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Who is on Golf's Mount Rushmore?

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On 10/10/2018 at 11:55 AM, klineka said:

I dont see how you could possibly leave Tiger off this list. He was and is the most influential golfer EVER. Without question. 

IMO, Tiger is one of the most influential athletes ever too, across all sports. 

Just seems silly to leave him off the list.

I don't understand why you would say that.  Tiger was not and is not the most influential golfer ever.  In fact when it comes to style, I'd say he has had a somewhat negative influence.  And, he was a coddled child literally bred to play golf; that's not something that golfers can aspire to.  So, I'm not sure what you mean by "influential."  

Vardon was the early innovator and introduced the grip that most people still use.  Jones was a major celebrity and elevated the game worldwide, demonstrated utmost integrity, gave true meaning to "play for the love of the game", as well as being a pioneer in instructional video and an excellent writer, to boot. Hagen innovated wedge bounce.  Hogan's swing is more influential than Tigers, to this day.  Player introduced working out and nutrition.  Palmer was a celebrity-media pioneer.  ...  

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8 hours ago, Curt said:

I don't understand why you would say that.  Tiger was not and is not the most influential golfer ever.

So, I'm not sure what you mean by "influential."  

Influential means "exerting or possessing influence."

Influence means "the power or capacity of causing an effect in indirect or intangible ways" or another definition "the act or power of producing an affect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command"

Here are a number of articles and quotes which talk about how much influence Tiger has had, and still currently does have on the game of golf. Are there other players who might have had one part of their game that we remember today? Sure. But Tiger has had the most influence and changed the game the most out of any other player to play the game. Hell even Phil Mickelson has stated that if it weren't for Tiger, Phil wouldn't have made nearly as much money in his career as he has. Think about that. That's influencing the sport as a whole.

“Nobody respects and appreciates what Tiger has done for the game more, because nobody has benefited from what he's done for the game of golf more than I have,” Mickelson said. Mickelson cited the boom in Tour purses, exposure and opportunities that Woods created."

 

"Tiger Woods changed the game and interest in it," said Pat Rishe, professor of sports economics at Webster University in St. Louis. "We got spoiled by all he did when he was winning. He created a spike in golf that we're unlikely to see again."

 

"Before Tiger Woods came along, professional golfers made decent money, but they didn't generally rake in major hauls. From the minute he went pro, Woods changed that by signing one major endorsement deal after another. Even before his professional debut, he had already signed five-year deals with both Nike and Titleist. The Nike arrangement brought him $40 million, and the Titleist contract earned him another $20 million. In addition, he partnered with American Express in a deal that netted him a rumored $13 million. Thanks to these major contracts and others with General Mills, General Motors, Buick and Accenture, by 2009, Tiger Woods was the first athlete in the world to make over $1 billion. The increase in earnings didn't apply to Woods alone; many professional golfers benefitted from companies' newfound interest in partnerships with players. Only 10 golfers before Woods had ever grossed over $7 million. By 2017, over 150 golfers had brought in $10 million during their careers."

 

"people loved watching golf most of all when Woods was winning. Consider the following statistics: From 1997 through 2008, when Woods didn't win the Masters, the tournament received an average t.v. rating of 7.4. For years when he did win, that average jumped to 9.5."

 

"Some of the top players of the last few years, such as Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, cite Tiger Woods as one of their major inspirations as they were growing up. Woods helped take golf to a new level, and they wanted to join him at those heights."

 

Think about that. Current players, guys that are still competing with Tiger right now, have stated that Tiger was a major inspiration to them as they grew up, and 2 of those guys aren't even from the United States! 

That. Is. Influence.

https://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/tiger-effect-golf-bunker-popularity-declines-n164051

https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2018/the-tiger-effect-how-the-return-of-golfs-biggest-star-is-affecting-the-sport.html

https://www.stgeorgesgolf.com/Blog/May_2018/tiger-woods-effect.aspx

Edited by klineka

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Yes, I know the definition(s) of influence.  I'm an English professor, thank you.  And yes, I understand some of the points you are making, and I appreciate the dialogue.

Influence on the pros... money, exposure, audience, ...

... "changed the game" sure to smash-and-gouge style amongst the pros, but is that good for us all in the long run?  It damages the body.

Yes, he did "raise the bar" for performance results on tour.  On tour.  But, is emulating the recent pros, with their smash style, and with their overly-long lining up of every shot obsessively really good for the game, for most of us?  Sorry, I prefer models like Vardon, Jones, Nick, Player... I don't want my joints and back to be smashed up by shock, (unless Tiger and the current crop take a bit more care, they won't be shooting under their age when 75 or 80 like Player, because they'll wear out their bodies... for me, longevity is one of the great things about golf - a sport playable, and playable very well, in old age) and I don't want to spend five or even six or more hours to shoot a round of golf, like is happening on some of the courses around me now, while us amateurs supposedly out for fun are taking three times too long to hit a shot or a putt.  Vardon, Jones: less than four hours in the morning, eat lunch, and do it again in the afternoon.  

We may be, you and I, discussing two different spheres of influence... 

 

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12 hours ago, Curt said:

I don't understand why you would say that. Tiger was not and is not the most influential golfer ever.

Got any proof of that? Because I call bullshit there. Tiger was the most famous athlete worldwide for a period of time. Might still be.

12 hours ago, Curt said:

In fact when it comes to style, I'd say he has had a somewhat negative influence.

An influence is still an influence.

12 hours ago, Curt said:

And, he was a coddled child literally bred to play golf; that's not something that golfers can aspire to.

He wasn't a coddled child? Did you see where he grew up or do you know anything about his upbringing? His mother and father weren't exactly rolling in it, at all. You're right but only because only the truly poor "aspire" to be upper-lower class or lower-middle class like Tiger was as a child.

12 hours ago, Curt said:

Jones was a major celebrity and elevated the game worldwide

Really? You think people in Zimbabwe knew who Bobby Jones was? Cuz they know who Tiger is.

Jones had a fraction of the "reach" that Tiger had.

12 hours ago, Curt said:

Hagen innovated wedge bounce.  Hogan's swing is more influential than Tigers, to this day.  Player introduced working out and nutrition.  Palmer was a celebrity-media pioneer.  ...  

Tiger did more to promote golf fitness than Gary Player ever did. Gary Player didn't single-handedly lead to fitness vans following the Tour around the country.

BTW, @Curt, please give yourself an avatar,

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But I'm willing to compromise.  Vardon's century-long shadow over the entire game, amateurs and pros both, is evident every time a player grips a club.  Hogan, swing.  Jack, everyman.  Tiger, performance and image.  So, I'm willing to give up my beloved Jones and Player, my two personal favorites, for the sake of compromise and go with:

Vardon, Hogan, Nicklaus, Woods.

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6 minutes ago, Curt said:

and with their overly-long lining up of every shot obsessively really good for the game, for most of us

 while us amateurs supposedly out for fun are taking three times too long to hit a shot or a putt.  

There is little, if any, evidence that suggest that Tiger Woods has influenced how long amateurs (or other pros for that matter) take to line up and hit their shots/putts. 

I provided evidence that helped support my opinion of Tiger's influence when it came to things like prize and sponsorship money. Please provide evidence that clearly shows how Tiger Woods has influenced how long people are taking to line up and hit shots and putts.

8 minutes ago, Curt said:

Yes, I know the definition(s) of influence.  I'm an English professor, thank you.  

We may be, you and I, discussing two different spheres of influence... 

Then surely you should know that influence can be both positive and negative. I feel that Tiger has had a positive influence on the game, you feel Tiger has had a negative influence on the game. Whether he has had a positive or negative influence on the swing, the fact of the matter remains, Tiger Woods has had a major influence on the game of golf. It's a fact. It's something that can (and that I did) prove to be true. 

The fact that you acknowledged that Tiger changed the game means that he had influence on the game!

It's impossible to change the entire style of how a sport is played across all levels of that sport without having influence.

Whether or not you think it is a good thing doesnt matter when discussing if he influenced the game or not. 

It also doesn't really matter to me if he is on your Mount Rushmore or not, but at least give him credit where credit is due. He influenced the game, and was one of the most influential people to ever play the game.

 

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On 9/26/2018 at 1:12 PM, HJJ003 said:

Cool question. When I think of the Mount Rushmore of Golf I think who impacted the game as a whole more. Tough to narrow it down to four but here it goes. 

 

Tiger, Jack, Jones, Hogan. 

That would be my four as well.

 

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22 minutes ago, Curt said:

But I'm willing to compromise.  Vardon's century-long shadow over the entire game, amateurs and pros both, is evident every time a player grips a club.  Hogan, swing.  Jack, everyman.  Tiger, performance and image.  So, I'm willing to give up my beloved Jones and Player, my two personal favorites, for the sake of compromise and go with:

Vardon, Hogan, Nicklaus, Woods.

The 2 greatest players in the history of the game both use(d)  the interlocking grip, not the Vardon.  Just sayin'.  

And Jack probably did more to slow down play with both his personal style and his adoption and popularization of Deane Beman's notion of charting a course and using a yardage booklet.

Edited by turtleback

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The interlocking grip, including Tiger's, is a variation of the Vardon.   What would be the number... 90%... 95% ... 98% of golfers use the Vardon or at best some variation of the Vardon...?  

I do give Tiger credit.  Yes, he's been great, one of the greatest, indisputably so far anyway, when it comes to performance in the pros.  Yes, he's made a big splash.  But so have others in the past, including Jones who was a celebrity before internet, before TV. (and btw they didn't have much in the line of even radios, let alone golf courses, in Zimbabwe in Jone's time).  Tiger's grip is a variation of Vardon.  Tiger's fitness was pioneered by Player.  And others in the past have had, arguably, more influence on the game overall... but that doesn't mean that Tiger shouldn't be on the Mountain.  

I'm agreeing: Tiger on the mountain.  

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3 minutes ago, Curt said:

The interlocking grip, including Tiger's, is a variation of the Vardon.   What would be the number... 90%... 95% ... 98% of golfers use the Vardon or at best some variation of the Vardon...?

Oh brother.

Dude, be honest… you’re an old timer who doesn’t like anything new. New being the last 40 years or so.

5 minutes ago, Curt said:

Yes, he's been great, one of the greatest, indisputably so far anyway, when it comes to performance in the pros.

Ha, “one of the greatest.” Lose the first two words.

🤦‍♂️

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2 hours ago, iacas said:

Oh brother.

Dude, be honest… you’re an old timer who doesn’t like anything new. New being the last 40 years or so.

Ha, “one of the greatest.” Lose the first two words.

🤦‍♂️

Or, you're a youngster who doesn't read history?  There's nothing new about an interlocking grip.  

And as for losing the first two words.... well, you can debate others about that.  

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and there's this, to fuel the debate, so it's not just me...  :  

from the article entitled "Tiger's Competition Pales in Comparison to Jack's" by Daniel Wexler: 

"...For venerable writer/historian Al Barkow, however, the issue is more cut-and-dried.

"The players giving Tiger his competition are just as good as those who Jack faced in terms of pure talent, but they don't have the heart, the guts, the tenacity, maybe even the sense of pride that the [Tom] Watsons and [Lee] Trevinos had."

Why, one wonders, would such things be lacking?

"It has to do with money," Barkow continues, "although no one likes to say that. But today's players are so rich they don't have the real need for money the previous generation had, and are also so incredibly pampered and spoiled from the day they took up the game."  ..."

Now, the above is not me, though I do hear him loud and clear, BUT > and for my personal take: I'll take heart, guts, tenacity, and pride any day over pampered prima donnas.  Give a Vardon playing in the rain with unraked sandtraps, a Jones doing college homework between tourney stops, a Hogan coming up hardscrabble, a Player actually pioneering physical fitness BEFORE it was cool...   

Yeah, I must admit I'm a bit oldschool that way, and I'm less impressed with somebody born with a silver club in their crib. 

But, I'm an old-timer after all.  Although, I must admit I'm enjoying my new clubs!  (thank you Callaway for your Rogue line)

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While we are at this, why not add:

 

Star Wars vs Star Trek. (Star Wars!)

Joel vs Mike. (Tie!)

Coke vs Pepsi (depends on the mood)

Betty vs Veronica (tough!)

 

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1 hour ago, Curt said:

Or, you're a youngster who doesn't read history?

I know my golf history pretty damn well.

1 hour ago, Curt said:

There's nothing new about an interlocking grip.

I didn't claim that Tiger or Jack invented it. And neither did @turtleback.

1 hour ago, Curt said:

And as for losing the first two words.... well, you can debate others about that.  

And we have:

1 hour ago, Curt said:

and there's this, to fuel the debate, so it's not just me...  :  

from the article entitled "Tiger's Competition Pales in Comparison to Jack's" by Daniel Wexler:

Jack's competition was much weaker than Tiger's:

1 hour ago, Curt said:

Give a Vardon playing in the rain with unraked sandtraps, a Jones doing college homework between tourney stops, a Hogan coming up hardscrabble, a Player actually pioneering physical fitness BEFORE it was cool...

And they'd all lose to Tiger.

1 hour ago, Curt said:

Yeah, I must admit I'm a bit oldschool that way, and I'm less impressed with somebody born with a silver club in their crib.

You're delusional if you think Tiger had some sort of spoiled upbringing.

This ain't the topic to debate the strength of field or Tiger's greatness. The topics linked to above are for those. Post in those if you wish; please remain on topic here.

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38 minutes ago, imsys0042 said:

 

Joel vs Mike. (Tie!)

 

Joel is the Ben Hogan, Mike is the Tiger Woods. I'll take Jonah as like a Brooks Koepka. 

Oops, going to get scolded for being off topic. 

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I have acknowledged Tiger's greatness as a golfer.  I put him on the Mountain.  

He is not my favorite player, though, and I've iterated multiple reasons why.  I also do not think he was nor is the most influential.  One of the best performers, for sure, but not the most influential.  In fact, participation in golf has actually gone down in the last twenty years, not up.

As for my delusionality, perhaps it's true, I've been called worse.  But, Tiger did lead a privileged life WHEN IT CAME TO GOLF.  He was molded from birth by his father, who put a club in his crib and had him out playing on the course before age three.  He played for free, also, since childhood.  He was sort of like Mozart that way... physically and mentally molded from birth for success in one specific field.  Of course, he was a child prodigy and ended up with the physical talent to take advantage of that privileged golf upbringing... but the fact remains that few people ever were more deliberately molded for golf success, and it worked!  And I'm glad it worked.  But, it's simply not something that anybody can emulate, so that alone makes others a better model for the masses.  Nevertheless -- Tiger is great because he shows the world the epitome of golfing performance, i.e. pushes the envelope of human achievement, however he got there.  For that, I thank his father and him.  I hope he continues to enjoy a long - and happy - career and personal life.  He's exciting to watch.

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20 minutes ago, Curt said:

In fact, participation in golf has actually gone down in the last twenty years, not up.

That's not the only measure of influence.

As I noted earlier, for a time, Tiger was not only the most recognized athlete around the world, he was one of the most recognized people in the world.

We'll have to just disagree on his "privileged" childhood.

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1 hour ago, Curt said:

I also do not think he was nor is the most influential.  One of the best performers, for sure, but not the most influential

who else in golf could have ever caused this type of scene? That is quite a bit of influence. 

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