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Greg Norman Says Players Content with Top 20s over Wins


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I'm beginning to think you guys are just disagreeing with Norman for the sake of it. He's not speaking from a place of ignorance, as we are. He knows hundreds of pro tour-quality golfers.

I believe this is all Norman was saying. What he resents, a little, is that #125 on tour is almost a millionaire today when in his day, he'd have to have a winter job to support his summertime gig.

I beginning to think that you are taking up his cause just to disagree with us.  Gee, ascribing motives to other people is fun!!

As to the second statement quoted, Greg never had to take a summer job.  To the extent that anyone did, it just made things easier for guys like Norman who didn't have to.  Just as the travel argument that is frequently used for Jack works the opposite way as intended.  At least Jack was able to convert HIS advantage into major wins.  I guess he worked harder and cared more than Greg did.

Edit: And for future reference, your 3rd paragraph was again gratuitous and unnecessary.

No it was absolutely necessary because that is how you argue.

I believe these guys do work very hard, but I also believe the tour needs ditch diggers too (players that float in the middle or graze like sheep). Some players are not destined to win on a consistent basis no matter how hard they work. Presently we are nothing but a group of interested speculators, attempting to guess who will rise to the top. Whether it be a mental block, lack of focus, fear of success, too many distractions, the wrong woman or partner, lack of real need or they are not willing to make the enormous sacrifice will only be answered at the end of their careers.

If THIS is what is meant then it is a matter of mathematics, not motivation.

In math there is something called the pigeonhole principle.  It is the classic way that one can positively assert and mathematically prove that there there are 2 people living within New York City who have exactly the same number of hairs on their head.  The average number of hairs on  human head is 150,000 so taking 2,000,000 as an upper bound, since there are more than 2,000,000 people in NYC there must be 2 with the exact same number.

http://mindyourdecisions.com/blog/2008/11/25/16-fun-applications-of-the-pigeonhole-principle/#.VQmfFY7F-YI

You and Greg seem to be arguing for some kind of reverse pigeonhole principle.  You just cannot seem to grasp that if there are 125 exempt players and 35 tournaments a year a lot of guys will not win no matter how hard they try, how much they are motivated, and how hard they work.  It really is just simple math.

You, Greg, and @Gunther can ascribe made up motives to discredit modern players all you want but the fact remains that math dictates the result.

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At the end of the day, if someone doesn’t think much of Norman, there is a good chance they will disagree with anything he has to say.

This is true, of course, however, most of us on here deserve a little more credit than this.  We're not disagreeing with Norman because we don't like him (I don't know him), we are disagreeing with him because his comments were dumb.

I believe these guys do work very hard, but I also believe the tour needs ditch diggers too (players that float in the middle or graze like sheep). Some players are not destined to win on a consistent basis no matter how hard they work.

Then I'm confused as to your position now.  None of us has said any differently.  In fact, I believe it was you who said, or at least implied, that the problem with "these [still unidentified] guys" in the middle is that they don't work hard enough or don't want it enough.  And I guarantee that that is what most of us think Norman meant.

If Norman said what you said here, then nobody would have issue with it.  Of course, there are a lot of guys on tour not good enough to win, but as you said ... they do all "work very hard."  (Which means, by my definition, that they aren't sheep content to get fat and happy.) :beer:

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I beginning to think that you are taking up his cause just to disagree with us.  Gee, ascribing motives to other people is fun!! As to the second statement quoted, Greg never had to take a summer job.  To the extent that anyone did, it just made things easier for guys like Norman who didn't have to.  Just as the travel argument that is frequently used for Jack works the opposite way as intended.  At least Jack was able to convert HIS advantage into major wins.  I guess he worked harder and cared more than Greg did.   No it was absolutely necessary because that is how you argue. If THIS is what is meant then it is a matter of mathematics, not motivation. In math there is something called the pigeonhole principle.  It is the classic way that one can positively assert and mathematically prove that there there are 2 people living within New York City who have exactly the same number of hairs on their head.  The average number of hairs on  human head is 150,000 so taking 2,000,000 as an upper bound, since there are more than 2,000,000 people in NYC there must be 2 with the exact same number. [URL=http://mindyourdecisions.com/blog/2008/11/25/16-fun-applications-of-the-pigeonhole-principle/#.VQmfFY7F-YI]http://mindyourdecisions.com/blog/2008/11/25/16-fun-applications-of-the-pigeonhole-principle/#.VQmfFY7F-YI[/URL] You and Greg seem to be arguing for some kind of reverse pigeonhole principle.  You just cannot seem to grasp that if there are 125 exempt players and 35 tournaments a year a lot of guys will not win no matter how hard they try, how much they are motivated, and how hard they work.  It really is just simple math.   You, Greg, and @Gunther can ascribe made up motives to discredit modern players all you want but the fact remains that math dictates the result.

HMMMMMM…………what opinion should I lean toward? A person on a website golf forum explaining winning in golf via a math principle, a former #1 golfer in the world or Julia Child on French food? I will have to get back to you. 2251140

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Does everyone at your office work equally hard? How about in school? Even at the volunteer soup kitchen or wherever you spend your charity time? Of course not. The same is true on tour. They'll all tell you they're busting their asses but only those out there day in and day out truly know who does and who doesn't. Sure, maybe Norman isn't out there often these days but he understands the culture better than anyone else, having lived it for 30 years. My view of busting my ass might be 200 balls, 4 days a week. Someone else's might be 1000 balls 7 days a week, 10 miles running and 6 hours in the gym per week. Who would you say is busting their ass and who is pretty content where they are or do you think there is even a distinction between the two? It's common sense gents, your arguments based on thinking "everyone" works equally as hard just cannot stand up and I honestly do not understand how anyone here can dispute someone with the experience of Norman. You're all speculating...he knows.
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Does everyone at your office work equally hard? How about in school? Even at the volunteer soup kitchen or wherever you spend your charity time?

Of course not.

The same is true on tour. They'll all tell you they're busting their asses but only those out there day in and day out truly know who does and who doesn't. Sure, maybe Norman isn't out there often these days but he understands the culture better than anyone else, having lived it for 30 years.

My view of busting my ass might be 200 balls, 4 days a week. Someone else's might be 1000 balls 7 days a week, 10 miles running and 6 hours in the gym per week. Who would you say is busting their ass and who is pretty content where they are or do you think there is even a distinction between the two?

It's common sense gents, your arguments based on thinking "everyone" works equally as hard just cannot stand up and I honestly do not understand how anyone here can dispute someone with the experience of Norman. You're all speculating...he knows.

The big flaw with that argument is that you can't possibly even get to the tour without having a certain kind of drive that the people at my office, in my school, and the soup kitchen absolutely do not have.

You can't compare golf on the PGA Tour to a regular day job.  That is very UNcommon sense.

Nobody suggested that everyone works equally hard, but everyone who's successfully made it to the tour does (extremely, but definitely not equally), otherwise they wouldn't be there.

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This is true, of course, however, most of us on here deserve a little more credit than this.  We're not disagreeing with Norman because we don't like him (I don't know him), we are disagreeing with him because his comments were dumb. Then I'm confused as to your position now.  None of us has said any differently.  In fact, I believe it was you who said, or at least implied, that the problem with "these [still unidentified] guys" in the middle is that they don't work hard enough or don't want it enough.  And I guarantee that that is what most of us think Norman meant. If Norman said what you said here, then nobody would have issue with it.  Of course, there are a lot of guys on tour not good enough to win, but as you said ... they do all "work very hard."  (Which means, by my definition, that they aren't sheep content to get fat and happy.) :beer:

Taking a hint from The Turtleback: Mathematically speaking – The probability of a positive comment from someone who doesn’t care for Greg Norman is extremely low.

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To be a professional athlete of any sport or caliber requires an all-consuming ambition that takes up all of your life. They've done studies for college baseball players and find they work (outside of school) 40 hours a week on their sport. 40 hours a week! College kids! How much time do you think professional baseball players put in?

Now, imagine this: I practice one hour a day, every day, and play three times a week. That's a reasonable assumption for me. So, that's seven hours of practice, and twelve hours of playing. I've now spent 19 of a possible 168 hours on the course. That's 11% of my life! That's a huge number!

Now take the professionals, who ALL put in at least four hours a day practice, and play at least once a day. They've put in a 56 hours out of a possible 168, which is 33% of their life. Now, the average human sleeps about eight hours a day, which means that they spend 33% of their week sleeping. Lets say, as well, that in total, it takes about two hours a day to eat. That's 14 hours, on top of 56, which comes to 70/168.

Taking those numbers further, we can subtract that 70 from 168, which comes to 98 hours a week to practice. And, as we just stated, the MINIMUM a Tour player practices is 56 hours a week, so that means that during their waking non-eating hours, they spend 57% of their lives practicing. That doesn't take into account fitness, either, which could be two hours minimum per day.

That's minimum. That's basic, bottom-level shit. How in the hell can anyone ever think that Tour players aren't busting their ass is beyond me.

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HMMMMMM…………what opinion should I lean toward?

A person on a website golf forum explaining winning in golf via a math principle, a former #1 golfer in the world or Julia Child on French food?

I will have to get back to you.

2251140

If we are talking about something mathematical, like how 125 different guys can win 35 events, then I'd go with the math major who can explain the math in words adopted to the meanest understanding.  I certainly would not go to a guy who doesn't know the current players at all.  You and @Gunther DO realize that he has not played with an regularity on the tour in more than 10 years.  But feel free to pay attention to a guy who has shown a propensity for saying outrageous things to get his name back in the paper.

My view of busting my ass might be 200 balls, 4 days a week. Someone else's might be 1000 balls 7 days a week, 10 miles running and 6 hours in the gym per week. Who would you say is busting their ass and who is pretty content where they are or do you think there is even a distinction between the two?

It's common sense gents, your arguments based on thinking "everyone" works equally as hard just cannot stand up and I honestly do not understand how anyone here can dispute someone with the experience of Norman. You're all speculating...he knows.

You have absolutely no evidence that the guys in Norman's era worked anywhere near as hard as these guys work.  Tiger brought a new appreciation of fitness to the Tour and guys have been busting their butt every since.  Whereas there are reams of stories about how back in the day the pros were out getting solace from their bartender, not their swing coach or mental guru.

The point you are missing is that for every guy on the exempt list there are all kind of people on the web.com tour, the euro tour, the east asia tour the pacific tour, colleges etc. who are working their asses off to topple those "complacent" guys.  And we are not talking abut a bell curve here.  We are talking about the extreme right end of the bell curve, at least a couple of standard deviations better than the mean.  Everyone on the exempt list is a great player.  Everyone works hard.

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The big flaw with that argument is that you can't possibly even get to the tour without having a certain kind of drive that the people at my office, in my school, and the soup kitchen absolutely do not have. You can't compare golf on the PGA Tour to a regular day job.  That is very UNcommon sense. Nobody suggested that everyone works equally hard, but everyone who's successfully made it to the tour does (extremely, but definitely not equally), otherwise they wouldn't be there.

I agree, and I too believe those trying to get there work hard. Norman's point is that once the goal is achieved and a dude is living n the middle of the pack making $1.5MM a year, complacency sets in. Sure, they still practice but are they eating right, in the gym every day, hit 1000 balls? In some cases, yes (Tiger, Phil, Rory, and a few others). But, in many cases the complacent one is hitting a couple hundred balls a few times a week, spending time with family, other commitments, and leisure. He thinks he's working hard, calendar is full but he's not working as hard as others, some of whom will become stars others just won't because of the talent gap. I use the examples not to compare their jobs to that of a pro athlete but to outline that human nature is the same. I work my ass off and always have, others in equal or even higher positions don't. It's just the way it is and it transfers to all walks of life, which is why it's been so hard for me to understand the angst with Norman's comments.

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If we are talking about something mathematical, like how 125 different guys can win 35 events, then I'd go with the math major who can explain the math in words adopted to the meanest understanding.  I certainly would not go to a guy who doesn't know the current players at all.  You and @Gunther DO realize that he has not played with an regularity on the tour in more than 10 years.  But feel free to pay attention to a guy who has shown a propensity for saying outrageous things to get his name back in the paper.   You have absolutely no evidence that the guys in Norman's era worked anywhere near as hard as these guys work.  Tiger brought a new appreciation of fitness to the Tour and guys have been busting their butt every since.  Whereas there are reams of stories about how back in the day the pros were out getting solace from their bartender, not their swing coach or mental guru. The point you are missing is that for every guy on the exempt list there are all kind of people on the web.com tour, the euro tour, the east asia tour the pacific tour, colleges etc. who are working their asses off to topple those "complacent" guys.  And we are not talking abut a bell curve here.  We are talking about the extreme right end of the bell curve, at least a couple of standard deviations better than the mean.  Everyone on the exempt list is a great player.  Everyone works hard.

I didn't say they worked harder back in the day, I'd guess probably not given the depth today vs yesteryear. Everyone works hard? This is kinda where I thought you might come out on it, no distinction between the guy hitting thousands of balls and the guy hitting hundreds. Because the guy hitting hundreds believes he's working hard, he is. That's an opinion that comes from your outlook on life. Mine differs greatly from yours.

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I agree, and I too believe those trying to get there work hard. Norman's point is that once the goal is achieved and a dude is living n the middle of the pack making $1.5MM a year, complacency sets in. Sure, they still practice but are they eating right, in the gym every day, hit 1000 balls? In some cases, yes (Tiger, Phil, Rory, and a few others). But, in many cases the complacent one is hitting a couple hundred balls a few times a week, spending time with family, other commitments, and leisure. He thinks he's working hard, calendar is full but he's not working as hard as others, some of whom will become stars others just won't because of the talent gap.

I use the examples not to compare their jobs to that of a pro athlete but to outline that human nature is the same. I work my ass off and always have, others in equal or even higher positions don't. It's just the way it is and it transfers to all walks of life, which is why it's been so hard for me to understand the angst with Norman's comments.

Human nature is the same, but I'm contending that we are talking about such an extremely unique set of people (see @turtlebacks pos t about the "extreme right end of the bell curve") that they aren't typical humans.

Norman is ASSUMING that a dude who makes 1.55M a year gets complacent.  Common sense tells us that that isn't possible because complacency in the current PGA tour means death due to the depth of field.

The angst comes from the fact that they are dumbass (and very rude) comments. ;)

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If we are talking about something mathematical, like how 125 different guys can win 35 events, then I'd go with the math major who can explain the math in words adopted to the meanest understanding.  I certainly would not go to a guy who doesn't know the current players at all.  You and @Gunther DO realize that he has not played with an regularity on the tour in more than 10 years.  But feel free to pay attention to a guy who has shown a propensity for saying outrageous things to get his name back in the paper.   You have absolutely no evidence that the guys in Norman's era worked anywhere near as hard as these guys work.  Tiger brought a new appreciation of fitness to the Tour and guys have been busting their butt every since.  Whereas there are reams of stories about how back in the day the pros were out getting solace from their bartender, not their swing coach or mental guru. The point you are missing is that for every guy on the exempt list there are all kind of people on the web.com tour, the euro tour, the east asia tour the pacific tour, colleges etc. who are working their asses off to topple those "complacent" guys.  And we are not talking abut a bell curve here.  We are talking about the extreme right end of the bell curve, at least a couple of standard deviations better than the mean.  Everyone on the exempt list is a great player.  Everyone works hard.

[quote name="Gunther" url="/t/80534/greg-norman-says-players-content-with-top-20s-over-wins/198#post_1117244"] I didn't say they worked harder back in the day, I'd guess probably not given the depth today vs yesteryear. Everyone works hard? This is kinda where I thought you might come out on it, no distinction between the guy hitting thousands of balls and the guy hitting hundreds. Because the guy hitting hundreds believes he's working hard, he is. That's an opinion that comes from your outlook on life. Mine differs greatly from yours.[/quote] I need to break this down for The Turtleback. Re: DO realize that he has not played with an regularity on the tour in more than 10 years. But feel free to pay attention to a guy who has shown a propensity for saying outrageous things to get his name back in the paper. Yes, Yes I do. And, it doesn’t matter. Norman was #1 in the world. He has the right and privilege to make remarks about winning and ascending to #1. He did it. He knows how. He can be the judge and jury. He’s pompous for that very fact. He is the epitome of his own former # 1 arrogance. You know what – I like Greg Norman. Re: You have absolutely no evidence that the guys in Norman's era worked anywhere near as hard as these guys work. Tiger brought a new appreciation of fitness to the Tour and guys have been busting their butt every since. No evidence?? WHAT? Norman was a physical fitness maniac his whole career. He was and is an avid runner, weight-lighter and tennis player. He’s crazy about good nutrition as well. Re: Everyone on the exempt list is a great player. Everyone works hard. No one disputes that. I’ve said it 5 times in this very thread. Not everyone that plays on tour is good enough to be a consistent winner. Look at Fred Couples – don’t get me wrong he’s awesome, but he is one lazy bastard and fell into the funny world of false love and bad relationships. He used to get 1M bucks to show up and play 18 holes in Turkey. He was a silly season staple. His true potential will never be known. He should have won 25 more times. For pete’s sake his biography was called, Golf’s Reluctant Superstar. I am saying that it is completely within human nature human for someone like a pro golfer to have all of the talent and choose to settle for the middle once the money starts rolling in.

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Peter Lester is a perfect example of the middle guys that Norman describes. He worked hard and played hard. He had the strength of The Tiger, the fierceness of The Shark and the skills of The Bear. He turned pro at 15 but fell short of his goals and became a teacher. What happened? Life happened.
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The same is true on tour.

No it isn't.

Sure, maybe Norman isn't out there often these days but he understands the culture better than anyone else, having lived it for 30 years.

Norman does not understand the culture. He hasn't been a regular on the PGA Tour for over a decade. Soon he's going to start telling us how he had to walk uphill in the snow both ways to hit balls while kids these days have it so easy.

You're all speculating...he knows.

You're assuming that. I could just as easily say, and back it up with far more relevant and recent tellings of fact - that the opposite is true. Norman doesn't know. Players today work harder than they had to in Greg's day.

Mathematically speaking – The probability of a positive comment from someone who doesn’t care for Greg Norman is extremely low.

I liked Greg Norman. He was one of the only players my dad, who cared nothing for golf, knew. "The great white shark" he would say when he saw him on TV.

You're fibbing to yourself just as @Gunther did if you want to associate "agrees" with "likes" and vice versa.

I agree, and I too believe those trying to get there work hard. Norman's point is that once the goal is achieved and a dude is living n the middle of the pack making $1.5MM a year, complacency sets in.

If complacency sets in, guess what? They lose out on their $1.5M per year! They no longer have PGA Tour status.

But, in many cases the complacent one is hitting a couple hundred balls a few times a week, spending time with family, other commitments, and leisure.

Sorry, but that simply doesn't happen. Maybe one or two players, or a few more if you look at just the guys who have been out there for 20 years and have their retirements set and so on, but in general, no. Absolutely not.

There are 300+ people happy to - and working hard should they get the chance - take the guy's spot.

I use the examples not to compare their jobs to that of a pro athlete but to outline that human nature is the same.

Human nature is not the same. These are freaks of nature who have spent a tremendous amount of time doing this one thing. They're the outliers. They're not subject to the same "human nature" as a guy who works a 9-5 and just hopes to be able to afford a little vacation once a year, someone who doesn't have his job performance come under pressure every day, every week, every month, with 300+ people ready to take his spot if he fails even a little.

Peter Lester is a perfect example of the middle guys that Norman describes. He worked hard and played hard. He had the strength of The Tiger, the fierceness of The Shark and the skills of The Bear. He turned pro at 15 but fell short of his goals and became a teacher. What happened? Life happened.

That's a horrible example that illustrates nicely how out of touch you are with this topic.

If Peter Lester (or anyone) actually had the "strength, fierceness, and skills" (or, heck, just the skills since the other two are skills themselves) AND worked hard, he'd have achieved massive success. That he couldn't even qualify for the PGA Tour shows that your premise is faulty. He didn't have the "strength, fierceness, and skills."

Yes, Yes I do. And, it doesn’t matter. Norman was #1 in the world. He has the right and privilege to make remarks about winning and ascending to #1. He did it. He knows how.

It does matter. He's an old fart basically saying "back in my day…" and "these young kids these days…". He's out of touch, yet telling us "how it is."

No evidence?? WHAT? Norman was a physical fitness maniac his whole career. He was and is an avid runner, weight-lighter and tennis player.

He’s crazy about good nutrition as well.

I doubt he trained half as much as many of the guys do these days.

Not everyone that plays on tour is good enough to be a consistent winner. Look at Fred Couples – don’t get me wrong he’s awesome, but he is one lazy bastard and fell into the funny world of false love and bad relationships. He used to get 1M bucks to show up and play 18 holes in Turkey. He was a silly season staple. His true potential will never be known. He should have won 25 more times. For pete’s sake his biography was called, Golf’s Reluctant Superstar. I am saying that it is completely within human nature human for someone like a pro golfer to have all of the talent and choose to settle for the middle once the money starts rolling in.

So your example of how guys don't work very hard these days… is to cite someone who didn't work very hard during Greg Norman's era?

And @Ferguson , for the second time, please multiquote: and validate your email address . Thank you.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Gunther

The same is true on tour.

No it isn't.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gunther

Sure, maybe Norman isn't out there often these days but he understands the culture better than anyone else, having lived it for 30 years.

Norman does not understand the culture. He hasn't been a regular on the PGA Tour for over a decade. Soon he's going to start telling us how he had to walk uphill in the snow both ways to hit balls while kids these days have it so easy.

Here's that young Greg now:

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Not everyone can be a superstar. Just because a player doesn't win, doesn't mean they're complacent or don't work hard. If a player was to actually get complacent, they wouldn't have a job for very long. You can't "coast" on the PGA Tour.

I've been to about 10 events the past 3 years and I say without question that the majority of guys work their asses off. I've commented on this before, I feel like I'm in decent shape and with the amount of work they put in, I'd be exhausted before the tournament even started. Typical Monday-Wednesday consists of gym time, two range sessions, short game practice, and 18 holes. That wasn't typical in Norman's day. Obviously not everyone follows this exact schedule, heck some of the top guys work less hard than the average tour player.

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Norman was lifting weights and maintaining good fitness at a very early age, prior to being on tour.

Not like guys these days. Not nearly. Guys in my day would just as soon lift a 12 ounce can as hit more balls. They NEVER visited the gym. It changed a bit during the 80s and 90s and keeps getting more and more serious. But Greg did not work out nearly as much as the guys in the middle of the 125 today.

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