There's no way you can completely discount the technology side of this argument. Technology is the biggest topic in my industry right now.Originally Posted by guttle11
I'm sure you've heard the term "Tiger-Proofing" courses, since Augusta's tried to do it every year since 1997 and that's largely due to advances in ball and club technology. It's also the debate of the 2011 or 2013 site of the US Open, Merion East. This course is barely 7000 yards, and many have said it won't survive today's big hitters, but the 2005 US Am showed that Merion can and will hold up to longer hitters. Courses wouldn't feel the need to "Tiger-Proof" if players today weren't hitting it ridiculously farther.
This has never been a simple game, and never will be, but will be more of a craft that no one will ever master, yet everyone attempts to try. No one's ever been perfect at golf, nor will they ever be.
We can look at competition all you want. Jack had an aging Arnie, Trevino, an aging Player, an inconsistent Miller, an up and coming Watson, a young Floyd, a Jacklin, a Ballesteros. Tiger's had a litany of guys challenging him. Hell, Bob May of all people took him to a playoff in a Major. Golfers as a whole, are getting better. Tiger has the ability to be beaten on a weekly basis moreso than Jack, but Jack was ridiculously better than his generation. Comparatively, Jack was better than his generation than Tiger's been to his, respectively. I agree completely that the world of professional golf is better now.
As for Jones, and his amateur record, that's b/c Jones hardly played in many professional events, and quit the game when he was dead in the middle of his prime. Jones' amateur record is a thing of beauty.
If push came to shove, I would still go Jones, Tiger, Hogan, Jack, in that order.