Originally Posted by Highlifeman21
Unfortunately, you can't compare these 2 head to head.
Golf doesn't match up generation to generation like baseball can with indepth statistical analysis. It's not like there's a course factor, like there is park factor (to give a brief example). You also have to take into account technology issues, like equipment.
Technology is so much more advanced now than in the days of Jones, Hogan, Snead, Nelson, and even so in Nicklaus' day. The biggest glaring difference is in ball technology alone. Now, we have up to 4 piece golf balls, that deal with spin rates in a way that the 1 and 2 piece versions in the days of old can't even remotely compete.
The 2nd biggest difference would be in shaft technology. Golf has traveled from wood shafts requiring a smooth 1 plane sweep swing to currently where you have beasts up there swinging space shuttle grade graphite that is as stiff as anything on the planet to steel that is light and stiff. Golf today is a much more violent game, as a whole. The materials allow for it to be a power game, rather than a game of finesse.
Lastly, the other huge difference is in club material. The irons don't matter as much, as your true players used blades smaller than today's true player, but the metalwoods technology is also staggering. Persimmmon is a whole lot different than forged steel, or titanium. Guess which ones are more forgiving and go a hell of a lot farther?
I think if you're going to have an argument of best all time, you need to have 4 guys as options: Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Eldrick Woods.
Unfortunately, it's more of a torch being passed as best of his generation to those 4, respectively.
I wish Golf had the ability to be analyzed cross-generationally, but it can't. With the technology advances/differences alone, comparing Bobby Jones to Tiger Woods would be like giving Babe Ruth an aluminum bat in today's parks. Nicklaus to Woods is a better comparison, b/c less time separates them, but it's still not apples to apples.
Tiger Woods is my generation's best golfer, as I was born on the tail end of the Nicklaus regime, but you just can't accurately, or fairly compare them.
You can compare their Major Victories all you want, 18 to 11 right now, but Tiger still has an unfair equipment advantage.
Jones vs Hogan vs Nicklaus vs Woods? Advantage: Push