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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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This may impossible to really answer until Tiger retires but, given the extraordinary physical prowess of Tiger, his relative youth given his extraordinary record of wins ( including majors ) and it becomes hard to imagine that one wouldn't choose Eldrick. I would still rather wait another ten years before answering conclusively in order to provide a more fair career comparison.

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I really don't think you can compare the two because of the equipment differences. The ball especially. There was no such thing as a straight shot into a green. you either cut it or hooked it in. Thats a whole different style of game that the guys these days don't know.

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In my opinion it is not possible to decide who is the best golfer, mainly because they played at two different times and when you look at not only the competition, but the technology and such it is very difficult to choose.

1) the golf courses were not in as good as shape as they are now adays. If 1 blade of grass is out of place now then that is why the pro missed their putt apparently.
2) Jack Nicklaus played in a very competitive era and I know that it may seem like Tiger hits the ball farther, but if you Jack was 30 years old today with this technology, then in my opinion, and I heard it somewhere, that Jack would actually drive the ball farther.

So in conclusion I do not see how you can legitamitely choose the best golfer. There are so many other things that need to be taken into consideration. Plus the fact that Tiger has not yet caught Jack, so that is another huge part, whether he is well on his way or not, he isn't there yet.

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1) the golf courses were not in as good as shape as they are now adays. If 1 blade of grass is out of place now then that is why the pro missed their putt apparently.

That's one thing I missed. The greens back then were like a forest. Jack had to use a pop stroke to get it to the hole. How accurate can that be?

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In my opinion, if Jack and Tiger played when both were (or are in Tiger's case), Tiger would win for the simple fact that he can reach about every par 5 in 2 and have a legitimate shot at eagle. It would be a fun match to watch though!

Ryan

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In my opinion, if Jack and Tiger played when both were (or are in Tiger's case), Tiger would win for the simple fact that he can reach about every par 5 in 2 and have a legitimate shot at eagle. It would be a fun match to watch though!

Like i said though, Jack was the long driver in his prime too when he was running over his competition. So to say that tiger would win b/c he would reach every par 5 in 2 is inaccurate b/c if you put them at the same age, the same technology, the same course, at the same time...then i think it would go either way, not a greatest golfer yet...that is my opinion though.

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In my opinion, if Jack and Tiger played when both were (or are in Tiger's case), Tiger would win for the simple fact that he can reach about every par 5 in 2 and have a legitimate shot at eagle. It would be a fun match to watch though!

Ever watched the "Big 3" golf series? The young Nicklaus was some machine. With today's equipment in his hands he would have been a match for anybody, Tiger included.

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Tiger is the greatest in my opinion, but you ask my dad the same question and he would no doubt give me 10 million reasons why it was Jack. I was not born during the Jack era, although I have heard he was a great player I have to say Tiger is the best I have ever seen.

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Jack until Tiger can beat his totals. I think it will happen.

I would love to see Tiger go out to Baltusrol and hit the same one iron and the same type of ball that Jack used in 1967 just to see what he could do. I know it was all into the wind that day and the title was on the line so it would be hard to recreate that moment, but just coll to see how close Tiger could stick it.

In the end though, I think Arnie meamtt more to the game than either of these guys though. Truly such a great man with the fans.

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I've looked at Jacks winning ratio 1962-72, and from there to age 50, and done a conservative projection.

Tiger won at a rate of 25% 1996-06. Jack won at a rate of 18% in his first 11 seasons and only 9% from '72-'90. I believe Tiger's performance will not decline at the same rate as Jack's; however, if you conservatively estimate the same rate of decline as an equal ratio to 2025, Tiger can be expected to reach age 50 with more than 90 Tour wins.

Given that players like Funk are still winning on the PGA Tour in their late 40's and early 50s, it is reasonable to assume Tiger will be winning at that age as well. Also, in looking forward you have to consider Tiger retooled his swing twice in the first ten years. If he has now settled on a swing that will work for him as he ages, which was his stated goal, his numbers might actually improve over the next ten years.

Given Tiger's focus and conditioning, isn't it fair to expect him, with good health, to have more than 100 wins and 20+ majors?

Imagine the numbers if Tiger played as many events as Vijay! He'd surely already have the 60 wins Johnny Miller estimated for his career back in '96... "maybe 60, at the outside".

K

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Why do most of the respondants seem to base their assessement of greatness purely on majors won ? In so doing we overlook the acheivements of some great players .

Harry Vardon won 6 british opens and a us open 1st and 2nd on the two occassions he was able to play in it. Thats 7 career majors before the masters and the us pga even existed , think how many he would have won if he had been able to play in all 4 events each year.

Walter Hagen who won 4 pga championships in a row ! This when the format was matchplay so for 4 years he never lost to another us pro head to head! He won 4 british opens at a time when us players hardly ever won the open more than once and if you count the western open which was at the time considered a major amoungst pros his total of majors would be 17 !

As to Bobby Jones well read my earlier post but just look at what he won in such a space of time ....When Tiger woods wins all four majors in the same year well then lets talk.

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Do you think Tiger having children will affect his game and his focus? That is something to consider once the baby is born. I agree with mstuck too, Bobby Jones was the only player to win the Grand Slam and just so much better than everyone he played against.

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I think having a family will affect Tigers performance a little. Everyone who has kids knows how draining and stressful it can be at times. Having a healthy baby would help him to continue on the pace he is now. A baby with problems could change things greatly.
How his wife handles having a baby will have an effect on his life. My wife used to freak out if our son was sick and I always had to rush home to help or stay up late at night to help her. Having a lot of money will help. He has pleanty of resourses to have his family with him on the road and all the support they need.

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There are plenty of great players in the past who have accomplished remarkable things, but on today's courses, against today's fields, a win rate of 25% and 60% top tens over 11 seasons, has to be viewed as f-ing amazing.

Anyone who discounts Tiger's record by saying he has to win all majors in one year to be considered the most dominant player in history is not recognizing reality.

K

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As noted by HoganFan, Jack faced some tough dudes in his day. I have to think those guys had an "old world" work ethic which led them to perform better than many of today's pros. Back then they were also working for a living when they played. They had to win to make a decent living. There were no $500,000 second place checks or multi-million dollar endorsement deals.

The young guys today can live off the endorsement money alone so I wonder if they have the same sense of urgency about winning the earlier generations had.

K

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Arnie has said something to that affect. Guys aren't as vicious or prepared to win since the second place (and third and fourth) money is so good. I think this is so true. Why else would so many people fold playing against Tiger down the stretch?

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