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Who is on Golf's Mount Rushmore?

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I think that Woods and Nicklaus are a lock, but it gets brutal picking the next two after that.

Old Tom Morris, Harry Vardon, Walter Hagen, Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, JoAnne Gunderson Carner, Kathy Whitworth, Nancy Lopez, Annika Sorenstam, and possibly others  all deserve consideration for the other two spots.

 

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12 minutes ago, mvmac said:

In terms of what I would consider the icons of the game, I'd pick Tiger, Jack, Palmer and Hogan. 

 

Great choices all, but Hogan's first tour win was in 1938 and he had no significant amateur wins at all.

There had to be some pretty important players for golf to have survived all the way to 1938, I would think.

 

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3 minutes ago, trombettista_vecchio said:

Great choices all, but Hogan's first tour win was in 1938 and he had no significant amateur wins at all.

There had to be some pretty important players for golf to have survived all the way to 1938, I would think.

 

That is why I have Hagen in place of Palmer.  Unlike Palmer, the others - Hagen, Hogan, Jack, and Tiger - were each the dominant golfer of their era.  Palmer was one of the best, of his generation, but the others were THE best of theirs. 

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3 minutes ago, turtleback said:

That is why I have Hagen in place of Palmer.  Unlike Palmer, the others - Hagen, Hogan, Jack, and Tiger - were each the dominant golfer of their era.  Palmer was one of the best, of his generation, but the others were THE best of theirs. 

Was Hagen more dominant than Jones? He beat him head to head in “ the match” but if Phil beats Tiger on Thanksgiving, does that mean Phil is better? Also after the match, I’m pretty sure Hagen never won another major that Jones also played in.

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3 hours ago, Slim_Pivot said:

Was Hagen more dominant than Jones? He beat him head to head in “ the match” but if Phil beats Tiger on Thanksgiving, does that mean Phil is better? Also after the match, I’m pretty sure Hagen never won another major that Jones also played in.

Hagen won five  PGA Championships, tournaments in which Jones was ineligible to play.

Hagen himself was not eligible for the USGA and R&A Amateurs that Jones won, event that were then and should still .be now considered majors.

That's a brutal choice to make.

Hogan vs.Snead isn't much easier, and during their era, how many in a row did Byron Nelson win?,

I can't argue with any of those choices, and Palmer's pop culture impact isn't easy to ignore either.

Also, I still can't ignore the real early guys like Morris in the 19th Century and Vardon very early in the 20th.

That's why I lean to Tiger, Jack, and start flipping coins.

But remember, Mt. Rushmores are subjective.

I'm sure that everybody didn't agree on those four Presidents, either.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by trombettista_vecchio

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43 minutes ago, trombettista_vecchio said:

Hagen won five  PGA Championships, tournaments in which Jones was ineligible to play.

Hagen himself was not eligible for the USGA and R&A Amateurs that Jones won, event that were then and should still .be now considered majors.

That's a brutal choice to make.

Hogan vs.Snead isn't much easier, and during their era, how many in a row did Byron Nelson win?,

I can't argue with any of those choices, and Palmer's pop culture impact isn't easy to ignore either.

Also, I still can't ignore the real early guys like Morris in the 19th Century and Vardon very early in the 20th.

That's why I lean to Tiger, Jack, and start flipping coins.

But remember, Mt. Rushmores are subjective.

I'm sure that everybody didn't agree on those four Presidents, either.

 

 

 

 

 

I only mentioned that point as devil’s advocate. Palmer was tossed out due to not being THE dominant player of his era

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For what it’s worth...Jack, Tiger, Jones, and SPIETH!!! JK, id somehow pick Palmer over Hogan only because of popularity. Rushmore isn’t about who is  the very best....they need 5 heads. I think Rushmore’s original design had 5 until a rock crumbled...so FINAL ANSWER: Jack, Tiger, Jones, Palmer... during construction Hogan’s rock got hit  (head on) by a bus and crumbled.

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19 hours ago, trombettista_vecchio said:

Hagen won five  PGA Championships, tournaments in which Jones was ineligible to play.

Hagen himself was not eligible for the USGA and R&A Amateurs that Jones won, event that were then and should still .be now considered majors.

 

No.  The amateur events that Jones won were not remotely comparable to the pro events that Hagen won.  Jones was an outlier in the amateur ranks in that he was able to compete with pros.  But the amateurs he played against in the 'Amateurs' were nowhere near the caliber of the pros that Hagen was competing with in the PGAs and in the Western Open, considered a major until the Masters came along.  They had comparable success in the Opens, but they were the most challenging events Jones played in, while Hagen was always playing against the best, i.e., pros.  And assembled a heck of a record against them.  Jones won his US Amateurs and one British Amateur against fields containing few players who could even qualify for the Opens, let alone compete in them.

Beyond that, on the non-competitive side, Jones was just another privileged rich guy who had a lot of talent but, frankly, didn't work all that hard at it and who had to quit at a relatively early age because he finally couldn't physically bear to put up with the pressure any longer (and that had nothing to do with his later physical difficulties.  Hagen not only was the best player, he used his position to revolutionize the way pros were regarded in those days.  He refused to be treated as a servant or second class citizen anymore, and brought all the pros along with him.

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1 hour ago, turtleback said:

No.  The amateur events that Jones won were not remotely comparable to the pro events that Hagen won.  Jones was an outlier in the amateur ranks in that he was able to compete with pros.  But the amateurs he played against in the 'Amateurs' were nowhere near the caliber of the pros that Hagen was competing with in the PGAs and in the Western Open, considered a major until the Masters came along.  They had comparable success in the Opens, but they were the most challenging events Jones played in, while Hagen was always playing against the best, i.e., pros.  And assembled a heck of a record against them.  Jones won his US Amateurs and one British Amateur against fields containing few players who could even qualify for the Opens, let alone compete in them.

Beyond that, on the non-competitive side, Jones was just another privileged rich guy who had a lot of talent but, frankly, didn't work all that hard at it and who had to quit at a relatively early age because he finally couldn't physically bear to put up with the pressure any longer (and that had nothing to do with his later physical difficulties.  Hagen not only was the best player, he used his position to revolutionize the way pros were regarded in those days.  He refused to be treated as a servant or second class citizen anymore, and brought all the pros along with him.

We'll agree to disagree, I guess.

I think that the R&A and USGA Amateur titles should definitely be included in the major wins totals.

Ignoring them fails to honor the Jones Grand slam.

That would put Tiger one closer to Jack as he won three US Amateurs compared to Jack's two.

Neither ever won a British Amateur, so we still don't have anybody who's won all six of my majors.

 

If I would question anything, it would be the Masters.

It's an invitational, for one thing, and it isn't the championship of anything.

But the players revere it, even if I don't, so I'd say that it deserves major status on that basis.

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, trombettista_vecchio said:

We'll agree to disagree, I guess.

I think that the R&A and USGA Amateur titles should definitely be included in the major wins totals.

Ignoring them fails to honor the Jones Grand slam.

That would put Tiger one closer to Jack as he won three US Amateurs compared to Jack's two.

Neither ever won a British Amateur, so we still don't have anybody who's won all six of my majors.

 

If I would question anything, it would be the Masters.

It's an invitational, for one thing, and it isn't the championship of anything.

But the players revere it, even if I don't, so I'd say that it deserves major status on that basis.

 

 

 

 

What does 'honoring' Jones Grand Slam have to do with anything?  Both national amateurs had fields that were pathetically weak compared to any pro event of the year - particularly the British.  Jack is about the last guy who considered the US Am a major, but even he gave up the ghost on that long ago.

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5 hours ago, trombettista_vecchio said:

We'll agree to disagree, I guess.

I hate it when people say that about things that are not opinion, but fact…

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I know I'm late to the party on this one. I've been thinking about this (not continuously) since Tiger said this. 

In my answer I'm only going to include golfers I've seen play. (Because otherwise I simply can't narrow it down.) 

Jack, Tiger, Arnie, Gary Player (that might even be the right order)

Female Mount Rushmore:

Anika, Lorena Ochoa, Kerrie Webb, Se Ri Pak. (I never saw Mickey Wright play)

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JM 2cents, i think picking a Mt Rushmore for Golf is tougher than any other sport...   because so many guys have been dominant in their careers....       If you just go by the top 4 in wins...... it's Snead , Woods, Jack and Hogan.....  

yet the next 4 are....Palmer, Nelson, Casper, Hagen...     and then next 4 are, Mickelson , Middlecoff, Sarazen, and Tom Watson... 

Or should people just go by Major wins.....  which goes Jack, Tiger, Hagen, Hogan / Player 

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Palmer, for all his popularity and greatness, let himself go later on, and like somebody pointed out he was "one of the best" but not clearly the best of his era, which has to go to

Jack Nicklaus

Woods for sure... as a golfer who gets results, anyway.  Frankly, though, I was surprised he was able to come back, but so far he's proven me wrong on that one.  Hopefully he stays healthy for a while.  We'll see. 

Doesn't Ben Hogan kind of have to be there... I mean... not only results, but swing, resilience, dedication, integrity, longevity, and both his major books remain classics of golf education...?  He's an icon, if there's any golf icon.

And I think Bobby Jones, if we can only pick four.  He wasn't "just" an amateur; he was the odds-on favorite to win any place, any time, against any body.  He was supernaturally talented; people tend to forget that he achieved what he did while going to college on the side!  It was more like golfing on the side.  Engineering at Georgia Tech, English at Harvard, Law at Emory, brushing up on his Latin, caring for his mind, studying on the train between tourneys, reading and writing.  He didn't practice for hours and hours day after day like Hogan and the more recent modern pros, grinding away at the range.  He had a life, a life that he preferred. He had a thoughtfully planned career outside of golf that he developed while he was dominating the golfing world. He had integrity, both on and off the course; instead of canoodling his way around rules to gain advantage, he called penalty on himself.  Instead of gambling, he refused payments for golf.  Plus, his swing is still textbook material, smooth and natural and no-nonsense.  I'd rather pick Jones than Woods, frankly, for future generations of golfers to emulate.  Jones beats Woods not only in life-coolness, but also in that he's a better swing model; the recent smash-and-gouge hitting style is harming the bodies of even young players.

Beyond those four... Gary Player deserves mention because even at his now-advanced age, 82, he is STILL awesome and shoots well under his age regularly (Palmer did not age well), and Player deserves recognition for bringing physical fitness, including weight training and nutrition - healthy living in other words - to the mainstream of golf. A real healthy-living-awesome-golfing-with-longevity ambassador, Player is a true force of positivity and forward-thinking.  I also like his advocacy of curbing technology and making tech standards that match existing courses; there are many beautiful courses in the world, and the tech should fit the playing field, like in any other sport.   Hagen, of course, for consideration, as Jones's greatest competitor and for showing the world that having an unorthodox personal swing style doesn't count one out.  Snead for his smoothness.  

But really I'd advocate for a fifth spot as an anchor that everybody else followed and most still follow:  Harry Vardon.  He was the world's greatest golfer at the time, and super resilient and like Hogan coming back after a truly debilitating and life-threatening illness (Hogan after the car accident), a true innovator of swing, strategy, and of course the basic grip that almost everybody uses... and, like Jones and Hogan, he was a good writer, on top of it.   Vardon is the true pioneer of modern golf, and deserves a spot on the mountain.  I'd rather have him up there than Woods.

In fact, personally, I'd rather have any of my other top five up there (Nicklaus, Hogan, Jones, Player, Vardon) than Woods, but I guess we just can't deny Woods his greatness and he'll be on the mountain most likely.

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