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


Greatest Golfer (GOAT)  

216 members have voted

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

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

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Hogan Fan

he would have shown some of the premaddonas on the tour what golf is all about

a great player and a real grinder-better than most but Tiger and Jack, who knows?..different era, like comparing cans of coke with hot dogs

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A great golf topic...

I am sorry to all the Jack fans, but Tiger is the man. I believe that in even if matched in there prime with the same equipment, Tiger would beat Jack.

As far as competition, the golfers of today far surpass the golfers of the past. The reasoning is quite simple. You play to your competition or you get left in the tracks.

- In Jack's time, the world population was about 3 Billion and today there are over 6 Billion people in the world.

- A fewer percentage of the world played golf then do now. Simple mathematics means a fewer % of fewer people equals less competition.

- The money wasn't that good in Jacks' prime, which led to less of a drive to play well. Unfortunately, it is part of human nature. I am not speaking about players on tour, but the drive to be there.

- Tiger, no matter what, is way more fundamentally a better ball striker. People say that Jack was hitting "the older equipment" passed the competition. I have no doubt that Tiger has a stronger, faster golf swing than Jack ever did and therefore would hit a golf ball further no matter what equipment.

- As far as equipment, Tiget has been beating the competition with Nike Golf products. They are just starting to catch up to Acushnet, and are still lagging. Phil said it correctly, when he said Tiger is whooping everyone using worse equipment. Jack was using the best tools of his times.
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As far as competition, the golfers of today far surpass the golfers of the past. The reasoning is quite simple. You play to your competition or you get left in the tracks.

Lets take a moment to compare Jacks competitors to Tigers... Jack played against .... (Player and number of Majors) Gary Player 9, Tom Watson 8, Arnold Palmer 7, Lee Trevino 6, Seve Ballesteros 5, Raymond Floyd 4, Billy Casper 3, Johnny Miller 2, Ben Crenshaw 2, Tom Kite 1. all the while Jack was winning 18. (player and number of tour wins) Palmer 62, Casper 51, Watson 39, Littler 29, Trevino 29, Miller 25, Player 24, Floyd 22, Irwin 20, Norman 20, Sanders 20, Crenshaw 19, Kite 19. Jack had 73 wins Tiger played against.... (player and number of majors) Renie Els 3, Phil Mickelson 3, Vijay Singh 3, John Daly 2, Retief Goosen 2, Jose Maria 2, Mark Omera 2. ( player and number of tour wins) Vijay Singh 30, Phil Mickelson 29, Davis Love 19, Mark Omera 16, Fred Couples 15, Ernie Els 15, Corey Pavin 15, David Duval 13. Granted, Tigers competition is still playing, but I don't see any of todays players reaching 62 wins like Arnold did or even 51 like casper. They probably won't match Watsons 39 with the exception of Vijay. It is pretty impressive to see Tigers name on the list of most major wins. But don't forget, Jack was outdriving his opponents the way Tiger does today. He was making unbelievable putts as does Tiger. He was hitting shots that nobody could believe. He was playing with clubs that I feel were inferior, I don't think too many people went out and purchased Magreggor clubs like Jack was playing. Its hard to compare different generations of golfers. But don't argue the point that Jack didn't face the competition the Tiger does. Palmer, Watson, Casper, Trevino, Player are on top of the list of greatest golfers of all time. I only see 2 of Tigers competitors making that list - Singh, Mickelson.
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Jacks clubs were I believe the MacGreagor Tourney forged irons and the MT85 woods, I still have a set and those clubs were fantastic, still remember how it felt to hit that 3 wood. Those were the days, I enjoyed golf more then before everything got so hi-tech, the crack of persimmon on Titleist balata, the bladed putters, the colorful clothes, it was all good, and Jack was the Golden Bear, Arnie the King.

but . . .

Tiger is the greatest, no need for stats, just watching him and comparing is enough, every facet of his game is brilliant and he keeps raising his game to new heights.

Keep in mind that Trevino had the Bears number until he got injured, Watson definitely had his number and eclipsed him, but no one can tame Tiger.
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Keep in mind that Trevino had the Bears number until he got injured, Watson definitely had his number and eclipsed him, but no one can tame Tiger.

I woudn't say Lee (29 wins, 6 Majors) or Tom (39 wins, 8 Majors) to Jacks 73 wins, 18 Majors was "having the Bears number". And my friend, they deffinately didn't eclipse him. This thread is not about Lee or Tom being compared to Tiger is it?

I'm not saying that Tiger isn't better than Jack or that he won't surpass him, I'm just saying some of the arguments in this thread about Jack not having the level of competitors that Tiger does is not just. Tiger will surpass Jack's numbers someday, but he hasn't yet. Lets not knock the King from his throne too prematurely. If Tiger goes into a slump the rest of his career and finishes with lets say 15 majors and 65 wins, is he better than Jack???? I think he would fall short. Jack was just as exciting as Tiger when he came on the seen. He was the young Fat Jack trying to dethrone Arnold and Hogan. He outdrove everyone by miles and won every major played for years. And he also took down a pretty good field of players in the 1986 Masters at the age of 46. Do you know what Tigers back will feel like at the age of 46 the way he swings a club. And after a few good years of carrying around Tiger jr??? He's simply not there yet. Jack did just as much if not more for the game of golf as Tiger has, just in different ways. Jack brought the sport into the mainstream of sports. Made it comparable to football, baseball etc, Tiger is making the game popular with Minorities and kids. All these great things you guys feel and think about Tiger have been done. I was here and watched Jack do them. Give the king his props! (well Arnold is the King, Jack would be the Emperor and Tiger is the well accomplished prince)
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But......I still say Ben Hogan was better than them all..
I'm just too tired to argue

Here is Tigers stats to date.....
54 wins, 10 Majors.
He needs 19 more wins and 8 Majors. Thats a lot of golf my friends!

Sure he'll probably get there. The way players keep in shape today.
In Jacks days you were older than dirt at 40. Guys like Vijay are hitting thier prime at 40 today.

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Maybe Hogan was the best, I never saw him play and I don't care if he has less majors and victories than Jack, if he could play golf better than he was better, the accident cost him plenty . . . the question is; who is the greatest, not who has won the most majors. I take it that 'greatest' means who can play golf the best, not who has the best career stats.

So I seems that it depends on what you take the word, 'greatest' to mean. Jack has more victories and majors, Tiger has superior golf skills, and maybe Hogan was beyond them both . . . I would have loved to see Hogan play that's for sure!!!! But I believe Tigers combination of tremendous power, radar irons, super scrambling, dead eye putting, and desparate will to win would be tough to surpass.
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As long as Tiger is "chasing" Jack, Jack will always be the best. I do believe El Tigre will have his day. I love watching the old classic golf footage of Jack and The King. Their swings were "their" swings. Tiger is like a machine, just incredible.
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I'm too young to remember Jack at his best but that's not my main reason for voting for Tiger.

With the "arms race" you have today with all the new equipment getting better and better, the field is very strong. If you take these guys' talent levels and give them a little bit of an edge, it would seem they have a realistic chance at winning every week.

Tiger has consistently dominated that field and only moderately stepped up the technology he uses. His performance this past year at the British Open speaks for itself. I'd be screwed if the biggest club I could use was my 4 iron.
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  • iacas changed the title to Jack vs. Tiger: Who's the Greatest Golfer?
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