), and the courses played much shorter. Oakmont, for example, is a 7230 yard par 70 course from the US Open tees on their scorecard. In 1973 it was only 6,921 yards and had a par of 71.

I only point this out to show that the changes can go both ways. Equipment helps the modern player, but courses have evolved to be harder in parallel to the technology. The older players played easier courses with harder equipment, the modern players play harder courses win easier equipment is one way of looking at it.
post #167 of 202

Of course there's closer grouping of scores-there's more players in a tournament-no one denies this. The point is that on any given tournament the winner isn't playing against the densely packed averages, he's playing Sunday afternoon, for the few holes that count against the two or three that have risen to the top.

I'm saying that there's no way to quantify if those few have risen higher than days of old-I'm not denying there are more in the middle.Of course there are.

post #168 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryleal View Post
 

Of course there's closer grouping of scores-there's more players in a tournament-no one denies this. The point is that on any given tournament the winner isn't playing against the densely packed averages, he's playing Sunday afternoon, for the few holes that count against the two or three that have risen to the top.

I'm saying that there's no way to quantify if those few have risen higher than days of old-I'm not denying there are more in the middle.Of course there are.

 

 

Yet how does that golfer get to that Sunday grouping, by playing 3 days before. You just can't throw away all those who missed the cut. The fact still remains that today has more golfers with more talent and clearly better golfers than in the 1970's. This increased quantity does in fact translate to it being tougher for players to win. 

 

For example, lets say Jack plays in a tournament, and there are 3 players who have a legit shot to challenge him. 

 

Lets say none of them get knocked out. So that is 3 players he has to worry about. 

 

Now lets say you have tournaments today where you have 21 players who have a legit shot. Lets say half of them make the cut. I am saying 21 players because if you look at scoring average, in 1980 only 11 players broke 71 scoring average. In 2013 there was 84 players who had a scoring average less than 71. So roughly 7 times more. 

 

So now there are 10 players who have a shot to challenge. 

 

The thing is, if you have a lot more good golfers, that spreads through out the whole tournament. Because you still have a higher distribution of better players. A cut just doesn't knock off all the good players. 

post #169 of 202

. The fact still remains that today has more golfers with more talent and clearly better golfers than in the 1970's.

That is exactly the part that you take as  fact and I am stating is an opinion that cannot be proven. I know that many people believe it , I know that many call it heresy that I call it an opinion. Of course you can argue that more players means more hurdles to pass, or more guys that might get a hot hand and shoot a 62. But if you took the top 20% of the players from every tournament --you see the same names 80% of the time. The vast majority of the time the winners are winning by beating a small field and it's the middle getting stretched out-not the top. Not always-but the vast majority of the time.

I think for  many people, praising todays field is  just another way of praising Tiger. The very thread-" isn't todays 17 better than yesteryears 20?"-doesn't that really mean" isn't todays 14 better than yesteryears 18?" 

 

and I will say it one last time- it's america -you are free to believe what you like- but for me- being someone who is well versed in statistics and experimental methods- all of the arguments that I've seen here to 'prove' the point-fall short of being proofs-they remain opinions.

Taking a modern player from the middle-who I admire-no insult intended- a Ricky Barnes for example-according to most of what I've read here-he's better than Arnold Palmer . He's competed against such 'deep' fields. I don't buy it.

post #170 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryleal View Post
 

That is exactly the part that you take as  fact and I am stating is an opinion that cannot be proven. I know that many people believe it , I know that many call it heresy that I call it an opinion. Of course you can argue that more players means more hurdles to pass, or more guys that might get a hot hand and shoot a 62. But if you took the top 20% of the players from every tournament --you see the same names 80% of the time. The vast majority of the time the winners are winning by beating a small field and it's the middle getting stretched out-not the top. Not always-but the vast majority of the time.

I think for  many people, praising todays field is  just another way of praising Tiger. The very thread-" isn't todays 17 better than yesteryears 20?"-doesn't that really mean" isn't todays 14 better than yesteryears 18?" 

 

and I will say it one last time- it's america -you are free to believe what you like- but for me- being someone who is well versed in statistics and experimental methods- all of the arguments that I've seen here to 'prove' the point-fall short of being proofs-they remain opinions.

Taking a modern player from the middle-who I admire-no insult intended- a Ricky Barnes for example-according to most of what I've read here-he's better than Arnold Palmer . He's competed against such 'deep' fields. I don't buy it.

That's not what anybody said. That is you taking an extreme example out of thin air to back your own opinion and theory. Golfers today as a whole are better than golfers of the past. I don't know which golfer today is comparable to which golfer of the past and no one is discussing this. The fact has been stated that golfers as a whole today are better than golfers as a whole from the past. Just like NFL players today are better, NBA players today are better, Olympians are better, and the list goes on and on and on. You can nit pick and take one player and say "There's no way Fowler is better than Trevino!" and I'd agree with you. But I'm not sure how you think it's an opinion to state that golfers as a collective today are better than they were as a collective decades ago. Records are constantly being broken in every sport by new and better athletes as time goes by. You can keep your childhood heroes held on a fairy tale pedestal if you like, that's fine. Just don't refute facts with bias and wishful thinking because you "like" something better. Remember, you already stated that you don't want your "childhood heroes to be brought back down to reality with stats and data".

post #171 of 202
Well said Spyder, you hit the nail on the head there.
post #172 of 202

and you're saying that they are better over and over doesn't make it so- it is your opinion. You want to call your opinion a fact?

You can measure the time of a runner and prove that todays are faster, they're running the same tracks. Not so with golfers. The competitive edge that makes a winner rise above the competition is the piece that makes greatness-sinking the 25 foot putt-when it counts- and that doesn't happen in the middle of the pack.

My heroes are my heroes because they were great-Im not arguing that they were  great because they're my heroes.

And I hate to break it to you- as much as I love a GMac- they won't be talking about him 50 years from now. You say"that's not what anyone said-when I ask about Ricky Barnes vs. Palmer-but isn't that the natural extension of everything you've been saying?- it looks less than plausible in that light-because it isn't that defensible-but truly-it doesn't bother me that you believe what you believe-it bothers me that you present it as fact.

post #173 of 202

I give up.

post #174 of 202
Just my final summarization to help you understand the point we're trying to make @jerryleal:

1- We are NOT saying the best now are better than the best then (that's a point of contention for a different thread)

2- We ARE saying that the average level of play is higher. This is just because more people have access to plenty of time and money to practice (you mentioned Jack Nicklaus could be better with all the benefits of today's players, so the average tour player benefits from it in the same way)

3- We have posted possibly the most telling statistic of them all to prove our point, the comparison of scoring distributions, to show that the fields are more evenly matched than they used to be.


TLDR: The "nobodies" and average tour players today are better than the "nobodies" and average for players of yesteryear because of the technological, training, and financial advantages that players today are offered.
post #175 of 202

Just look at the winning scores for tournaments now. Courses had to get tougher to accommodate the ballooning scores that were happening. Look at Augusta, FORCED to lengthen the course and make it tougher. If Augusta had to change then the strength of the field has changed. 

 

Look at it this way as well. From Jack's first major till his last 46 different golfers won a major. That is 47% majors during that time frame. From Tiger's first major win till today there has been 39 different major winners. Making up 59% of the majors. 

 

That means there has been 12% more golfers with major winning capabilities. Not including those who could have won and didn't. Look at Lee Westwood, always close to winning a major. 

 

The majors have always been called the strongest tests in golf. There has been more golfers now winning majors than before. This speaks loud and clear how much more difficult it is now to win tournaments because of the level of play. If it wasn't that many golfers, then there would have been more golfers who won multiple majors because they would stand out more because of their greatness. Like how Jack stands out in his era. 

post #176 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pretzel View Post

Just my final summarization to help you understand the point we're trying to make @jerryleal:

1- We are NOT saying the best now are better than the best then (that's a point of contention for a different thread)

2- We ARE saying that the average level of play is higher. This is just because more people have access to plenty of time and money to practice (you mentioned Jack Nicklaus could be better with all the benefits of today's players, so the average tour player benefits from it in the same way)

3- We have posted possibly the most telling statistic of them all to prove our point, the comparison of scoring distributions, to show that the fields are more evenly matched than they used to be.


TLDR: The "nobodies" and average tour players today are better than the "nobodies" and average for players of yesteryear because of the technological, training, and financial advantages that players today are offered.

"We"....the voice of sand trap?-funny.

post #177 of 202

I was going to make a point - but I've decided to sit back and see where this thread goes in the next 5-10 pages.

post #178 of 202
Just get on the PGA tour website and compare the stats from last year to 1980. It's that simple. Can't argue numbers.
post #179 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryleal View Post
 

"We"....the voice of sand trap?-funny.


"We".... as in the voice of logic:beer:

post #180 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryleal View Post
 

"We"....the voice of sand trap?-funny.

We the folks who understand the math that supports the hypothesis that the field of today is better than the field of the 60s.  

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