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


Greatest Golfer (GOAT)  

213 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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I think there are too many variables to consider that people overlook. Forgive me if they have already been mentioned a million times, but I'm new here :D

-Equipment Yes Tiger uses forged blades, but there is still a lot of innovation in those irons over what Jack played in his prime. I'd also like to see Tiger use a persimmon driver like Jacks with a balata ball!

-Course Layout More and more courses, including Augusta National are turning into "grip it and rip it" style venues instead of good old "shot makers" tracts. Not saying Tiger can't make shots, but he doesn't have to work the ball as much as the older guys used to.

-Competition A lot of people say Jack didn't have much competition. But I don't think you can put Phil, Padraig, Ernie and others in the same category of Watson, Palmer, and Trevino. Hell, those guys haven't really pushed Tiger that much... his biggest battles were from virtually unknowns like Bob May and YE Yang. But Jack had Watson, Trevino and sometimes Palmer on his ass every week!


Last but not least.... why is Ben Hogan never mentioned in these debates? Im not wishing any bad things here, but I'd like to see what Tiger would do or what Jack would have done if they almost died in a car accident. I'll bet a lot of money that they wouldn't come back and win 6 more majors and be called the best ball striker to ever live!
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For some reason, you have missed hundreds of posts that do accept that.  I've often said I can't even prove that Tiger would beat Vardon head to head, although I'd bet on him. What I CAN prove is

That's very unfair to Jack, since he played events well into his 60's.  It also distorts Tiger's record, since he played injured for several years. It would be more fair to look at the the period

Your quote highlights something that Tiger is seldom given credit for, which is that he has never (to my knowledge) tried to lobby for himself the way Jack did. Tiger is pursuing the two biggest

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Old enough to have enjoyed Jack - his win at Augusta in 86' is will be talked about for generations to come. However, Tiger creates a sense of wonderment with blow-out wins and nail-biters. And some of his shots?!? Even non-sports fans followed Tiger.
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I think there are too many variables to consider that people overlook. Forgive me if they have already been mentioned a million times, but I'm new here :D

This equipment thing is ridiculous. Why didn't you say you want to see Jack play with equipment that Tom Morris Sr was using?

When a player's peers use same equipment as that player, it really is a moot point, it doesn't matter because Tiger isn't playing against Jack and his equipment, and Jack isn't playing against Tom Morris and his equipment.
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This equipment thing is ridiculous. Why didn't you say you want to see Jack play with equipment that Tom Morris Sr was using?

I may have missed your point. What was it exactly?

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I can't agree that Nicklaus had tougher competition. That argument just doesn't add up. The feilds today are deeper and just plain better. Jack had big names to deal with because back then there were only about 12 great players today i think that number has tripled. However I will give some back in saying that for too long much of todays's talented field would just fall down and die when Tiger was in the hunt. I see that changing a bit but for the first 6 years of Tiger's career that what happened too often.
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i think that tiger is a bigger asset to the game never has there been more people who watched golf just beacuse of him and ratings would go down if he stopped playing. even though jack is still the man with 18 majors.
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Thats really a tough call to make, thats like saying who's better Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant.... Tiger Woods is still playing and will have to see how his career finishes out.
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I haven't played golf, consistently, in the last 15 years. But I've always followed golf and remember watching and following it since the mid-80's.

I'm kind of a stats geek (background is baseball) and, at least right now, Tiger is the clear winner. He might falter, he might get injured, his play might drop off...but by any quantifiable measurement, he's way above Nicklaus at the same age.

I haven't read through this whole thread, but I'm sure at least a minority contingent claims Tiger doesn't have the same competition as Jack. To me, that's a fallacy based on results. In other words, because Jack frequently had Arnie or Watson or whomever in the hunt, you're assuming there were more golfers of elite skill level back then. Whereas I think it's more that the competition level is the same or better, but Tiger is an order of magnitude better than that.

Bottom line: Jack might steal a major or two from Tiger, all things being equal. But head to head in the last round of a major? Tiger wins two out of three.

Although, if you ask me who is the most purely talented golfer of all time--sans equipment, training, etc.--Nicklaus might be the one. It's like Deep Blue vs. Kasparov.
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Tiger- although everyone says that Jack had more competition because of more multiple major-winners, the opposite is true- players win fewer majors each these days because the field is more talented, meaning that Tiger's 14 (and hopefully eventually 18) are more meaningful.
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I wasn't around when Jack is at his prime.. but I haven't seen anyone generated as much buzz as Tiger.. for golf game for sure.. and possiblly for all sports as well..

so... tw for sure
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How can you compare them?

Jack was in the era of the wooden drivers and 1-rons
Really tough stuff to hit.

Tiger has all this new technology helping him.

I know tiger trains hard.
But for actual talent and ball striking I'd vouch for jack.
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How can you compare them?

I'm astounded at the number of people who make this statement without thinking it through. Everyone in Jack's era used the "really tough stuff to hit," and everyone in Tiger's era uses all the "new technology." Tiger is only playing against a field of players with modern equipment, not Jack with persimmon and balata. If anything, this hurts Tiger, as the better ballstrikers were able to distance themselves from the pack in the era of persimmon. Modern technology closes the gap between the top pros and journeyman golfers, making Tiger's dominance even more impressive.

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