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

Greatest Golfer (GOAT)  

192 members have voted

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

    • Tiger Woods is the man
      1635
    • Jack Nicklaus is my favorite
      815


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4 hours ago, ScouseJohnny said:

 

I think people tended to refer to Nicklaus as the GOAT (not GOTE) in 2000 simply because other than among determined golf fans, the public at large and the sporting press tend to use majors as the principal metric of greatness. And, in the year 2000, there was no real competitor to Nicklaus in that regard in living memory. He stood head and shoulders above his peers. Only real historians of the game would be debating whether Walter Hagen, a player from the 1920s, belonged in the conversation.

Ah, but why is that?  Because Jack decided, and those folks you mentioned acquiesced, that total number of majors was the proper way of comparing players across eras when he knew full well that any other candidate, at the time, had far fewer opportunities to play in, and hence win, majors.  Jack cooked the books and everyone just nodded and let him.  No one ever used number of majors as a serious metric, until Jack made his dishonest push.

And how do we know this?  Because if majors were what counted, Walter Hagen would have been the consensus GOAT until Jack got number 12 and the reality was that Hagen was NOT so considered.  He was rarely even IN the pre-Jack Goat discussions - which centered on Hogan, Snead, and Nelson.  With historically obtuse folks throwing in Jones.  Even when we take into account that he was deprived of his Western Open wins counting as majors.

So no, I'm not buying the argument some (not you) are making that despite having no trouble regarding Jack as the GOAT it is now impossible to determine anything beyond GOTE.  

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5 minutes ago, turtleback said:

Ah, but why is that?  Because Jack decided, and those folks you mentioned acquiesced, that total number of majors was the proper way of comparing players across eras when he knew full well that any other candidate, at the time, had far fewer opportunities to play in, and hence win, majors.  Jack cooked the books and everyone just nodded and let him.  No one ever used number of majors as a serious metric, until Jack made his dishonest push.

And how do we know this?  Because if majors were what counted, Walter Hagen would have been the consensus GOAT until Jack got number 12 and the reality was that Hagen was NOT so considered.  He was rarely even IN the pre-Jack Goat discussions - which centered on Hogan, Snead, and Nelson.  With historically obtuse folks throwing in Jones.  Even when we take into account that he was deprived of his Western Open wins counting as majors.

So no, I'm not buying the argument some (not you) are making that despite having no trouble regarding Jack as the GOAT it is now impossible to determine anything beyond GOTE.  

The number of majors won should be an important part of the equation used by folks trying to find the proverbial GOAT but I personally do not think that it can be (or should be) the sole determining factor.

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28 minutes ago, turtleback said:

Ah, but why is that?  Because Jack decided, and those folks you mentioned acquiesced, that total number of majors was the proper way of comparing players across eras when he knew full well that any other candidate, at the time, had far fewer opportunities to play in, and hence win, majors.  Jack cooked the books and everyone just nodded and let him.  No one ever used number of majors as a serious metric, until Jack made his dishonest push.

And how do we know this?  Because if majors were what counted, Walter Hagen would have been the consensus GOAT until Jack got number 12 and the reality was that Hagen was NOT so considered.  He was rarely even IN the pre-Jack Goat discussions - which centered on Hogan, Snead, and Nelson.  With historically obtuse folks throwing in Jones.  Even when we take into account that he was deprived of his Western Open wins counting as majors.

So no, I'm not buying the argument some (not you) are making that despite having no trouble regarding Jack as the GOAT it is now impossible to determine anything beyond GOTE.  

This is neither intended to refute what you are saying, nor even to argue against it. You clearly know the history far better than I.

I have never found the definitive answer to how the (modern) majors became majors. There seems to have been some sort of apocryphal conversation between Arnold Palmer and a golf writer, Bob Drum, on a flight to Canada in 1960, in which Palmer determined to contest the (then) deeply unfashionable British Open, and, as the 1960 US Open Winner, decided that the Masters and PGA could comprise a quartet of "grand slam" tournaments.

If that is the case, it draws the line between the old world of golf, and the modern era, and makes the previous winners casualties of history, I suppose.

Again, I know nothing of Nicklaus's motives in emphasizing, as you suggest, the disproportionate significance of winning those four competitions post-1960 when quantifying the major winners, and subsequently the golfing greats. The generous streak in me wonders whether, as he's known to be a huge tennis fan, he thought his own sport needed four certain majors, as had been the case with tennis for years.

Edited by ScouseJohnny

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10 hours ago, ScouseJohnny said:

Again, I know nothing of Nicklaus's motives in emphasizing, as you suggest, the disproportionate significance of winning those four competitions post-1960 when quantifying the major winners, and subsequently the golfing greats. The generous streak in me wonders whether, as he's known to be a huge tennis fan, he thought his own sport needed four certain majors, as had been the case with tennis for years.

Unfortunately, number of majors was not Jack's first attempt at setting the criteria for GOAT so your tennis speculation doesn't really fit.  As has been documented here several times, he went through several different criteria, over the years, discarding each one it became clear he would not be the GOAT under any of them.  He didn't stay an amateur and replicate Bobby Jones' version of the slam.  He didn't exceed Hogan's 3 out of three majors in 1953 by winning a professional slam.  He didn't exceed Sam Snead's record of most PGA Tour victories.  But each of these was put forth by him as what it would take to be considered the greatest of all time - right up until it turned out he couldn't do them.

Then, once he ALREADY had the most majors he decides that most majors is the proper criteria, totally ignoring the fact that he had already had the opportunity to play in far more majors than anyone else conceivably in the GOAT discussion.

I only recount this abbreviated version of this history, which elsewhere has been laid out in more detail with links to each of Jack's twists and turns, because you indicated a lack of familiarity with some of this history.  You can choose to be generous in looking at how Majors came to be the all in all but I cannot.  Tiger may have many many more flaws and failings as a person than Jack, but, IMO, in the strict realm of golf he has shown far more integrity than Jack.  Tiger has never once tried to re-define the criteria for GOAT, in some self serving way, as Jack did. 

Meanwhile, on a more important topic, GO LIVERPOOL!!!

I already have my tickets for their upcoming friendly here in the US against Borussia Dortmund at Notre Dame's football stadium in July.  I hope I will be seeing them as reigning Champions League champions.

11 hours ago, Hardluckster said:

The number of majors won should be an important part of the equation used by folks trying to find the proverbial GOAT but I personally do not think that it can be (or should be) the sole determining factor.

Wait, how can you not believe in the whole concept of GOAT yet have an opinion as to the equation used to find the GOAT?

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5 hours ago, turtleback said:

Wait, how can you not believe in the whole concept of GOAT yet have an opinion as to the equation used to find the GOAT?

Because he’s a Jack fan and using the same tactic as Jack. Any other guidelines aside from most majors DQ’s Jack and that can’t be accepted.

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10 hours ago, turtleback said:

Wait, how can you not believe in the whole concept of GOAT yet have an opinion as to the equation used to find the GOAT?

I stated "used by folks trying to find the proverbial GOAT".  I'm not trying to find the GOAT but if someone was I would think that majors won would be only one of the criteria that person should use.

Maybe that wasn't plain in my statement.

4 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Because he’s a Jack fan and using the same tactic as Jack. Any other guidelines aside from most majors DQ’s Jack and that can’t be accepted.

You must indeed be one really special person.  You are able to read other people's minds.

I am a Jack Nicklaus fan.  I don't deny that.  I have never believed that Jack was the GOAT, any more than I think that Michael Jordan is the GOAT in basketball or that Tom Brady is the GOAT in football.  

Is that really so difficult to believe?

Have a great day. 

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1 hour ago, Hardluckster said:

I am a Jack Nicklaus fan.  I don't deny that.

Right. Sooo.....

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I'm also a Sam Snead fan, an Arnold Palmer fan, and even a fan of Tiger Woods (in addition to many others).

That doesn't mean that I espouse any of them to the the GOAT.

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39 minutes ago, Hardluckster said:

I'm also a Sam Snead fan, an Arnold Palmer fan, and even a fan of Tiger Woods (in addition to many others).

That doesn't mean that I espouse any of them to the the GOAT.

I simply don’t believe you is all I’m saying. I think If  there was never a Tiger Woods you wouldn’t have an issue calling Jack the GOAT. Maybe you would. So:

Now that you’re annoyed by that, you can understand the annoyance you and others create when you continue to post in a topic that you do not believe is possible.

It’s like an atheist debating who’s the real god. You don’t believe anyone is the GOAT and that’s fine. You’re not going to convince those of us who do that there isn’t, or that it’s not debatable. 

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What is 100% for sure is that eventually, sometime in the future, maybe not in any of our life times, even Tiger Woods will be recognized as a "GOTE". Everyone gets replaced by someone else who is better at doing what they do. 

Edited by Patch

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1 hour ago, Patch said:

Everyone gets replaced by someone else who is better at doing what they do.

Well there are those who don’t believe (understand) this. They think if you can’t magically transport one player to the others era then we’ll never know. Which of course is a ridiculous idea.

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1 hour ago, Vinsk said:

I simply don’t believe you is all I’m saying. I think If  there was never a Tiger Woods you wouldn’t have an issue calling Jack the GOAT. Maybe you would. So:

Now that you’re annoyed by that, you can understand the annoyance you and others create when you continue to post in a topic that you do not believe is possible.

It’s like an atheist debating who’s the real god. You don’t believe anyone is the GOAT and that’s fine. You’re not going to convince those of us who do that there isn’t, or that it’s not debatable. 

It is obvious that you don't believe me.  I'm OK with that.  I've never proposed that Jack was the GOAT, and I would challenge you to prove differently but it would be futile and a waste your time (which I don't really wish to do) because no such view exists.

As for being annoyed, again you propose to know my thoughts.  I'm not annoyed.  This is an internet message board - I would be silly to be annoyed by anyone's response to my opinion on this forum.  I'm simply offering another opinion.

I'm not trying to change anyone's mind here.  I'm not proposing that my opinion is right and that your opinion is wrong.  I'm simply expressing another option.  You would have that opinion excluded simply because it doesn't support that either Jack or Tiger as the GOAT - I've got no real problem with that other than it limits the discussion to only two points of view.  As I've said before, I think that "neither" is a valid answer to the original question.

I've enjoyed reading this thread.  I've learned quite a bit from some of the posts here.  It has been very informative in many regards.

To make you happy, however, I will cease to post any more on this topic.  It was never my intention to be derisive.  I make every attempt to always post with an attitude of respect.  I apologize to anyone who has found my views and thoughts to otherwise.

I hope you have a great evening.

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48 minutes ago, Hardluckster said:

To make you happy, however, I will cease to post any more on this topic.

You have been respectful and there are no issues there. And of course you can post all you want. My point is that this isn’t a 3 scenario topic. The question is whether you believe Tiger or Jack is the GOAT. An opinion of ‘Ill never claim anyone as such’ is actually what’s futile. This just isn’t the thread for you. Your stance is 100% opinion. Many facts have been presented here that make a more than reasonable basis to actually compare the two. You accept none of them. And that’s fine. But it certainly limits your discussion on a topic that asks ‘which one’ and you say neither. No hard feelings at all. As I said, you’ve been quite cordial and respectful.

Edited by Vinsk

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3 hours ago, Patch said:

What is 100% for sure is that eventually, sometime in the future, maybe not in any of our life times, even Tiger Woods will be recognized as a "GOTE". Everyone gets replaced by someone else who is better at doing what they do. 

Not necessarily. Sometimes the GOAT is not replaced.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

Not necessarily. Sometimes the GOAT is not replaced.

Can you give some examples?  The only sports I've followed even casually for the past few years are golf and football, so I may be way off, but it seems to me that Brady has replaced Montana, James is about to replace Jordan if he hasn't already, Federer has replaced Sampras, etc.  I guess Ruth might still be the GOAT in baseball for people who consider drug-enhanced results invalid. 

Edited by brocks

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I dunno. Caber tossing?

My point is that there's no guarantee at all that there will some day be a better golfer than Tiger Woods. Or, perhaps, there may some day be a better one, but everyone else will also be so much better, we will miss it and not recognize it as such.

Plus, if a sport ever rose to good popularity and then died off, you could easily have a GOAT that's never surpassed. Golf might not even be golf in 70 years given the environmental size and usage of materials.

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2 hours ago, iacas said:

I dunno. Caber tossing?

My point is that there's no guarantee at all that there will some day be a better golfer than Tiger Woods. Or, perhaps, there may some day be a better one, but everyone else will also be so much better, we will miss it and not recognize it as such.

Plus, if a sport ever rose to good popularity and then died off, you could easily have a GOAT that's never surpassed. Golf might not even be golf in 70 years given the environmental size and usage of materials.

I get this but what @Patch said was that every GOAT gets replaced. You replied sometimes they don’t. I can’t think of any that haven’t. So by what has occurred it’s a pretty accurate statement I believe. I think it’s an interesting question. What GOAT in any sport still remains as the GOAT. Jack was obviously replaced by Tiger. Gretzky? I don’t know hockey at all.

Edited by Vinsk

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5 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

I get this but what @Patch said was that every GOAT gets replaced.

That includes in the future, and that's not a guarantee, no.

And you can't think of any, but you don't know every sport ever. If golf ceases to exist as it is now in 40 years, Tiger may never be supplanted as the GOAT.

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