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


Greatest Golfer (GOAT)  

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

    • Tiger Woods is the man
      1631
    • Jack Nicklaus is my favorite
      817


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I still believe it is impossible to compare players from different eras playing different balls, clubs, with different course conditions. I do believe that if Jack were the same age as Tiger he would be taking advantage of current advances in fitness, equipment, video and teaching. Given all these things I believe that these two men are basically even. Two great minds, can anyone say who's is the best? Jack defined the modern game. Tiger really has only refined Jacks style of play. Tiger has the advantage of playing after Jack so that his records exist to pursue and to be used as motivation. Tigers greatest contribution may well be his foundation and ability to attract new groups to golf.

Interesting though isn't it that despite all of that, and I agree with your premise, scores have not changed.

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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

Here ya go, right our of Jack's 1996 autobiography.  He is giving the third of his three reasons (equipment and fitness being the other) for the decline of the superstar in golf (re

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

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I think they are both great but not the greatest.
Ben Hogan is by far the greatest! He left to fight in the war for 2 yrs. Had a terrible accident that almost killed him in 1949 - lost 1 yr to that. played the rest of his career on two shaky legs. In 1953 he entered 6 tournaments and won 5 including:
the Masters, U.S.Open at Oakmont, British Open at Carnoustie (his only British Open)
He won 63 tournaments
player of the year 4 times
Vardon Trophy 5 times
Ryder cup as player 41,47,51 undefeated
Ryder captain 47,49,67 undefeated
PGA Champ 46,48
British Champ 53
US Open 48,50,51,53
Masters 51,53
out of 292 career tournaments finished top three 139 times
finished in top ten 241 times
Need I say more?
Ben Hogan was the GREATEST!

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Hogan Fan - your user name makes me think you may be ever so slightly biased ;)

However, my answer to the question posted is to say that at this moment in time Jack is the greatest. 18 majors vs 12 defines that.

Ask the same question in another 4 or 5 years and I have no doubt that Tiger will have eclipsed that milestone.
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Some records will never be broken ie cy young 500 wins.Jacks major victory may be broken but dont forget he finished second 18 or 19 times and that one will never be broken.
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Jack is still the greatest. Please don't qualify your argument with how many 2nd place finishes he had. But....Tiger plays the game in an era were there are MORE elite players then Jack. Lets just see what happens instead of jumping the gun?
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Jack is still the greatest. Please don't qualify your argument with how many 2nd place finishes he had. But....Tiger plays the game in an era were there are MORE elite players then Jack. Lets just see what happens instead of jumping the gun?
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I think each player was the greatest in their respective era. A better debate would be how each would fair if they played in opposite eras - meaning Tiger plays in Jack's era - equipment, course conditions, etc., and Jack plays in Tiger's era...

What is pretty amazing to me is even with all the advances in club technology, ball design, swing mechanics, etc., that have taken the game to a whole new level, Tiger continually elevates his game, even when he is playing poorly.
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I think your comparing apples and oranges.. fact is there is too much time between them for if and's or buts.. cant compare the two so why try?? I think tiger will pass his record in the end though.. just my $0.02
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Life in its self evolves everything is growing from tech. to human strength so naturally people will hit the ball further then they did yesterday, just like cars are faster and safer then they were yesteryears...
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Neither I would suggest . In my opinion Bobby Jones is the man most entitled to that mantle of greatest player of all time . He won 13 major championships (as were in his day). He is the only man to have won the grand slam of all 4 majors in the same season. His winning percentage in majors is a staggering 65% . All this acheived in a 7 year period during which no other player beat him on more than one occassion including Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen. He also did all this playing only 3 months of the year whilst studying for three separate degrees at three separate universities. Now that I put it to you is the greatest player of all time.
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It's fun to talk about but it really isn't that close . . .

Tiger is brilliant in every phase of the game
Jack had some holes in his game as those who grew up watching him know well. He was a lousy bunker player and mediocre wedge/short iron player.

In every category i believe Tiger has the edge and there is no category except major wins and career wins that Jack edges Tiger, but that is something to be determined. Even if for some reason Tiger doesn't reach these milestones, he still is the best to ever play the game, has no weakness, no holes to his game, excells in every facet, no flaws.
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"In every category i believe Tiger has the edge except major wins and career wins" I would suggest to you that these are fairly crucial differances , jack Nicklaus was once asked why his bunker play was not as good as the rest of his game , i beleive his answer was to the effect that he did not get much practise in tournaments since he did not land the ball in bunkers.
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"In every category i believe Tiger has the edge except major wins and career wins" I would suggest to you that these are fairly crucial differances , jack Nicklaus was once asked why his bunker play was not as good as the rest of his game , i beleive his answer was to the effect that he did not get much practise in tournaments since he did not land the ball in bunkers.

Jacks game was extremely well suited to winning majors, in that he hit his long irons better than anyone and was great putting on superfast greens. He had a huge advantage by hitting 2 irons off the tee for accuracy while others had to hit driver, launching high 3 or 4 irons like most would hit a 6 iron, and then putting lights out. But Jack was not nearly as complete as Tiger is. Tiger can play that way as he did at the 2006 British Open, (long irons off tee and fairway), but he can also play many other ways. Jack could be had on shorter finesse courses but not Tiger. Tiger can win on any course using different styles of play, and has many more types of shots he has mastered. You don't see Tiger finishing in second place many times like Jack. Jack had a formula that worked great for him in majors but Tiger is a golfing genius.

It's true that Jack didn't get much practice in bunkers during tournaments but he also didn't spend much time practicing in them before tournaments, nor practicing wedges, Tiger is razor sharp with all shots, practices much more than Jack did and never messes up a shot.
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I think that either of them would have been the great player of whatever era they played in, it just so happens that Tiger is the great of the current era and Jack was the great of the sixties and seventies (and part of the eighties).

The thing about this calibre of player is they are great not becuase their method or way of thinking suits the time they are playing, they are great because they find a way to be great. Send Tiger or Jack back to the twenties, thirties or forties and they'd have been just as dominant then, send either of them forward to 2080 and they'd be just as sensational.
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Neither I would suggest . In my opinion Bobby Jones is the man most entitled to that mantle of greatest player of all time . He won 13 major championships (as were in his day). He is the only man to have won the grand slam of all 4 majors in the same season. His winning percentage in majors is a staggering 65% . All this acheived in a 7 year period during which no other player beat him on more than one occassion including Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen. He also did all this playing only 3 months of the year whilst studying for three separate degrees at three separate universities. Now that I put it to you is the greatest player of all time.

Count this as vote #2 for Bobby Jones. I would say Tiger will outdo Jack, but he won't catch the great Bobby. Ever played with hickory shafts? It's freakin' hard. It's like swinging a broomstick.

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