IMO The phrase depends on what you mean.
If you are saying what will lead to a lower handicap, the data clearly shows that better driving and better approach shots will result in lower handicaps and scores.
HOWEVER, if you are looking at the daily variance in score within your range I would suggest that putting/short game are more likely to do it. Before you get upset. I am suggesting that over 18 holes most people's ball striking tends to return to baseline. If you are a 5 Handicap you rarely hit it OB and generally hit 8-10 fairways. When you are off you miss a few more and don't get many wedges inside 15'. If you are an 18 you generally have a few tee shots that cost strokes and some BAD approach shots. Sure you will occasionally stuff one but not all day. But the difference in making a 2-3 putts vs just missing is noticeable in your score THAT day. So if you play off a 12 you are unlikely to suddenly average 20' on GIR approach shots but you might make a few long putts and wins some Skins.
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.
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.
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.
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
I have never replied to this thread before, because the last 9 months I have been dreadful, and not playing to my handicap. I joined a new club, and the course is so much tighter, and totally unforgiving. To be honest, I think the old course I was playing on complimented my golf. The last week or so I have been playing better, and yesterday I shot two under net. Of course, next time out may not be so good, but I am enjoying the glory while it lasts.