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3 Sandbagger

About Curt

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  1. Everybody looks heavier on TV. It makes them look wider and thicker than they really are. It's one of the reasons why in real life actors tend to be skinny, and even the heavier ones generally aren't as heavy as they look on the screen. Everything looks bigger on TV... it's a deceitful perspective.
  2. It does not diminish what he has achieved, it only clarifies how he achieved it. Education matters, and early education most likely matters most of all. Earlier I compared Tiger to Mozart, so in my book that's ultimately a compliment. Mozart is my favorite composer, with Beethoven a close second. Mozart's achievements are not diminished by his early, deliberate, and intensive training, and indeed they were made possible by it. Likewise, Tiger. Tiger is the Mozart of Golf. Let's pray that Tiger stays healthy and ages well and plays as well as Player does in older age. Tiger is a great champion. Jones did not ever have the intensive, deliberate training that Tiger had. He did have access to a course, but he was not bred to be a champion golfer. He did have some lessons, somewhat informal, once his interest emerged. Jones was encouraged and nurtured and put on the road to tour, once his natural talent become glaringly evident, but he was not "programmed" from birth for the role. And Jones didn't even practice all that much, not by Hoganesque standards. Jones was too busy with school. Neither did Hogan have such early intensive education in the skill. So, if we go by talent ALONE, which is never a good idea, however, a case could be made that either of those two, Jones especially, had at least as much "talent" as Tiger. I don't know enough about Nicklaus's early education to comment on it. I just like Jack as a golfer and as a man. I am lacking knowledge of numerous of the games greatest; for example, I do not know enough about Snead. I'd like to know more about Hagen and about Byron Nelson and about Tom Watson. I do know something about Jones, having read four books about him and two by him and own his instructional videos, another thing he pioneered. I admire Jones immensely, and not only for his golf. I admire him as a man. I also likewise know a bit about Hogan, though I'm no expert. I also know a bit about Tiger, though I'm no Tiger expert either; however, he did figure prominently in my research for two graduate seminars in the Philosophy and Ethics of Sport, so I did pick up some facts. (When my book on Poker Ethics comes out, I'll be sure to let you know.) I teach college Philosophy, as well as English, which may explain my predilection for constructive, hopefully, debate. But again, your knowledge of the issues could easily outstrip mine, and should outstrip mine if you're more serious about golf than I am, and I'm happy to acknowledge my relative ignorance in the face of true experts... but I'm pretty serious about golf... I'm just not that good at it! Hey, I'm working on it. But again, back to a relevant point: obviously Tiger is a beloved figure, one of the greatest golfers ever, though NOT obviously "the" greatest and not obviously the most influential ever (as others besides myself have noted on this very thread) , and my hat is off to him and to all his fans. I've said it before and I've said it again, Tiger on the Mountain. I'm with you there. We have agreement on that point. But I'm glad to be able to participate in this discussion, really! I think it's great. Thank you Sand Trap for providing this platform, this community of people who are actually interested in our beloved sport and who are intelligent and knowledgeable enough to provide some really interesting commentary and participate in civil debate. It's a wonderful service, and I enjoy hearing everyone's thoughts.
  3. "Nobody said that." hm, OK, again there's that pesky reading comprehension thing again, but here's the exact quote that I read earlier on this very stream: "The 2 greatest players in the history of the game both use(d) the interlocking grip, not the Vardon. " Perhaps I am misinterpreting what I see between those quote marks.
  4. What I read in somebody else's claim was that the interlocking grip was somehow not based on the grip Vardon popularized, advocated, or however you want to put it, that it was somehow fundamentally different than the basic Vardon. Perhaps my reading comprehension isn't that great, as I do have some trouble understanding some people's arguments, it's true. But, to claim that Vardon did not influence the vast, vast majority of golfers, when it comes to grip, ought be seen clearly and patently false to anybody with any sort of golf history knowledge. My jab was in reaction to a personal jab at me as "an oldtimer who hates anything new" which is also patently false. TALENT alone did not bring Tiger to where he got, which is an admirable place as I've acknowledged repeatedly. Talent alone never brings anybody anywhere, so let's not be naive; talent PLUS training and opportunity is what it takes. However, I guess I don't understand how being bred literally from the crib to be a great golfer is not a privilige, an advantage to use another word, on the road to becoming a great golfer. As I said in another post, it's kind of like Mozart in that regard; yes, he had requisite in-born talent, check, but he also had a father who molded his body, mind, and career right from infancy. Perhaps our disagreement results from different definitions of privilege; in my definition, privilege isn't necessarily about monetary wealth.
  5. A temporary uptick due to a given celebrity of anything doesn't equate to long-term overall influence, Well, I have acknowledged that my facts might be wrong, but the article you cite directly contradicts other info I just read a couple days ago regarding the numbers of golfers going down overall, and the concerns that such a phenomenon is causing the golf industry. . I'm at work and am not going to pull it up now. I've said my piece and made my peace with Tiger on the mountain. Here's a thought for another thread: which golfers have influenced YOUR PERSONAL golf game the most? For me that one's easy: Hogan, followed by Jones and Player. (I cannot emulate Tiger, and I don't even want to...)
  6. I don't see how I'm off base... but it's possible that I'm wrong. All I said was Jones had two parades, not one, and I didn't say others didn't have one but if I am correct nobody else had two, except for Glenn. (I didn't say Glenn was first astro, nor did I nix Owens from having one.) It's possible I'm misinformed, though, about the others not having two, but I know that Jones did have two, and for that era that's about as celebrity as it gets... just in case folks think celebrity is a criteria for "influence on golf," though I'm not sure that's a good criteria. And as an argument against celebrity alone as a criteria "golf influence," I noted that even amidst Tiger's celebrity, actual participation in golf has gone down, and the decline of golf participation, again if I'm not mistaken, is just a fact. Vardon and Jones both helped make golf more participatorily popular, helped grow the game amongst the masses, and thus helped spur the construction of great new courses around the country at a time when there was a dearth so that more people, not less, could play, and I'd say that's pretty influential and a benefit to all of us and really opened the game to the masses and helped get it OUT of the "wealthy privileged" confines. So, it's NOT celebrity ALONE that is a good marker, though it could be a contributing factor. That's why I think that "Tiger is the most famous and therefore the most influential" argument doesn't hold water in the end. I'm not arguing that Woods's family was wealthy; I am arguing that he did have a uniquely privileged upbring AS PER GOLF. He was literally nurtured from the cradle to be a golfer. And hey, it worked, thankfully, and the world got one of it's greatest golfers out of such an upbringing. I'm also not arguing that Woods shouldn't be on the mountain; I am arguing that Vardon should be. And yes I'm giving out my personal choices of Hogan and Nicklaus to round off the four faces of the rock. That's what I said for my choices, in the end: Vardon, Hogan, Woods, Nicklaus. I'm not off base with those choices. I am arguing that there are cases to be made for alternatives to Woods (or Vardon or Hogan, for that matter) depending on one's criteria. Jones and Player (my personal, yes, favorites), Snead, Hagen.. and although there doesn't appear to be a whole lot of Player advocates on this thread - but maybe I'm missing 'em - others besides myself on this thread have indeed mentioned Jones, Snead, and Hagen as candidates too, so I don't think I'm too far off base there, either. I'd like to see a woman up there too, but maybe that's a separate mountain?
  7. It's quite a bit of fan mania, for sure. Hey, lots of people like to see him perform, no question about it. He's a rock star. Arnie had his Army. Jones got two ticker tape parades in NYC... only one other person ever did (John Glenn, if I recall correctly),... not Eisenhower, not FDR, not JFK, not Babe Ruth nor Muhammed Ali...
  8. "I moved the ball." (paraphrased). Bobby Jones calling a penalty on himself.
  9. 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.
  10. Thanks Adam. Good points! Yes, it helps. Yes, a mixed bag sounds rational... and that way I'd be able to play both. Best of both worlds scenario.
  11. 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)
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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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