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View Poll Results: Who's the Greatest Golfer Ever to Play the Game?

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  • Tiger Woods

    44 61.97%
  • Jack Nicklaus

    22 30.99%
  • Other

    5 7.04%
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Thread: Tiger vs. Jack

  1. #16
    Member Highlifeman21's Avatar
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    Re: Tiger vs. Jack

    Quote Originally Posted by guttle11
    The technology debate in golf doesn't really hold water. Everything changes and improves over time. That's a given. That's not Tiger's fault. No matter how "hot" a driver is, the game is still simple. Put the little white ball in that little cup as fast as possible.

    What we should be looking at is Tiger and Jack competitors. Top to bottom, the world of professional (or competitive) golf is world's better now than it ever has been. Anyone who enters a tour event, and even a major, has a legitimate shot at winning. Back when Jack played, many only had hopes.

    The debate shouldn't be about technology, it should be about beating what's in front of you. Tiger's been playing professionally for slightly over a decade and he's got 50 wins and 11 majors. He also has 3 US Junior, and 3 US Amatuer titles. Only Bobby Jones can compare with Tiger's amateur record, but that was an entirely different era, with no where near the competition.
    There's no way you can completely discount the technology side of this argument. Technology is the biggest topic in my industry right now.

    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.

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  3. #17
    Raaaaaaaandy guttle11's Avatar
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    Re: Tiger vs. Jack

    Quote Originally Posted by Highlifeman21
    There's no way you can completely discount the technology side of this argument. Technology is the biggest topic in my industry right now.

    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.
    Well, I happen to be highly involved in your profession and I am only a couple of years from entering it. Using technology in your debate only holds true if you're talking about who's the better ball striker. It was much harder to strike the ball well with persimmon woods and hickory shafts. But being a better golfer is much more than a ball striker. There were many people who could outshoot Michael Jordan, but only a few who could compare to him as a player.

    It's tougher to win now than it was 30 years ago and Tiger dominates when he's playing well. To me, that makes him a better golfer. Tiger, Jack, Jones, Hagen, and Hogan, in that order.
    Last edited by guttle11; 08-07-2006 at 05:43 PM.
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  4. #18
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    Re: Tiger vs. Jack

    Unless Tiger is using better technology than any of his contemporaries, the argument doesn't hold water.

    Nicklaus played against guys with wood drivers.
    Tiger played against guys with metal drivers.

    The difference is the field is a lot deeper with talent today than it ever was before.
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  5. #19
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    Re: Tiger vs. Jack

    Quote Originally Posted by guttle11
    Well, I happen to be highly involved in your profession and I am only a couple of years from entering it. Using technology in your debate only holds true if you're talking about who's the better ball striker. It was much harder to strike the ball well with persimmon woods and hickory shafts. But being a better golfer is much more than a ball striker. There were many people who could outshoot Michael Jordan, but only a few who could compare to him as a player.

    It's tougher to win now than it was 30 years ago and Tiger dominates when he's playing well. To me, that makes him a better golfer. Tiger, Jack, Jones, Hagen, and Hogan, in that order.
    Golf balls have changed immensely in the last 120 years.

    Shafts have changed immensely in the last 120 years.

    Club components have changed immensely in the last 120 years.

    Jones won with his respective equipment, Woods is winning with different equipment. Nicklaus is probably the closest to the middle between those two in terms of equipment. You still can't compare generations b/c of the difference in equipment and technology. You can talk all you want about difference of competition faced, but Jones was above and beyond his generation, Hogan was above and beyond his generation before his accident, Nicklaus was above and beyond his generation, but so far, Tiger has proven to be mortal. Tiger's still in the argument for best ever, but right now he's starting to break away from his generation again. Had Mickelson not won his quick 3 Majors in the last few years, I would have easily said Tiger was the best of his generation, but there is some parity in this generation, and that can't be refuted.

    If you wanna go the ball striker route, Tiger isn't in the top 5 of best ball strikers of all time. Trevino, Moe Norman, Hogan, Jones, Snead are all better than Tiger.

  6. #20
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    Re: Tiger vs. Jack

    Quote Originally Posted by Highlifeman21
    Golf balls have changed immensely in the last 120 years.

    Shafts have changed immensely in the last 120 years.

    Club components have changed immensely in the last 120 years.

    Jones won with his respective equipment, Woods is winning with different equipment. Nicklaus is probably the closest to the middle between those two in terms of equipment. You still can't compare generations b/c of the difference in equipment and technology. You can talk all you want about difference of competition faced, but Jones was above and beyond his generation, Hogan was above and beyond his generation before his accident, Nicklaus was above and beyond his generation, but so far, Tiger has proven to be mortal. Tiger's still in the argument for best ever, but right now he's starting to break away from his generation again. Had Mickelson not won his quick 3 Majors in the last few years, I would have easily said Tiger was the best of his generation, but there is some parity in this generation, and that can't be refuted.

    If you wanna go the ball striker route, Tiger isn't in the top 5 of best ball strikers of all time. Trevino, Moe Norman, Hogan, Jones, Snead are all better than Tiger.
    With all due respect, if you can't say Tiger is far and away the best of his generation, you need to watch a little closer. You do realize that Jack had a few "droughts" where others beat him, don't you?
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  7. #21
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    Re: Tiger vs. Jack

    Quote Originally Posted by guttle11
    With all due respect, if you can't say Tiger is far and away the best of his generation, you need to watch a little closer. You do realize that Jack had a few "droughts" where others beat him, don't you?
    I've watched plenty close. Jack was beaten, Tiger's been beaten. Tiger is the best of his generation, but you also have golfers like Goosen, Els, Mickelson, Singh to consider in Tiger's generation. All have won multiple Majors. Tiger has been great so far, but his generation is far from over, so I'm not ready to crown him quite yet.

  8. #22
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    Re: Tiger vs. Jack

    Quote Originally Posted by Highlifeman21
    I've watched plenty close. Jack was beaten, Tiger's been beaten. Tiger is the best of his generation, but you also have golfers like Goosen, Els, Mickelson, Singh to consider in Tiger's generation. All have won multiple Majors. Tiger has been great so far, but his generation is far from over, so I'm not ready to crown him quite yet.
    We'll leave it at this, they're both great. You like history and think because technology has made the game easier for the common man others are better than an incomplete career for Tiger, and I differ.

    Technology aside, it's widely believed by so called "experts" that it's harder to win majors now than ever. I'll take Tiger.
    "I saw Wedding Crashers accidentally. I bought a ticket for Grizzly Man and went into the wrong theater. After an hour, I figured I was in the wrong theater, but I kept waiting. Thatís the thing about bear attacks. They come when you least expect it."-Dwight K. Schrute

  9. #23
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    Re: Tiger vs. Jack

    The ability to separate yourself from the pack is relative to the depth of the field at the time.

    The depth on tour right now is unprecedented.
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  10. #24
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    Re: Tiger vs. Jack

    Agreed RFS62, especially at the majors, which is what everyone uses to guage greatness.

    Everyone glorifies Arnie and Gary Player, and rightfully so but has there ever been so much depth? Guys all have swing coaches, yoga teachers, short game coaches all this technology and Tiger still kicks the snot out of them half the time (at least it seems). Sure Tiger has the same benefits but that is sort of the point. In that respect, everyone is on an even keel. Back in the day only a handful of guys could afford to travel nicely and pay people big bucks to help them. And certainly not everyone on tour had an endoresment deal 30 years ago (just a guess). But Jack certainly did.

    Not sure what Jack did with 54 hole leads but all Tiger does is close the door. The tourney is over after 54 if he leads.

    If you are going to compare the two, you can't compare their records. You have to look into the future and predict what you think Tiger is going to do. If you ask me he is closer to winning 25 majors than he is to winning 17. He is going by Jack and it might be the time he is 37. He'll still have 8 years or more of a prime left. Look at Vijay. And Tiger is in better shape and works just as hard.

    Obviously the book is not closed but for the sake of this thread, I went with Tiger. No way was Jack, THIS good between the ages of 16 and 30. Jack could play, no doubt. But Tiger destroys people. Put him in the pressure cooker, he's coming out on top. Sometimes he just has a problem getting himself into that pressure cooker but that is to be expected.

    What has he missed, two cuts in 10 years?

    And this from someone who cheers against the guy. I'd rather see, ANYONE else win. But I have to repsect the guy. I play golf and on my very best day, I've shot 3 over on my home course and I've been playing it for over 20 years. Tiger could show up, walk to the first tee without warming up and shoot a 61. I respect that.

  11. #25
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    Re: Tiger vs. Jack

    Tiger's very rarely faced good competition on a Sunday with a small lead.
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  12. #26
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    Re: Tiger vs. Jack

    Quote Originally Posted by guttle11
    We'll leave it at this, they're both great. You like history and think because technology has made the game easier for the common man others are better than an incomplete career for Tiger, and I differ.

    Technology aside, it's widely believed by so called "experts" that it's harder to win majors now than ever. I'll take Tiger.
    They are both great.

    I respect the history of the game, and I think it can't easily be forgotten or brushed aside. I don't think technology has made the game easier, I just think that different generations used different technology, so to me there's no easy way to compare the generations. I think right now, golfers are better as a whole, and there is more parity in the current generation with a handful of guys winning multiple majors in Tiger's era. Tiger's career is far from incomplete, he has many astounding accolades.

    Tiger has 11, I hope he doubles it and puts the Tiger vs. Jack debate to bed, since I think Tiger is a more complete golfer than Jack, but I think Tiger falls short of Bobby Jones.

    Great points though, guttle11, good luck in the biz, with whatever path you choose.

  13. #27
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    Re: Tiger vs. Jack

    I'll chime in now since I started the whole discussion. First of all, there's clearly no right answer. Both Tiger and Jack, and other mentioned, are clearly the eliite of the elite in the sport's history.

    My analysis of the question also comes down to technology and competition. I agree with Hoosier about the competition making what Tiger is doing these days all the more impressive (and the equpiment which I'll get to is a big part of the reason). There's just so many more great players today than there's ever been. You might not have those 5 dominating personalities (although Els, Singh, Goosen, and Phil are pretty big names) these days because the overall talent level is so much higher coming from outside the top 10. The difference between the top players and the 50th best player in the world today is much smaller than in Jack's day, IMO. Like Hoosier said, on any given week, there are dozens of players with the game to win on the PGA Tour. That wasn't always true. That's why you see so many no names winnign golf tournaments these days. It seems like every time I turn around there's 2 names in the top 5 of tournaments I've never heard of and I follow the game pretty closely.

    As for technology, my opinion is that technology helps the lesser players much more than the great ones because you don't have to be quite as precise. i'm not suggesting it doesn't also help the great players quite a bit, but the great ones were always the most precise. It takes a bigger miss these days to make shot go bad. You don't have to have a perfect swing to hit good golf shots. I think technology has done more to level the playing field than anything else.

    The thing that stands out to me is that a decade ago I never thought anyone would dominate the game of golf again. There would always be great players, but I didn't think it was capable of being dominated. Prior to Tiger there really hadn't been anyone who dominated the game since Jack Nicklaus. Prior to Jack there was always one or two golfer who were able to crush the competition over a period of years. Since Nickalus and Watson in the late 70s, early 80s, it had been almost 20 years since Tiger started to dominate in 2000+. I think we were seeing the result of the explosion of the game to the mainstream and a much deeper talent pool and also the exponential and perpetual increase in technological innovation. As I mentioned earlier, I think this makes it more difficult for some to spearate themselves from the pack like Tige has.

    Winning over 25% of your tournaments is something I didn't think possible in this era of golf and Tiger is doing it. Does anyone know Jack's winning percentage when he was in his prime?

    I give the nod to Tiger, but it's not a slam dunk.
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  14. #28
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    Re: Tiger vs. Jack

    I voted for Tiger, but I think Annika Sorenstam is the best golfer in the world right now. No, I don't think she is better than Tiger, but far and away the best female golfer in the world and very, very good. The difference between her and the competition is far greater than Tiger and his. I really enjoy watching her play golf.
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  15. #29
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    Re: Tiger vs. Jack

    I voted for Jack - give Tiger two more years of the same high quality golf and then i think he surpasses Jack. But for now I am going with Jack's carrer greatness and dominance being longer than Tiger's
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  16. #30
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    Re: Tiger vs. Jack

    I voted for Jack, but there is no question that Tiger may become the greatest golfer of all time. In my opinion, they are the best by a large margin.

    As far as equipment goes, I have played the old persimmon woods, blade irons and balata balls as well as the great new technology of today. I do know that the technology has made a tremendous difference in my game, and has made the game much easier for me. The thing that I see for players of today as opposed to earlier generations is that they don't have to hit all the shots. It is much easier for these guys to hit driver and short iron than it is to hit driver and long iron on a par 4. That in itself makes the game so much easier.
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