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

Greatest Golfer (GOAT)  

194 members have voted

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

    • Tiger Woods is the man
      1634
    • Jack Nicklaus is my favorite
      815


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On 6/22/2019 at 6:54 PM, iacas said:

@Vinsk, down boy. C'mon… he's new to the topic. I know it's frustrating to have the same discussion all the time, but… just relax.

It is not that guy's lack of knowledge that is so irritating, it is his utter lack of anything resembling critical thinking.  The minute someone dismisses something because it cannot be proven mathematically is the minute they show themselves unserious.  Because nothing outside the realm of math can be proven mathematically.  And even things that ARE within the realm of math can be proven mathematically and still be wrong because mathematical reasoning depends in part on the veracity of the postulates.  And thanks to Goedel we know that there are statement which are true but cannot be proven.
 

18 hours ago, porc said:

The Tiger vs Jack debate reminds me of a similar one in Tennis: Federer vs Nadal/Djokovic. A lot of people are convinced that Federer is the greatest of all time, however you have to consider the fact that Nadal/Djokovic competed in a much tougher environment when they won their slams (i.e. two all time greats were competing with them). Federer got about 13 (+?) of his slams when both Nadal and Djokovic were still maturing/much weaker/ a non factor. 

I think both Djokovic and Nadal are better than Federer. Due to tougher competition I think Tigers achievements are much more impressive than Jacks. Of course Nadal, Djokovic, Federer and Tiger are still competing, so we will have to wait and see. If Tiger equals Nicklaus in number of Grand Slams nobody will question his GOAT status :). 

The interesting thing is that one of the 'reasons' that is put forth as to why we can't answer the GOAT question is that we don't know how they would have fared against each other.  Well in the case of tennis we KNOW Nadal is ahead 24-15 in all matches and 14-10 in finals.  And still the same arguments made for Jack are made for Roger.

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18 hours ago, porc said:

If Tiger equals Nicklaus in number of Grand Slams nobody will question his GOAT status :).

If only that was how the world works. But no, people will say stuff like, "Tiger didn't have to compete against Palmer, Player, Trevino, et al."

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5 hours ago, turtleback said:

The interesting thing is that one of the 'reasons' that is put forth as to why we can't answer the GOAT question is that we don't know how they would have fared against each other.  Well in the case of tennis we KNOW Nadal is ahead 24-15 in all matches and 14-10 in finals.  And still the same arguments made for Jack are made for Roger.

Sorry, this is OT, but Nadal's biggest hurdle in his argument is 12 of his 18 majors came on one surface in one tournament. It's like if Tiger ended up with 15 majors and 11 of them came at Augusta and he didn't win much outside of that. It would hurt his argument somewhat. Personally, I think Djokovic will end up as the GOAT when all is said and done in tennis anyways. Already kinda think he is. 

Again, sorry for being OT. 

Edited by ChrisP

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6 hours ago, turtleback said:

we can't answer the GOAT question is that we don't know how they would have fared against each other. 

With golf I just don’t see that as even relevant. Many golfers have beaten both Jack and Tiger in head to head matches as well as each of them losing in tournaments. Hell Phil beat Tiger in ‘The Match’ but it hardly elevates his status over Tiger.  And you’re right about some things we know are true and aren’t proven to be.

IMO this is at least the case with looking at Jack’s competition vs Tiger’s. These people being silly about it only being speculation just can’t come to reason. It’s like if someone asked you ‘ Have you ever seen a silver Ford Focus’ and you answer ‘ yes, I’m sure’ then they ask ‘ tell me when.’ Obviously many people won’t be able to say exactly when and where they saw one but they damn well know they have. That’s what’s so frustrating about these silly ‘ you don’t know that’ people.

And you're also right about these same people (who of course deny it) having no problem calling Jack the GOAT before Tiger came into the picture. Then their nostalgic hero gets easily surpassed and it’s ‘ no one can know, it’s all speculation.’ 

Edited by Vinsk

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10 hours ago, Vinsk said:

And you're also right about these same people (who of course deny it) having no problem calling Jack the GOAT before Tiger came into the picture. Then their nostalgic hero gets easily surpassed and it’s ‘ no one can know, it’s all speculation.’ 

And so you speculate about their speculation. Can you cite evidence that these people you speak of proclaimed Jack as the GOAT, or is that just your opinion?

At my club, there is a member who regularly shoots mid 60's. He is currently the best playing member that we have. Twenty years or so ago that honor belonged to another gentleman (who was also shooting mid 60's regularly). This older fellow is now playing from the senior tees, and while he still plays very well, he can't compete with the younger chap. Both were the best of their time but there's no way to know which, if either, was the best of the two.

I have already stated in this thread that if forced to choose, I think that Tiger probably gets the heads up - but that would be speculation on my part. They were both the greatest of their time. For me, that's sufficient. To attempt to belittle and ridicule those who diasagree with me would simply be ostentatious on my part. 

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27 minutes ago, Hardluckster said:

At my club, there is a member who regularly shoots mid 60's. He is currently the best playing member that we have. Twenty years or so ago that honor belonged to another gentleman (who was also shooting mid 60's regularly). This older fellow is now playing from the senior tees, and while he still plays very well, he can't compete with the younger chap. Both were the best of their time but there's no way to know which, if either, was the best of the two.

Sure there is. Which player accomplished more? Which player won more club championships? Which player played against tougher competition? Which player spent the most amount of time being the best player at the club?  It's not about who would beat who in a 1 round head to head matchup, but rather which player had the better career.

40 minutes ago, Hardluckster said:

 

I have already stated in this thread that if forced to choose, I think that Tiger probably gets the heads up - but that would be speculation on my part. 

If you are talking about who would win in a head to head, then sure that might be speculation on your part, but if you are talking about which player has had a better career, then no, that isn't speculation, because it can be backed up with facts that support your Tiger choice.

30 minutes ago, Hardluckster said:

To attempt to belittle and ridicule those who diasagree with me would simply be ostentatious on my part. 

People who disagree and think that Jack is the GOAT aren't getting belittled and ridiculed, they are getting called out because they aren't able to support their opinions with facts, and when others asked them to provide facts to support their case, they often change the subject or deflect.

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6 minutes ago, klineka said:

Sure there is. Which player accomplished more? Which player won more club championships? Which player played against tougher competition? Which player spent the most amount of time being the best player at the club?  It's not about who would beat who in a 1 round head to head matchup, but rather which player had the better career.

Exactly, golf isn't a head to head sport. It's you against the field. There are handful of things that we have a good idea of that have been discussed ad nauseam.

8 minutes ago, klineka said:

People who disagree and think that Jack is the GOAT aren't getting belittled and ridiculed, they are getting called out because they aren't able to support their opinions with facts, and when others asked them to provide facts to support their case, they often change the subject or deflect.

^This

 

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1 hour ago, Hardluckster said:

And so you speculate about their speculation. Can you cite evidence that these people you speak of proclaimed Jack as the GOAT, or is that just your opinion?

Exactly what I’m talking about. Gee you’re right. Nobody has ever proclaimed Jack as the GOAT before Tiger. I must’ve just read that hundreds of times, heard it a million in dreams. And there’s no way any of those people would be in a discussion on who they believe is the GOAT. Such careless speculation, yeah. 

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1 hour ago, Hardluckster said:

I have already stated in this thread that if forced to choose, I think that Tiger probably gets the heads up - but that would be speculation on my part. They were both the greatest of their time. For me, that's sufficient. To attempt to belittle and ridicule those who diasagree with me would simply be ostentatious on my part. 

Some people - like you - have a very, very odd definition for "speculation." You seem to define it as "anything which cannot be proven."

"Chocolate is the best ice cream flavor" is not speculation. It's an opinion, and one someone could support with facts and evidence (worldwide production or sales, etc.). It's not "speculation" though.

Speculation is defined as "the forming of a theory or conjecture without firm evidence." That's not what's happening here.

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12 minutes ago, klineka said:

Sure there is. Which player accomplished more? Which player won more club championships? Which player played against tougher competition? Which player spent the most amount of time being the best player at the club?  It's not about who would beat who in a 1 round head to head matchup, but rather which player had the better career.

Agree to disagree, I suppose. The variables are far too abundant for me to ever state that definitively. 

14 minutes ago, klineka said:

If you are talking about who would win in a head to head, then sure that might be speculation on your part, but if you are talking about which player has had a better career, then no, that isn't speculation, because it can be backed up with facts that support your Tiger choice.

I suppose it goes to the individual's definition of GOAT more than anything else. To me, GOAT means the greatest to ever play the game - not the player who has the best records, stats, or achievements. I've just never believed that athletes across generations can be equally compared to each other in that manner. 

24 minutes ago, klineka said:

People who disagree and think that Jack is the GOAT aren't getting belittled and ridiculed, they are getting called out because they aren't able to support their opinions with facts, and when others asked them to provide facts to support their case, they often change the subject or deflect.

If you think that there haven't been people who belittle and ridicule in this thread, I would suggest that you haven't been paying attention. It's happened on all sides of the discussion, also, imo. 

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8 minutes ago, iacas said:

Some people - like you - have a very, very odd definition for "speculation." You seem to define it as "anything which cannot be proven."

"Chocolate is the best ice cream flavor" is not speculation. It's an opinion, and one someone could support with facts and evidence (worldwide production or sales, etc.). It's not "speculation" though.

Speculation is defined as "the forming of a theory or conjecture without firm evidence." That's not what's happening here.

in the old days, Chocolate only had to compete against vanilla and Strawberry.  So it was pretty good.

But today, Chocolate has to compete against gourmet variations in the 1000's.  And it STILL WINS

Maybe it's an opinion, but it's very compelling opinion.

Chocolate - GOAT

Edited by rehmwa

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2 minutes ago, Hardluckster said:

The variables are far too abundant for me to ever state that definitively. 

That's not "agreeing to disagree." That's just you not being willing to form an opinion based on multiple facts (I wouldn't call them variables - Jack's career accomplishments aren't varying at this point).

2 minutes ago, Hardluckster said:

I suppose it goes to the individual's definition of GOAT more than anything else. To me, GOAT means the greatest to ever play the game - not the player who has the best records, stats, or achievements.

You're assuming that your definition differs. Ostensibly, the "greatest to ever play the game" will rack up the best (or nearly the best) records, stats, and achievements. You'd have a hard time making a case for Tom Kite as the GOAT. Or even Phil Mickelson. Or Arnie. Or Snead, Hogan, Jones.

2 minutes ago, Hardluckster said:

I've just never believed that athletes across generations can be equally compared to each other in that manner.

Or - and I don't mean this in a negative way because this isn't a "human values" type of thing at all and it says nothing about you as a person - you're just too lazy to compare, or you don't care enough to compare, or something.

Others feel that you can compare. I think they've both produced enough of a body of evidence to compare, so I do.

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21 minutes ago, iacas said:

Some people - like you - have a very, very odd definition for "speculation." You seem to define it as "anything which cannot be proven."

"Chocolate is the best ice cream flavor" is not speculation. It's an opinion, and one someone could support with facts and evidence (worldwide production or sales, etc.). It's not "speculation" though.

Speculation is defined as "the forming of a theory or conjecture without firm evidence." That's not what's happening here.

In a controlled experiment, all variables must be held to a constant except for the one variable that is being tested. In this situation, Jack or Tiger (or Hogan, Jones, Snead, Old Tom, etc) would be the one allowable variable. Any other variables makes it hypothetical, theoretical, speculative, etc. 

10 minutes ago, iacas said:

That's not "agreeing to disagree." That's just you not being willing to form an opinion based on multiple facts (I wouldn't call them variables - Jack's career accomplishments aren't varying at this point).

You're assuming that your definition differs. Ostensibly, the "greatest to ever play the game" will rack up the best (or nearly the best) records, stats, and achievements. You'd have a hard time making a case for Tom Kite as the GOAT. Or even Phil Mickelson. Or Arnie. Or Snead, Hogan, Jones.

Or - and I don't mean this in a negative way because this isn't a "human values" type of thing at all and it says nothing about you as a person - you're just too lazy to compare, or you don't care enough to compare, or something.

Others feel that you can compare. I think they've both produced enough of a body of evidence to compare, so I do.

It's not that I don't care to compare at all. It is that you are comparing different data. As a scientist that just won't work for me. More than one independent variable leads to errors - courses, equipment, training, money, etc. 

Off to work now. I'll check back later. 

Have a great day, all. 

Lastly, before I go: it isn't that I think that you are wrong (you may very well be correct) - or maybe the Jack people are correct. It is that I don't think this can be proven by my definition of GOAT. 

Tiger's records and stats are more impressive, regardless of the major championship totals. I'll not dispute that. 

Again, have a great day - I've got to get to work. 😂

Edited by Hardluckster

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18 minutes ago, Hardluckster said:

In a controlled experiment

News flash: we ain't conducting an "experiment."

18 minutes ago, Hardluckster said:

Any other variables makes it hypothetical, theoretical, speculative, etc.

Wrong.

18 minutes ago, Hardluckster said:

It's not that I don't care to compare at all. It is that you are comparing different data. As a scientist that just won't work for me.

I'm a scientist too, dude. Thing is… this ain't science.

18 minutes ago, Hardluckster said:

Lastly, before I go: it isn't that I think that you are wrong (you may very well be correct) - or maybe the Jack people are correct. It is that I don't think this can be proven by my definition of GOAT.

We get it. You don't think GOAT can be determined. So, my counter is that you have nothing to really add here.

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3 hours ago, Hardluckster said:

In a controlled experiment, all variables must be held to a constant except for the one variable that is being tested. In this situation, Jack or Tiger (or Hogan, Jones, Snead, Old Tom, etc) would be the one allowable variable. Any other variables makes it hypothetical, theoretical, speculative, etc. 

 

 

But Jack didn't do this. He decide one variable would have more weight than all others. As an engineer who has done dozens and dozens of designed experiments myself, I find this odd. Without defining why, other than a sports writer calling them 'majors', Jack decided because he had the most, that would be the only variable that counts. He skipped over total wins, amateur wins, PGA Tour wins, etc. 

When others point out that a win against a weak field of mostly also-ran players (like the '66 PGA or early Open Championships) should not count any more that a tough, non-major tournament, Jack as GOAT defenders then say it is only speculation and opinion.

Jack defined himself which variable was most important. All the other math points to this not be a valid premise.

Have a nice day!

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4 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Exactly what I’m talking about. Gee you’re right. Nobody has ever proclaimed Jack as the GOAT before Tiger. I must’ve just read that hundreds of times, heard it a million in dreams. And there’s no way any of those people would be in a discussion on who they believe is the GOAT. Such careless speculation, yeah. 

There are a great many people who believe that Jack is still the GOAT.  That isn't in question. What I do question is whether anyone here who suggests that the GOAT cannot actually be identified has ever indicated that Jack was ever the GOAT (a point that you have suggested on numerous occasions). 

Are there such individuals out there? I would say that there almost surely are. Are any of them posting in this thread?  I've seen no evidence of that. 

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35 minutes ago, Hardluckster said:

There are a great many people who believe that Jack is still the GOAT.  That isn't in question. What I do question is whether anyone here who suggests that the GOAT cannot actually be identified has ever indicated that Jack was ever the GOAT (a point that you have suggested on numerous occasions). 

Are there such individuals out there? I would say that there almost surely are. Are any of them posting in this thread?  I've seen no evidence of that. 

It's beside the point, but there have been people who have said "I don't think you can identify a GOAT, but if I had to pick, 18 > 14 so I would have to pick Jack." (Most are from back before April 2019.)

But like I said… beside the point.

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