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Strength of Field in Jack's Day and Tiger's Day - Page 3

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 #37 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post
 

Rather than this devolving into another Jack versus Tiger discussion I think it would be more interesting to try to analyze the quality of the fields themselves and the impact technology has had in terms of parity.

 

In case you didn't see it, I added an article to my previous post.

post #38 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
 

 

In case you didn't see it, I added an article to my previous post.

That's a great article, thanks for pointing it out.

post #39 of 202

its hard to really no unless you played in both era's. but i tend to agree it seems like there more competition from the 90's on.

post #40 of 202
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.
post #41 of 202
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.

 

Kinda looks like it flattens out there in 1980. I would guess it might increase at a much less rate due to technology and the stability in the game of golf at the time. I mean 1980 was years after Arnie won his last Major, and Arnie put a shot in the arm for the game of golf with the popularity he had. 

 

Also couple that analysis with the scoring average lowering as well. Just shows that the depth isn't just because golfers are all coming together at a weaker position. There is just a lot more better golfers out there. 

post #42 of 202
All good stuff. Also interesting that the poll is 97-3.
post #43 of 202

All the adjusted scoring averages on the PGA site and the gap to second place - or who is this Luke Donald and did he do anything interesting in 2011? I don't think the actual number means anything since one year could have been abnormally wet for some tournaments or who knows what. Like others have pointed out, in a standard year leading average is in the 69 to 70 range with a large number within a few shots of that. Take 2008, a non-Tiger year, 69.12 and 122 players within 2 strokes. As opposed to 2007 where the gap between Tiger and second place consumes a large chunk of 2 strokes.

 

I highlighted exceptional performances (more than a few tenths gap) and find it interesting relative to some of the questions/thought I have seen here and about. Tiger won hands over fist prior to 2010 but not since, well yea prior to 2010 for long stretches at a time he convincingly and consistently introduced new orifices into the competition, since 2010 just looks like another PGA tour pro (scoring average wise). Ditto Tiger's so called aura and "weak" competition that "folded" at the sight of him pre 2009 and is not scared now.

 

Is Tiger a victim of his own success? Yea I think his performances have been so insanely spectacular at times that it might be natural to jump to the conclusion the competition was weak. A lot of current players grew up watching Tiger and consciously or subconsciously accept what he did as "normal" or the new standard. That represents a paradigm shift that I think will be part of Tiger's legacy.

 

But the result of that paradigm shift is that we have a talent pool of 100 guys?, more?, that can win any time. In addition, on any give week maybe 2 or so will play in freak of the week mode for a week or two then we have a new batch playing freak of the week. I'm not talking about having a good round here and there I'm talking about what I think is at the heart of the Patrick Reed arrogance thread. It's like the old joke, "My brother thinks he is a chicken ... That's terrible can't you get some help for him? ... Yea I suppose but we can really use the eggs". Or "Patrick Reed thinks he is a top 5 player ... that is ridiculous! ... yea I know but it helped him win three times so far".

 

It's not just that the fields are deeper and more talented, add in this freak of the week effect on top of that. But I think overall it is bad for golf.

 

After all that I'm not willing to give the nod to Tiger for 17 over Jack for 20. If the wording was "more difficult" rather than "more impressive" it would be Tiger by a landslide. But for me that number is one of the lesser interesting aspects of Tiger's career anyway.


1980 69.73 .22
1981 69.80 .21
1982 70.21 .12
1983 70.61 .01
1984 70.56 .19
1985 70.36 .08
1986 70.08 .11
1987 70.09 .12
1988 69.38 .08
1989 69.49 .00
1990 69.10 .39 Norman
1991 69.59 .04
1992 69.38 .23
1993 68.90 .21
1994 68.81 .37 Norman
1995 69.06 .53 Norman
1996 69.32 .25
1997 68.98 .12
1998 69.13 .08
1999 68.43 .74 Tiger
2000 67.79 1.46 Tiger
2001 68.81 .25 Tiger
2002 68.56 .91 Tiger
2003 68.41 .24 Tiger
2004 68.84 .14
2005 68.66 .38 Tiger
2006 68.11 .75 Tiger
2007 67.79 1.50 Tiger
2008 69.12 .05
2009 68.05 1.24 Tiger
2010 69.61 .05
2011 68.86 .39 Donald
2012 68.873 .031
2013 68.945 .040

post #44 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by colin007 View Post


No way.

The strength of field has risen astronomically since 2005 or so. The average pro now is so much better than the average pro from Jacks day it's not even funny.

Note that I'm not saying the greats from yesteryear weren't great, they were. But players ranked #10-100 now would DESTROY the similarly ranked guys back then.


How would the modern player do with balata balls and wooden woods...no way to compare...I agree there are more good players today (on the whole) but the top players from the 60s-80s would more than hold their own and would in my opinion DESTROY the modern players without benefit of the modern technology.

post #45 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by colin007 View Post


No way.

The strength of field has risen astronomically since 2005 or so. The average pro now is so much better than the average pro from Jacks day it's not even funny.

Note that I'm not saying the greats from yesteryear weren't great, they were. But players ranked #10-100 now would DESTROY the similarly ranked guys back then.

 

 

So------ Vettel is a better driver than Brabham or Fangio because he had a faster car. Is that what you are saying?

If I raced my 2010 Lexus against a 1940 Aston Martin and won would than mean that I was a better driver than the guy in the Aston?

You are way off.

The apples and oranges analogy is appropriate.

Nicklaus, with modern equipment would tower above all but a few (if not one) of the current players in their prime.

Tiger would have been a great player with old equipment.

post #46 of 202
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.

You can test the hypothesis to show that the data is showing significance.  T-test of the means.

post #47 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ho Chi Chi Vinh View Post
 

How would the modern player do with balata balls and wooden woods...no way to compare...I agree there are more good players today (on the whole) but the top players from the 60s-80s would more than hold their own and would in my opinion DESTROY the modern players without benefit of the modern technology.

 

Better equipment elevates the weak, it doesn't allow the top to separate themselves more.

 

Better equipment speaks to making it more difficult on Tiger, not on Jack. It was a GOOD thing for Jack that the equipment wasn't so good back then. It widened the gap between him and others.

 

It's an opinion, but I think Tiger is a better golfer than Jack.

post #48 of 202

I read an article one time about how modern equipment basically took away a big advantage off the tee for Greg Norman because it allowed so many players to hit the ball as long as he did.

 

Seems like Norman's PGA Tour rank in driving stats should be relevant since his career overlapped eras.

post #49 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post
 

 

Of course.  One of the big advantages the big guys had in Jack's day is that THEY could afford planes and easy travel while the restof the tour drove from event to event and stayed in cheap motels.  Frank Beard's book _Pro_ gives a very good picture of what tour like was like for a very very good player (he won the money title in the year the book is based on).

 

 

 

So Jack was wrong when he said the exact opposite thing in his 1996 book (extensively quoted in the other thread)?

 

You reasoning is also off klter, since thsoe HoF players you are talking about ALSO benefitted from the weak fields of the day.  Just ask yourself, if Trevino was around in his prime today would he win more than MAYBE a major or two?  I doubt it.

 

I didn't read the other thread or Jack's book. What would Jack, or any other old timer, have to gain by saying it was harder or a greater achievement to win in their day? They would get lambasted as just another bitter old man. It's in all their best interest to say the game today is better, harder, more competitive etc.

 

 

I have no idea how well Trevino would do. Maybe he would benefit from better equipment, video, course conditions. How well would Mickelson do if his top

drives "only" went 270 yards and his misses curved XX yards more than they do today. He might have trouble keeping it on the course much less in the fairway.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
 

 

This thread is discussing strength of field, not specifically Jack vs Tiger. Of course the whole field matters, if the field is stronger, then it's more of a "feat" to win the tournament. Is it a bigger deal to win a Web.com event or The Players? Of course the latter because of the quality of the field.

 

 

I think when you look back 20 years from now, there will be plenty of HOF players that Tiger competed against.

 

The poll option was Jack's majors vs. Tigers.

 

It's a bigger deal if they make the cut. 

 

 For arguments sake, let's say the top 100 players are in a major. Scenario A, 40 of the top 50 make the cut and Joe wins

the tournament. Scenario B, 10 of the top 50 make the cut and Joe wins the tournament. Which is the greater win for Joe? I say Scenario B because Joe competed against a stronger field for all 4 rounds.

 

As far as HOF competition, here's a list of some of the HOF players Jack went up against in Majors; Aoki, Casper, Charles, Crenshaw, Floyd, Green, Irwin,

Jacklin, Kite, Langer, Lyle, Miller, Nelson, Norman, Palmer, Player, Trevino, Thomson, Wadkins, Watson

 

That's 20 and I left a few off that he may have only gone up against once or twice.

post #50 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by RH31 View Post
 

I didn't read the other thread or Jack's book. What would Jack, or any other old timer, have to gain by saying it was harder or a greater achievement to win in their day? They would get lambasted as just another bitter old man. It's in all their best interest to say the game today is better, harder, more competitive etc.

 

Seriously? That's not a defense. You think they said that only to avoid being called a "bitter old man"? 1/3 of PGA Tour fields back then were club professionals. The fields weren't very strong at all.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RH31 View Post
 

For arguments sake, let's say the top 100 players are in a major. Scenario A, 40 of the top 50 make the cut and Joe wins

the tournament. Scenario B, 10 of the top 50 make the cut and Joe wins the tournament. Which is the greater win for Joe? I say Scenario B because Joe competed against a stronger field for all 4 rounds.

 

As far as HOF competition, here's a list of some of the HOF players Jack went up against in Majors; Aoki, Casper, Charles, Crenshaw, Floyd, Green, Irwin,

Jacklin, Kite, Langer, Lyle, Miller, Nelson, Norman, Palmer, Player, Trevino, Thomson, Wadkins, Watson

 

That's 20 and I left a few off that he may have only gone up against once or twice.

 

You seem to completely miss the very reasoning laid out that those players were HOFers largely for the same reasons Jack won 18 majors and the topic of this thread: they were ALSO competing against weak fields.

 

And I have no idea what you're talking about in your missed cuts example.

post #51 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

Seriously? That's not a defense. You think they said that only to avoid being called a "bitter old man"? 1/3 of PGA Tour fields back then were club professionals. The fields weren't very strong at all.

 

 

You seem to completely miss the very reasoning laid out that those players were HOFers largely for the same reasons Jack won 18 majors and the topic of this thread: they were ALSO competing against weak fields.

 

And I have no idea what you're talking about in your missed cuts example.

No. I didn't say he said that only to avoid being called a " bitter old man", I said he'd be labeled that way if he did. You do understand that Nicklaus, Palmer etc.,

have a financial interest in today's game. They have more to lose and nothing to gain by comparing their era as being better. Again, I'm not saying money or negative media attention is the only reason, just that those things could be factors.

 

 

I'm not missing the point at all. I just believe that the smaller group of better players trumps the larger group of not as good players.

 

I know, I know none of those players were really that good back then because they aren't playing today... we'll just have to agree to disagree on that. :-)

post #52 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by RH31 View Post
 

No. I didn't say he said that only to avoid being called a " bitter old man", I said he'd be labeled that way if he did.

 

Here's what I'm saying: he said it because he knows it's the truth: today's players, up and down, are better than in his day.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RH31 View Post
 

I'm not missing the point at all. I just believe that the smaller group of better players trumps the larger group of not as good players.

 

You're guessing. Where is any evidence supports your claim that the top one or top ten in the 60s-80s were better than the top one or top ten from the 90s to the 10s.

 

Thus far you've thrown out only how many Hall-of-Famers there were, despite the fact that the same logic applies to them as it does to Nicklaus competing against weaker fields.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RH31 View Post
 

I know, I know none of those players were really that good back then because they aren't playing today... we'll just have to agree to disagree on that. :-)

 

I believe the point of this thread is to provide evidence, data, etc., not just opinions. Please ante up.

post #53 of 202
It's a different game today, than it was back then. Different equipment, different conditions, different resources, etc.

It's not really possible to compare the two, "apples to apples" without it all being a guess.
post #54 of 202
Thread Starter 
Disagree-This thread is about assessing the FIELDS not the TWO PLAYERS. The field strenghts are relative to their respective time frames.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tefunk View Post

It's a different game today, than it was back then. Different equipment, different conditions, different resources, etc.

It's not really possible to compare the two, "apples to apples" without it all being a guess.
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