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Who is more responsible for making golf as popular as it is today: Arnold Palmer or Tiger Woods?

Poll Results: Who is more responsible for making golf as popular as it is today: Arnold Palmer or Tiger Woods?

 
  • 54% (17)
    Arnold Palmer
  • 45% (14)
    Tiger Woods
31 Total Votes  
post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

It's a really tough question to answer in my opinion, but I would be interested to see what most people think. After watching a few episodes of Arnie on the Golf Channel, I have to say Palmer. He has done so much for the game. 

post #2 of 25

I think it depends on the age of the person answering the question or where they are from. I remember Greg Norman growing up(younger) and then Tiger. John Daly messed up a whole generation of swings. I never saw Jack, Palmer or Trevino play except on the champions tour/masters. I know they made a big impact.

 

I guess each generation paves the way for the next. But for the popularity of today I would have to say Tiger. 

post #3 of 25

Had Palmer had the benefits of communications technology (television, radio, internet) when he played, he might have been more influential than he was but Tiger transcended golf and became a household name.  My father doesn't like Tiger but he knows who he is and that he's a golfer, he has no idea who Palmer or Jack are.

 

Statistics show that golf ratings and participation increased as Tiger's popularity did.  He still moves the needle more than any other golfer.  He also has been instrumental in helping golf gain in popularity with minorities.

 

Arnie paved the way for Jack and combined they may have influenced Earl to push Tiger into golf but it's pretty clear no one in golf has even been as famous / infamous as Tiger.

post #4 of 25

Tough question. What I do know is, there were fewer golfers even in the early 90's, at least in my area.

 

back to the ? I agree with newtogolf with regards to the communication aspect. I think the reason a bunch of folks knew who Arnie was, was due to the tv commercials he was in. In Tigers case, most all knew him from golf, which may give him a very slight edge.?

 

Another question could be, who has done more for the game, but that's another thread...:-D 

post #5 of 25

I agree with the assessment that Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus have done so much for the game. First Tee was endorsed by Jack and he volunteered his time to it.

 

However, Tiger made it popular outside of the inner golf circles. Before Tiger, everyone though golfers were non-athletic middle aged men. The clothes they wore in the 70's made the 20 year old professionals look middle aged.

 

Tiger portrayed a "real" athlete and sported flashy new "Nike" clothes that covered his well toned muscles, at a time when everyone else was wearing cardigans and polo shirts.

post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post

I agree with the assessment that Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus have done so much for the game. First Tee was endorsed by Jack and he volunteered his time to it.

However, Tiger made it popular outside of the inner golf circles. Before Tiger, everyone though golfers were non-athletic middle aged men. The clothes they wore in the 70's made the 20 year old professionals look middle aged.

Tiger portrayed a "real" athlete and sported flashy new "Nike" clothes that covered his well toned muscles, at a time when everyone else was wearing cardigans and polo shirts.

So, you like the way Tiger dresses. Um, ok......

Without Arnie, there would likely never have been Tiger.
post #7 of 25

In large part due to available media coverage it would have been impossible for Arnold to compete with Tiger in that category.

 

I never watched golf tournaments when Arnold was playing and none of the other kids I knew ever watched golf either. I don't remember ever having a single conversation with my friends about golf. All I knew about golf was that when it came on I had to get up and change the channel and go outside and turn the antenna. Fortunately for me there wasn't a lot of golf coverage anyway.

 

Flash forward to the start of Tiger's career:

 

During almost any golf tournament in which Tiger was playing he was the main topic of conversation in the dugouts of the baseball teams I coached. I was more likely to hear "What did Tiger do today?" than I was to hear "Who's pitching today?". (Drove me nuts!)

 

All of the kids watched Tiger whether they had ever picked up a golf club or not. My son watched Tiger whenever he could and he didn't even play golf until he was in college.

 

I would say that Arnold cranked the engine but Tiger (and the media) put it in overdrive.

post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

So, you like the way Tiger dresses. Um, ok......

Without Arnie, there would likely never have been Tiger.

I'm only guessing it's how the general public feels.
post #9 of 25
Tiger no question. I was into golf in the 70's and the explosion that was Tiger was an entirely different thing. It was more than exposure there was a buzz. Woods has the "it" factor whatever that is.
post #10 of 25

Palmer. Tiger's father watched Palmer, got into golf, and got Tiger into golf.

post #11 of 25

Palmer first, with Woods adding on to what Palmer contributed.

post #12 of 25

I guess I would say Arnie with the thinking that Arnie set the foundation, in the sports management business and golf popularity, for a player like Tiger to emerge and make the most of those opportunities. Tiger certainly took it to another level, Phil was talking about this at the Masters in reference to the money they play for week to week.

post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post


So, you like the way Tiger dresses. Um, ok......

Without Arnie, there would likely never have been Tiger.

I voted for Arnie but it is very close.  Without Francis Ouimet, there would not have been a Bobby Jones.  You can carry this argument back for each generation including Arnie's.  Tiger's popularity gave golf a real boost at a time when it needed it, similar to what Arnie did.  Each generation has a few players that really kept the game's popularity going and deserve credit.  We talk about them is so many threads (Jones, Snead, Hogan, Palmer, Nicklaus, Woods, etc.).

post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by boogielicious View Post
 

I voted for Arnie but it is very close.  Without Francis Ouimet, there would not have been a Bobby Jones.  You can carry this argument back for each generation including Arnie's.  

 

Old Tom Morris! ;-)

post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
 

 

Old Tom Morris! ;-)

I think 100% of us can agree that if it wasn't for Old Tom Morris, there would not have been a Young Tom Morris!

post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by boogielicious View Post

I think 100% of us can agree that if it wasn't for Old Tom Morris, there would not have been a Young Tom Morris!

I'm gonna need to see his birth certificate. Just to confirm.
post #17 of 25

I think if you take a good look at it, they have both done a lot of the same things...... Both have brought millions of fans to the game, who might otherwise have never been fans, both have/had a multitude of die hard fans, both took/take advantage of sports marketing in a major way, seems to me that in the 50's and 60's Arnold was the Tiger of the day, where I think Arnold surpassed Tiger was in being a gentleman of the game, Seems as though Arnold felt/feels he owes the fans and the game something more, where Tiger does not...... That could very well be due to the different world the two lived and played in,  One thing is obvious.... they both changed the game of golf   JMHO

post #18 of 25

I think Arnie brought the game to the blue collar people and Tiger brought the huge money to the tour.

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