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


sungho_kr

Greatest Golfer (GOAT)  

214 members have voted

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

    • Tiger Woods is the man
      1629
    • Jack Nicklaus is my favorite
      817


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17 minutes ago, mvmac said:

1Lee Trevino  69.7

2Tom Watson. 69.9

3Jerry Pate. 70.7

4Andy Bean  70.7

5Keith Fergus  70.7

6Mike Reid. 70.7

7Curtis Strange. 70.9

8Ben Crenshaw. 70.9

9Tom Kite  70.9

10Bill Rogers 70.9

From 1980. Boy, really need to focus on dialing back the golf ball. The distance today clearly shows such a dramatic effect on scoring. Geesh.

Yep. Better get going on this 'ball distance reduction'...really seems to be bringing down those scores drastically.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 4/20/2018 at 11:35 AM, Vinsk said:

Yep. Better get going on this 'ball distance reduction'...really seems to be bringing down those scores drastically.

You have to take into account the lengthening of courses since 1980. There has been an impact. The scores might be similar but this is due to longer courses. If Augusta ( for example) was the same length in 2018 as in 1980 there would be a lot of scores in the VERY low 60s. Bad analogy, but if you drive at the speed limit in 1950 or 2018 you can't say that it is because cars haven't become faster or better.

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1 hour ago, Shorty said:

You have to take into account the lengthening of courses since 1980. There has been an impact. The scores might be similar but this is due to longer courses. If Augusta ( for example) was the same length in 2018 as in 1980 there would be a lot of scores in the VERY low 60s. Bad analogy, but if you drive at the speed limit in 1950 or 2018 you can't say that it is because cars haven't become faster or better.

Well, from 1980 to 2018 there is an average of about 20yds/hole difference. 1980: 7040yds, 2018: 7,445 apprx. Maybe more scores in the low 60’s..but I don’t think a lot. Why? Because golf is hard. Even on ‘short holes’ we still see the longest hitters make bogey or par. 

1963-1975 Jack really got 3 jackets with little competition. Sure there were a number of amazing golfers out there that he had to beat. But there were many, many who really had no chance of even top 10. 

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2 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Well, from 1980 to 2018 there is an average of about 20yds/hole difference. 1980: 7040yds, 2018: 7,445 apprx. Maybe more scores in the low 60’s..but I don’t think a lot. Why? Because golf is hard. Even on ‘short holes’ we still see the longest hitters make bogey or par. 

1963-1975 Jack really got 3 jackets with little competition. Sure there were a number of amazing golfers out there that he had to beat. But there were many, many who really had no chance of even top 10. 

It really is true.  In the iconic 1975 victory it was a 3 way shootout between Jack, Miller and Weiskopf.  Miller and Weiskopf ended up with 3 majors between them.  

Compare that to the 2002 Masters where the 6 guys behind Tiger were ALL eventual MULTIPLE major winners, with an eventual total of 19 majors between them.

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1 hour ago, turtleback said:

It really is true.  In the iconic 1975 victory it was a 3 way shootout between Jack, Miller and Weiskopf.  Miller and Weiskopf ended up with 3 majors between them.  

Compare that to the 2002 Masters where the 6 guys behind Tiger were ALL eventual MULTIPLE major winners, with an eventual total of 19 majors between them.

I'll assume what you said is true. What does that have to do with anything? 

The 6 guys behind Jack in 1986 had 19 majors. If you extend it one more place there were 23 majors right behind him. I don't even know what that means.  It doesn't help or hurt the case for Tiger or Jack.

 

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4 hours ago, Shorty said:

You have to take into account the lengthening of courses since 1980. There has been an impact. The scores might be similar but this is due to longer courses. If Augusta ( for example) was the same length in 2018 as in 1980 there would be a lot of scores in the VERY low 60s. Bad analogy, but if you drive at the speed limit in 1950 or 2018 you can't say that it is because cars haven't become faster or better.

1. Golf has many more good players.

2. Golf courses have not come close to keeping up with technology.

How do I know this? I posted the example of Fred Couples hitting it 30 yards farther at 50 than he did earlier in his career.  Or I can use myself as an example. I was a marginal college golfer who as basically a fourth and fifth man. Yet my stroke average was better than guys who played in the 80s and then went on to play and win on the PGA Tour. Even guys in the late 90s had high stroke averages. The conclusion on this board would be the players are just so much better today and the guys in the 80's and even 90s just sucked.  The reality is that just isn't true though. Equipment has made the game much easier.

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2 minutes ago, Fidelio said:

How do I know this? I posted the example of Fred Couples hitting it 30 yards farther at 50 than he did earlier in his career.  Or I can use myself as an example. I was a marginal college golfer who as basically a fourth and fifth man. Yet my stroke average was better than guys who played in the 80s and then went on to play and win on the PGA Tour. Even guys in the late 90s had high stroke averages. The conclusion on this board would be the players are just so much better today and the guys in the 80's and even 90s just sucked.  The reality is that just isn't true though. Equipment has made the game much easier.

The top golfers are better now. It’s a smaller percentage. And equipment has made it even tougher for the top top players to separate themselves.

Better equipment hurts the “Jack is awesome” side of the argument.

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27 minutes ago, iacas said:

The top golfers are better now. It’s a smaller percentage. And equipment has made it even tougher for the top top players to separate themselves.

Better equipment hurts the “Jack is awesome” side of the argument.

Sure. The better equipment does hurt Tiger. It creates less separation between players. I never said otherwise.

Are the top golfers better now? The top 10 are better than the top 10 a generation ago.  But do you really think peak Phil was better than peak Tom Watson? I don't it is clear that Rory or Spieth are better than Tom Watson. At 59, he lost in a playoff at the British Open.  I think peak Watson would probably be the Vegas favorite head to head over the three people I listed. 

Even going farther down the list. Hale Irwin well into his 50's was someone who legitimately could have played on US Ryder Cup teams.  It is impossible to know for sure, but I can't see why peak Johnny Miller would not be at that top today or peak Seve.

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14 hours ago, Fidelio said:

I'll assume what you said is true. What does that have to do with anything? 

The 6 guys behind Jack in 1986 had 19 majors. If you extend it one more place there were 23 majors right behind him. I don't even know what that means.  It doesn't help or hurt the case for Tiger or Jack.

 

It has to do with the fact that I was responding to a post that talked about how weak the opposition was for Jack's first 3 Masters wins.  Which makes your 1986 argument completely besides the point.

And yes, Mickelson should be ranked higher than Watson, and Player, and Trevino and, dare I say it, Arnie.  At this point I think Phil is a (distant) #3 behind Tiger and Jack.

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7 hours ago, turtleback said:

It has to do with the fact that I was responding to a post that talked about how weak the opposition was for Jack's first 3 Masters wins.  Which makes your 1986 argument completely besides the point.

 

Randomly mentioning the 2002 Masters has nothing to do with anything.  Why not pick the 2005 Masters? Why 2002? Weird.

7 hours ago, turtleback said:

And yes, Mickelson should be ranked higher than Watson, and Player, and Trevino and, dare I say it, Arnie.  At this point I think Phil is a (distant) #3 behind Tiger and Jack.

I would put Phil's career ahead of those people.  I didn't say otherwise.  Phil ranks higher for the same reason Jack ranks higher. He has been very good for a long time.

I did say Watson was better at his peak than Phil. Watson was Player of the Year six times directly bumping up against Jack. Watson won 8 majors in a compressed time period. His last major was at age 33 just like Tiger's last major was at age 32.

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3 minutes ago, Fidelio said:

I would put Phil's career ahead of those people.  I didn't say otherwise.  Phil ranks higher for the same reason Jack ranks higher. He has been very good for a long time.

Tiger was incredibly good for a long time, too.

3 minutes ago, Fidelio said:

I did say Watson was better at his peak than Phil.

Tiger was better than Jack at his peak.

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43 minutes ago, iacas said:

Tiger was better than Jack at his peak.

I said multiple times Tiger was better at his peak. Much better. Tiger dominated in a way Jack never did in both the quantity he won and the way he won. And he burned bright for more than just a few years.

But he also stopped winning majors at age 32 while Jack won 10 after age 30. Sometimes the tortoise wins. Jack was just better at managing his life.

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2 minutes ago, Fidelio said:

But he also stopped winning majors at age 32 while Jack won 10 after age 30.

Yep, we know.

But Tiger also won 14 majors by the age of 32. And 79 PGA Tour events by the time he won his last one.

Nice of you to duck the first part of my post: that Tiger played well over a pretty long period of time, too. You can't even win 14 majors all that quickly.


Jack won 18 majors, but against significantly weaker fields than Tiger faced in winning 14.

Tiger's other achievements are better than Jack's: 79 > 72, POYs, Vardons, margins, etc.

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6 minutes ago, iacas said:

Nice of you to duck the first part of my post: that Tiger played well over a pretty long period of time, too. You can't even win 14 majors all that quickly.


 

Original post And he burned bright for more than just a few years.

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14 hours ago, Fidelio said:

Randomly mentioning the 2002 Masters has nothing to do with anything.  Why not pick the 2005 Masters? Why 2002? Weird.

 

No, I just happened to have the 2002 factoid to hand because I had called it out not long ago in a failed attempt to start a thread about the Masters final round videos.

https://thesandtrap.com/forums/topic/97158-nuggets-from-the-masters-videos/

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On 5/5/2018 at 8:54 PM, Fidelio said:

Even going farther down the list. Hale Irwin well into his 50's was someone who legitimately could have played on US Ryder Cup teams.

This is an example of exactly why the argument you're making is dead wrong.

There's not a golfer on the planet today "well into his 50's" that could dream on competing on either Ryder Cup team. Phil is the oldest current player who can realistically compete in the Ryder Cup at 47, and he's the modern day equivalent of Arnold Palmer to Tiger's Jack or something like that (came before Tiger, was overshadowed a bit by Tiger, had a bit of a rivalry, are now apparently friends).

If you're going to compare to Hale Irwin to a modern day player you'd have to compare him to someone like Vijay Singh. Vijay is 55 currently, and has the same number of majors as Hale did (3 majors, and we'll ignore how much easier majors were to win back then for now). There's not a chance in the world that a player like Vijay Singh could compete in the Ryder Cup, despite his career being objectively better in all ways than Hale Irwin (which can be used to argue he was a better golfer, especially when you consider he played against tougher fields and since we're ignoring the Champions Tour that was a total joke when Hale started playing in it). Vijay had 34 PGA Tour wins, Hale only had 20.

The fact that a middling skill player well into his 50's was someone who could legitimately have played on Ryder Cup teams just goes to show how poor the fields in Jack's time were. There was NO depth to the fields outside of the top 10-20 players. Modern day fields have multiple times that many players capable of winning in the field each and every week.

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This year alone, Tiger's made the cut at a PGA event WAY more times than Jack.

I'm just sayin'

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