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Phil McGleno

Strength and Depth of Field in Jack's Day and Tiger's Day

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  1. 1. Loosely Related Question (consider the thread topic-please dont just repeat the GOAT thread): Which is the more impressive feat?

    • Winning 20 majors in the 60s-80s.
      12
    • Winning 17 majors in the 90s-10s.
      139


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12 minutes ago, iacas said:

Nobody is comparing Jack to Bobby Jones here. The comparison is Jack vs. his peers and Tiger vs. his.

Yeah, everyone gets that. But those suggesting that advances in equipment made it more difficult for Woods is bogus. 

51 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

It has been made countless times in this thread.

Made countless times by TW fans. :-D

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3 minutes ago, fishgolf said:

Yeah, everyone gets that. But those suggesting that advances in equipment made it more difficult for Woods is bogus. 

Made countless times by TW fans. :-D

I am a Jack Nicklaus fan as well. So your point is invalid.

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1 hour ago, fishgolf said:

The analogy and argument still is only relevant for the era in which player A or B is competing. The same scenario plays out in Jack's era.  To suggest that advances in equipment only apply to TW's is ridiculous.  But then, when you're trying desperately to make a case that cannot be made, at least with current records, it's totally understandable.

No one said that. This thread is about Jack's era versus Tiger's era. Advanced in technology apply when comparing Walter Hagen's era versus Jack's Era.

56 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

@Pretzel

Is your example purely hypothetical?

Nope, it happens all the time in sports.

Who's the best QB? Who's the best Olympic athlete? Who's the best Tour D' France winner? Who's the best tennis player? Who is the best golfer?  

In all these cases, advancement in the sport has made it harder for elite of the sport to distance themselves from the field.

56 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

There is no perfect golfer.  Assume a and b have peak human talent and skill.  You can give tech to their competitors which will make things closer,  but it does not automatically increase the skill/talent part.  There’s at least a minimum there required to compete consistently with a or b.

No one said there is a perfect golfer.

For the most part, the golfers of the 90's and 00's were more skillful than the golfers in the 60's and 70's, and there were more of them. There was 20-30 years of advancement in the sport. No one can deny this. Golf isn't the unicorn in the room that gets to claim that advancement in sports knowledge has not helped the game.

Did the USGA try to protect par as much in Jack's time as they did now? The USGA has to almost destroy a course, make it almost comical, and these guys are still nearly breaking par. To deny that the golfers of the past 30 years are inadequate to those of the 60's and 70's is absurd.

18 minutes ago, fishgolf said:

Yeah, everyone gets that. But those suggesting that advances in equipment made it more difficult for Woods is bogus. 

You are wrong then.

18 minutes ago, fishgolf said:

Made countless times by TW fans. :-D

There we go. You can't make a valid argument so you just claim people are biased because they are TW fans.

I'll say this. Tiger was never my favorite golfer. Even then, I could even hate him, and I would still agree he played against tougher competition than Jack.

 Heck, Jack went to The Ohio State University, my Alma Mater. If he was playing today against Tiger, I am definitely rooting for Jack. Got to support a former Buckeye.

Sorry to Jack, Tiger's competition was tougher to compete against.

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27 minutes ago, fishgolf said:

Yeah, everyone gets that. But those suggesting that advances in equipment made it more difficult for Woods is bogus.

You do realize that’s not even remotely close to an actual argument with support, right? Actually I doubt you do. I feel like you’re sitting there thinking you’ve made great points. You’ve got nothing. You’ve never made a point at all. You like Jack and that’s all you’ve managed to say.

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1 hour ago, fishgolf said:

Made countless times by TW fans. :-D

Yes, we have the patience of Job.  Reminds me of trying to teach my dog to play chess.  Stupid mutt always brought his queen out too early.

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@saevel25

If what you say is true and Tigers competition was better than Jacks why is it that you can’t name who these great rivals to Tiger were?

More golfers on tour shooting within 6 of the winning score does not mean a field is stronger it only means it’s deeper.  A stronger field means a field which contains more peak talent/skill not more also rans and a better score required to make a cut.

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53 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

More golfers on tour shooting within 6 of the winning score does not mean a field is stronger it only means it’s deeper.  A stronger field means a field which contains more peak talent/skill not more also rans and a better score required to make a cut.

It is stronger, and contain more peak talent.

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17 hours ago, fishgolf said:

That's a bogus statement even from the GOAT.  I think Jack tries to be overly considerate in this whole Woods vs. Nicklaus debate.  He and Arnie are the games ultimate ambassadors and have always treaded lightly in these discussions.

That would be a great point about Jack being considerate of Tiger - EXCEPT for the inconvenient FACT that Jack said this in his 1996 autobiography.  You know, 1996, the very year Tiger burst into the pro world - before he even began to challenge Jack's positions self-proclaimed GOAT.  How prescient of Jack to realize that his largely correct take on the end of superstars in golf would be overly considerate to a guy who hadn't even started his career.

But since you persist in your obtusity here is a simple example.  One of Jack't great strengths was his long iron game.  It was said that he could hit his long irons higher, and land them softer than almost everyone.  It took great talent and skill to be able to do this.  Now, introduce a modern 5-wood and Ray Floyd could hit similar shots, as he did in dominating the Masters in 1976.  Now introduce hybrids and everyone and his brother can hit those shots.  Watering down the talent and skill advantage of those very few who were able to hit those shots with long irons.

 

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41 minutes ago, turtleback said:

That would be a great point about Jack being considerate of Tiger - EXCEPT for the inconvenient FACT that Jack said this in his 1996 autobiography.  You know, 1996, the very year Tiger burst into the pro world - before he even began to challenge Jack's positions self-proclaimed GOAT.  How prescient of Jack to realize that his largely correct take on the end of superstars in golf would be overly considerate to a guy who hadn't even started his career.

But since you persist in your obtusity here is a simple example.  One of Jack't great strengths was his long iron game.  It was said that he could hit his long irons higher, and land them softer than almost everyone.  It took great talent and skill to be able to do this.  Now, introduce a modern 5-wood and Ray Floyd could hit similar shots, as he did in dominating the Masters in 1976.  Now introduce hybrids and everyone and his brother can hit those shots.  Watering down the talent and skill advantage of those very few who were able to hit those shots with long irons.

 

Gosh, that seems like a damn good explanation. Unfortunately people like @Jack Watson aren’t interested in data, stats unless they fit their argument. And ironically they make statements like ‘because you’re a TW fan.’ All the while they ignore their complete bias to Jack. Or for Jack Watson in particular ‘the golden age.’ @Jack Watson I think you’re having a hard time letting go of the past much the same way people continue to believe ‘putt for dough drive for show.’ You don’t want to believe that Tiger is the GOAT. You don’t want to believe that the players from the past aren’t as talented as today’s golf athletes. And that’s fine but please; don’t bother posting here without any substantial arguments. As @iacas said you’re really just (embarrassing yourself) and I think you’re better than that. @iacas does not make those types of comments unless it’s true. I’ve been on that end of it and it was completely warranted. So come on bro...

Edited by Vinsk

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4 hours ago, fishgolf said:

Yeah, everyone gets that. But those suggesting that advances in equipment made it more difficult for Woods is bogus. 

Example: If @iacas and I went and played 18 together and we both used 1970 Northwestern blades @iacas may not have quite the touch he’s used to, lose a little distance ...but for the most part he could shoot par. I however would be punished for my lesser quality hits and struggle at long irons and have a pretty rough round.

Now let us each have today’s equipment, sure @iacas feels a bit more touch and picks up some yardage but overall he’s seeing some respectable improvement at best. But for me? My Mis-hits aren’t near as bad, my off center shots are going 10yds further...it’s a huge improvement for me. We both of course gained an advantage but I benefited much more. Why are some players (pros) better ball strikers than others? Stenson compared to Chad Cambell? Equipment? Of course not. But the lesser ball strikers are able to narrow the gap more today because you can only be so good. The improvement in equipment is not making phenomenal ball strikers better (marginally) it’s making the not so phenomenal much better.

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2 hours ago, Jack Watson said:

A stronger field means a field which contains more peak talent/skill not more also rans and a better score required to make a cut.

By that measure, the WGCs have the strongest fields in golf --- the average quality is three times higher than the majors, according to this article:

https://www.pgatour.com/statsreport/2017/09/27/stats-formulas-numbers-golf-strongest-fields.html

And it makes sense: the WGCs take only the top 50 in the world, plus players who did something excellent within the last year, like finish very high on the money list.  There are no amateurs, nobody who's there because he won 5 or 10 or 30 years ago, no club pros, and nobody who qualified via one hot round at a sectional.  They're harder to get into than the majors or the Players, which is why Tiger is playing all four majors and the Players this year, but hasn't qualified for any WGC yet.

Now, can you explain why during his prime (1996-2009), Tiger won 65% of the stroke play WGCs he entered, but "only" 25.8% of his regular PGA events (official tournaments other than majors or WGCs)?

I can explain it very easily -- it's because the WGCs typically had a field of 70 or so, while the regular PGA events had a field of 140-150.  Those extra 80 players, even though they were probably all what you would call "also rans," and were certainly all outside the world top 100, made it over twice as hard to win.

But you can't accept that explanation, because you think only the top players matter.  But all the top players were in the WGCs, while usually half or less were in the regular tour events.  Less "peak/talented skill," more "also rans," and yet they were much harder to win.

if you know a little math, you can see why.  If those bottom 80 players individually only have a 1/200 chance of winning, collectively they have 1-.995^80 = 33% chance of winning.

And if the bottom tier gets just a little bit stronger over time, so that they now individually have a 2/200 chance of winning, then collectively they have 1-.99^80 = 55% chance of winning.

Again, this is not just theory.  Tiger's actual won-loss record backs it up.

That's my explanation.  Let's hear yours.

 

 

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@brocks

This is copied from the article:

“First, let’s define a measure for field strength; we measure the strength of a field by the quality of the average player in that field. Therefore, our measure does not (necessarily) capture the difficulty of winning an event.”

Thats why I make my distinction between field depth and strength-because it’s more difficult to beat a strong field than a deep one.

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4 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

@brocks

This is copied from the article:

“First, let’s define a measure for field strength; we measure the strength of a field by the quality of the average player in that field. Therefore, our measure does not (necessarily) capture the difficulty of winning an event.”

Thats why I make my distinction between field depth and strength-because it’s more difficult to beat a strong field than a deep one.

You are entitled to that opinion, no matter how wrong it is, but the passage you quoted does nothing to support it, and you have done nothing to explain why Tiger had a harder time beating weaker but deeper fields.

 

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2 hours ago, brocks said:

You are entitled to that opinion, no matter how wrong it is, but the passage you quoted does nothing to support it, and you have done nothing to explain why Tiger had a harder time beating weaker but deeper fields.

Bingo.

Tiger is playing against both deeper and stronger fields. The top ten players are better. The bottom ten players are WAY better. The median player is significantly better. And overall, the average is way better. PGA Tour players used to be the top 0.01% of golfers, and nowadays they're the top 0.001% (or whatever). Significantly more people play golf (from around the world), the purses are significantly higher, and it's much more difficult to win now than it was in Jack's era.

1/3 of the fields in Jack's day flat out sucked and had almost no chance of winning. Another 20% would almost never beat an average Web.com Tour player.

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4 hours ago, turtleback said:

That would be a great point about Jack being considerate of Tiger - EXCEPT for the inconvenient FACT that Jack said this in his 1996 autobiography.  You know, 1996, the very year Tiger burst into the pro world - before he even began to challenge Jack's positions self-proclaimed GOAT.  How prescient of Jack to realize that his largely correct take on the end of superstars in golf would be overly considerate to a guy who hadn't even started his career.

But since you persist in your obtusity here is a simple example.  One of Jack't great strengths was his long iron game.  It was said that he could hit his long irons higher, and land them softer than almost everyone.  It took great talent and skill to be able to do this.  Now, introduce a modern 5-wood and Ray Floyd could hit similar shots, as he did in dominating the Masters in 1976.  Now introduce hybrids and everyone and his brother can hit those shots.  Watering down the talent and skill advantage of those very few who were able to hit those shots with long irons.

 

All that and you're still failing to make the case. The equipment argument is a red herring - that is starting to smell.

7 hours ago, brocks said:

Yes, we have the patience of Job.  Reminds me of trying to teach my dog to play chess.  Stupid mutt always brought his queen out too early.

My money's on your mutt. :-P

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2 minutes ago, fishgolf said:

All that and you're still failing to make the case. The equipment argument is a red herring - that is starting to smell.

That's not a valid response.

You may as well just say "I don't understand what you're saying, but because it says something other than what I stubbornly won't stop believing, I'm just gonna make a snarky comment about it."

That's your last such response. You don't get anymore. Contribute to the conversation, with an actual argument, or find something else to do.

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17 minutes ago, iacas said:

You may as well just say "I don't understand what you're saying, but because it says something other than what I stubbornly won't stop believing, I'm just gonna make a snarky comment about it."

This is actually incredibly accurate. Finally closure for @fishgolf. That’s it.

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