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Jack vs. Tiger: Who's the Greatest Golfer?


sungho_kr

Greatest Golfer (GOAT)  

216 members have voted

  1. 1. Tiger or Jack: Who's the greatest golfer?

    • Tiger Woods is the man
      1629
    • Jack Nicklaus is my favorite
      816


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Thanks for the heads up.  I'm too long in the tooth to get upset by that.  It just amuses me that some people take it and themselves so seriously, but I guess if it's that important to them, that's OK.  I say just enjoy the golf.  Smell the coffee.  Ultimately it's not that important who's the best golfer.  What is important is that they and others are great and we're lucky to have so many fantastic golfers to watch and enjoy in our time.


Welcome to the site.

I don't think people are "taking themselves so seriously." It can simply be a bit exhausting to have new members arrive and say things that have been said (and responded to, and discussed) countless times before.

It's a fine line, admittedly, between respecting that the new member does not NEED to go back and re-read a bunch of stuff before joining in a conversation, and asking that they at least do a little bit of that.

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I wasn't "joining a conversation".  I was stating my view as invited to do by the site.  And if I happen to repeat what's already been said and some patronising people don't like that, tough.  Enough said.

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I wasn't "joining a conversation".  I was stating my view as invited to do by the site.  And if I happen to repeat what's already been said and some patronising people don't like that, tough.  Enough said.


Now you're over-reacting a little bit… all of these threads are conversations to some extent. You're more than welcome to "state your views" and then leave, but… we encourage discussion, conversation, etc.

Lots of great threads here. Check some out. If you play golf, check out the "Swing Thoughts" forum. Lots of great info there.

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Thanks for your support, Afighter.  That's just what I was doing - expressing my view and there's nothing wrong with that.  That's exactly what this thread is for, JBishop15.  As you say, I don't want to be rude but you do seem to have a lot of anger in you.  No need to get heated.  it's just people's opinions and their views are just as valid as yours.  We all know the Stats., by the way.

It is just a touch irritating when someone raises a point that has been thoroughly de-bunked right out of the mouth of the guy you are arguing IN FAVOR of.  You made an equipment argument that is not only wrong it was directly contradicted by the words of the Great Man himself in his 1996 autobiography.

And, BTW, it is not true that one person's opinion is as valid as another.  The value of an opinion is based in part on the knowledge level of the opiner.  I guarantee you that @iacas 's opinion about the golf swing is a hell of a lot more valid than mine.

And as has been demonstrated here over and over again, most people do NOT know the stats, beyond 18>14.

The words of the great man?  I quote his 1996 autobiography:

“I am often asked to comment on the causes for the ‘decline of the superstar’, as many writers have chosen to call it. To my mind there are essentially three. Although it may not be the most critical, the first is golf equipment.”

“As equipment has improved, but particularly the ball, more of our great old courses have become less challenging or less interesting to play, or both. Merion is perhaps the best example” …

“Even more unfortunate to my mind than the impact of equipment advances on our finest courses is their contribution to the homogenizing of the players. Simply put, the more forgiving the tools, the tougher it becomes for the best to rise above the rest”. …

Thus saith Jack Nicklaus.  And he should know.  For example, one of the hallmarks of his game was his ability to hit long irons very high in the air and stop them softly.  People used to say he could hit a 2-iron higher than most pros hit a 6 iron.  Now with hybrids, everyone can play that shot, and the rare guy with the talent to do what Jack could do, gets no advantage from it because now everyone can do it.

As to the rest, this is a discussion board, designed for discussing.  While you can certainly use it as a soapbox in a park and just make a speech, I think you will find it far more rewarding to actually interact with the other posts in a discussion-like fashion.  Otherwise it is kind of like entering into an existing  conversation some people are having by making a speech at them.  You can do it, but it will have no real impact.

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Thus saith Jack Nicklaus.  And he should know.  For example, one of the hallmarks of his game was his ability to hit long irons very high in the air and stop them softly.  People used to say he could hit a 2-iron higher than most pros hit a 6 iron.  Now with hybrids, everyone can play that shot, and the rare guy with the talent to do what Jack could do, gets no advantage from it because now everyone can do it.

A good example would be with driving distance

Tiger's ranking,

Year 2000: 2nd at 298 yards, 26 yards above average

Year 2006: 6th at 306 yards, 16 yards above average

Tiger only gained 8 yards of distance, but he lost 10 yards of advantage on the field.

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Quote:
“I am often asked to comment on the causes for the ‘decline of the superstar’, as many writers have chosen to call it.

The problem with this is, Jack said this in 1996, just before a superstar took over golf.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceMGF View Post
Quote:
“I am often asked to comment on the causes for the ‘decline of the superstar’, as many writers have chosen to call it.

The problem with this is, Jack said this in 1996, just before a superstar took over golf.

Exactly.  He said it before the external issue of Tiger's rise and his challenge to Jack's place at the top, and therefore is untainted by the personal advocacy that has grown up in the Tiger era.  And the fact that in the face of these factors not only did a superstar emerge, it was a superstar who dominated the game to a degree never before seen.

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Among other difficulties with Jack's theory, is that the "equipment advances" of his era seem trivial compared to what had come before:  wooden balls to featheries to gutta percha to rubber core.  And similarly with golf clubs.

And why does it have to have a levelling effect?  Couldn't the advantage go to the few players best able to adapt to the new equipment?  Isn't that basically what Hogan did?  Developed a swing that wouldn't have worked with wood-shafted clubs but was made for the new steel shafts?

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And why does it have to have a levelling effect?  Couldn't the advantage go to the few players best able to adapt to the new equipment?  Isn't that basically what Hogan did?  Developed a swing that wouldn't have worked with wood-shafted clubs but was made for the new steel shafts?

Hogan was ahead of his time in developing his own clubs for his game. That gave him an advantage. Yet I would say every golfer on the PGA Tour is fitted for clubs. So the once, singular advantage Hogan had is not available to all players.

Look at my post about equipment with Tiger. Tiger goes from being the top driver of the golf ball, having a 2-3 club length advantage over the field to gaining 8 yards and losing 10 yards of distance advantage over the average golfer.

If Jack competed today he wouldn't have been the best driver of the golf ball. He also would not have his mid to long iron advantage due to more game improvement irons and hybrids. Jack's game was ahead of his time in terms of power and height of his shot.  If you put him in today's game. He'd probably have 5-10 guys who could hit it longer than him. His power advantage, due to technology, would be greatly reduced. .

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Hogan was ahead of his time in developing his own clubs for his game. That gave him an advantage. Yet I would say every golfer on the PGA Tour is fitted for clubs. So the once, singular advantage Hogan had is not available to all players.  Look at my post about equipment with Tiger. Tiger goes from being the top driver of the golf ball, having a 2-3 club length advantage over the field to gaining 8 yards and losing 10 yards of distance advantage over the average golfer.  If Jack competed today he wouldn't have been the best driver of the golf ball. He also would not have his mid to long iron advantage due to more game improvement irons and hybrids. Jack's game was ahead of his time in terms of power and height of his shot.  If you put him in today's game. He'd probably have 5-10 guys who could hit it longer than him. His power advantage, due to technology, would be greatly reduced. .

And that lil bit of distance them 5-10 guys hit it farther would not make them any better.Theres alot more to the game than length off tee.Ask Gary woodland or JB Holmes if theyre length is winning them anything.Even as long as Bubba is If it wasnt for his improved putting he wouldnt be doing anything.

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And that lil bit of distance them 5-10 guys hit it farther would not make them any better.Theres alot more to the game than length off tee.Ask Gary woodland or JB Holmes if theyre length is winning them anything.Even as long as Bubba is If it wasnt for his improved putting he wouldnt be doing anything.


That 5-10 yards is very important. That's one less club into the green, which matters a whole lot.

Here are eight of the best fifteen players of all time, in no order:

Tiger Woods

Jack Nicklaus

Ben Hogan

Arnold Palmer

Sam Snead

Byron Nelson

Phil Mickelson

Bobby Jones

None of those are short hitters. Every single one of them was amongst the longest, if not the longest, hitters of their era. Distance is super duper important.

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Jack and Tiger were both ahead of their time. Wasn't it Jack that began walking off distances to the green way back when? Tiger turned a gentleman's game into a sport with his work-out ethic. It was Tiger who began using a solid core ball.
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Jack and Tiger were both ahead of their time. Wasn't it Jack that began walking off distances to the green way back when? Tiger turned a gentleman's game into a sport with his work-out ethic. It was Tiger who began using a solid core ball.


It was actually Jack Fleck, I think, who did it first. Jack was just all-around good at everything, though not as good of a putter as many said, by his own estimation.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbishop15 View Post


It was actually Jack Fleck, I think, who did it first. Jack was just all-around good at everything, though not as good of a putter as many said, by his own estimation.


I presume the "Jack" in the second sentence is Nicklaus, not Fleck.  If Fleck was all-around good at everything, he'd have won more than two tournaments.

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I presume the "Jack" in the second sentence is Nicklaus, not Fleck.  If Fleck was all-around good at everything, he'd have won more than two tournaments.

Yep. Bit of poor wording on my part.

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  • 2 weeks later...

http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/win-or-lose-at-the-pga-jordan-spieth-is-having-one-of-golfs-greatest-seasons/

Another perspective: I saw this article on 538 Sports about how Jordan Spieth is having one of the greatest golf seasons ever. It posted a graphic that ranked the best seasons in golf history. Of the Top 20, Jack has 8 and Tiger 7. However, Tiger holds the 1,2,4,5,6,8, and 17 spots while Jack has 3,7,9,10,11,13,16,20. Spieth's is ranked 12 using this methodology, which uses standard deviations above/below all tournament averages for the given year. A pretty common and useful statistical tool.

Just something else to add to the fire...

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  • iacas changed the title to Jack vs. Tiger: Who's the Greatest Golfer?
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