Tiger Woods still best iron player on tour

Schley Schley Love ya don't tell ya enough!Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaMembers Posts: 1,126 ✭✭
Young guns.... we have heard this phrase for like what 10 years it seems? Fowler, McIroy, now Speith, Thomas, DeChambeau....



Let's just talk iron play. The strokes gained stat I wished was around during the Jack Nicklaus days for we could have even more evidence of him as not only a great champion, but also a great iron player.



Tiger finished 2018 as the #1 strokes gained approach to the green by a pretty good margin. DeChambeau was 10th at .599, but Tiger was 1st at .938 which is a pretty large gap. He can shape it with tremendous accuracy using the fade, and although not his preferred ball flight and also play right to left when needed.



So all those who are skeptical of TW and his ability, these stats don't lie and aren't by chance. The guy is still the best with his irons and when he puts the ball in the fairway off the tee which in 2019 he is using more 3woods and cut drivers his iron play is so good that it will give him chances to win almost every event he plays.



BTW Stenson and Keegan Bradley (which I'm not a fan of) are also great iron players. For young guns however I think Justin Thomas will end up being the best iron player of his generation.
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  • MattyO1984MattyO1984 Members Posts: 4,747 ✭✭
    Great stat that I head recently is that he ranked 169th or thereby in distance covered off the tee. So essentially, 168 guys are on average closer to the hole than he is off the tee but he is still number 1 when it comes to strokes gained with irons. Not only is he better than the rest he is better than them from further away.
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  • Schley Schley Love ya don't tell ya enough! Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaMembers Posts: 1,126 ✭✭
    MattyO1984 wrote:


    Great stat that I head recently is that he ranked 169th or thereby in distance covered off the tee. So essentially, 168 guys are on average closer to the hole than he is off the tee but he is still number 1 when it comes to strokes gained with irons. Not only is he better than the rest he is better than them from further away.




    Is that regardless of what club is used off the tee? Or just using driver?
  • Man_O_WarMan_O_War Members Posts: 2,725 ✭✭
    i still don't get Tiger's struggles with woods off the tee...His last name is Woods for god's sake
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  • Cincy_KenCincy_Ken Members Posts: 66 ✭✭
    MattyO1984 wrote:


    Great stat that I head recently is that he ranked 169th or thereby in distance covered off the tee. So essentially, 168 guys are on average closer to the hole than he is off the tee but he is still number 1 when it comes to strokes gained with irons. Not only is he better than the rest he is better than them from further away.




    I believe strokes gained approach accounts for the distance from the hole. So part of the reason he's ranked #1 is because he's hitting a his approaches from further away which gives him a higher degree of difficulty. So he's not better from further away; he's better because he's further away and still hitting it close. But I don't think his proximity is better than guys like DJ and Rory who gain a bunch of strokes off the tee. Tiger is great from the fairway but he's giving up too much off the tee to win certain events. (Player's not being one of them since distance isn't as important around Sawgrass)
  • OldTomMorrisOldTomMorris Members Posts: 2,084 ClubWRX
    Yes its impressive but it always has been. Tiger himself said it, the only stats that matters is WINS.
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  • Schley Schley Love ya don't tell ya enough! Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaMembers Posts: 1,126 ✭✭
    Cincy_Ken wrote:

    MattyO1984 wrote:


    Great stat that I head recently is that he ranked 169th or thereby in distance covered off the tee. So essentially, 168 guys are on average closer to the hole than he is off the tee but he is still number 1 when it comes to strokes gained with irons. Not only is he better than the rest he is better than them from further away.




    I believe strokes gained approach accounts for the distance from the hole. So part of the reason he's ranked #1 is because he's hitting a his approaches from further away which gives him a higher degree of difficulty. So he's not better from further away; he's better because he's further away and still hitting it close. But I don't think his proximity is better than guys like DJ and Rory who gain a bunch of strokes off the tee. Tiger is great from the fairway but he's giving up too much off the tee to win certain events. (Player's not being one of them since distance isn't as important around Sawgrass)




    Well for 2018 Tiger was #100 in strokes gained off the tee, but #8 in strokes gained tee to green. So obviously his iron play is tremendous. However when you look deeper it isn't that he is short off the tee at all. He was #32 in driving distance which was plenty, but was 127 in accuracy for an overall rank of 63 in total driving.



    It isn't that Tiger isn't long enough off the tee, he is plenty long still although not compared to where he was 10-15 years ago to the field. It is his crooked driving, which in many cases isn't missing the fairway by a couple feet, but 10-20 yards or more, so he has some big misses last year. I'd like to see a stat (maybe there is already one) that calculates the distance from the nearest point of the fairway to where the players' ball rests. That would give us how bad the misses are.
  • Cincy_KenCincy_Ken Members Posts: 66 ✭✭
    Schley wrote:

    Cincy_Ken wrote:

    MattyO1984 wrote:


    Great stat that I head recently is that he ranked 169th or thereby in distance covered off the tee. So essentially, 168 guys are on average closer to the hole than he is off the tee but he is still number 1 when it comes to strokes gained with irons. Not only is he better than the rest he is better than them from further away.




    I believe strokes gained approach accounts for the distance from the hole. So part of the reason he's ranked #1 is because he's hitting a his approaches from further away which gives him a higher degree of difficulty. So he's not better from further away; he's better because he's further away and still hitting it close. But I don't think his proximity is better than guys like DJ and Rory who gain a bunch of strokes off the tee. Tiger is great from the fairway but he's giving up too much off the tee to win certain events. (Player's not being one of them since distance isn't as important around Sawgrass)




    Well for 2018 Tiger was #100 in strokes gained off the tee, but #8 in strokes gained tee to green. So obviously his iron play is tremendous. However when you look deeper it isn't that he is short off the tee at all. He was #32 in driving distance which was plenty, but was 127 in accuracy for an overall rank of 63 in total driving.



    It isn't that Tiger isn't long enough off the tee, he is plenty long still although not compared to where he was 10-15 years ago to the field. It is his crooked driving, which in many cases isn't missing the fairway by a couple feet, but 10-20 yards or more, so he has some big misses last year. I'd like to see a stat (maybe there is already one) that calculates the distance from the nearest point of the fairway to where the players' ball rests. That would give us how bad the misses are.




    I was going off the stat that Tiger is one of the bottom of the file in distance covered off the tee. I wasn't saying he doesn't have the distance but at least early this year he's choosing not to do it. He has to be off the charts with all other aspects of his game for this strategy to work. However maybe it was the stiff neck preventing him from wanting to be a little more aggressive off the tee.
  • GolfingfanaticGolfingfanatic Members Posts: 3,025 ✭✭
    Arguably the best long iron player of all time
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  • farmerfarmer Members Posts: 7,785 ✭✭
    Man_O_War wrote:


    i still don't get Tiger's struggles with woods off the tee...His last name is Woods for god's sake
    They're not wood. His name needs to be Tiger Titanium.
  • MMB1500MMB1500 Members Posts: 6,312 ✭✭
    Man_O_War wrote:


    i still don't get Tiger's struggles with woods off the tee...His last name is Woods for god's sake




    But he's good at finding the woods off the tee.
  • hell_is_chromehell_is_chrome Members Posts: 928 ✭✭
    Schley wrote:


    Young guns.... we have heard this phrase for like what 10 years it seems? Fowler, McIroy, now Speith, Thomas, DeChambeau....



    Let's just talk iron play. The strokes gained stat I wished was around during the Jack Nicklaus days for we could have even more evidence of him as not only a great champion, but also a great iron player.



    Tiger finished 2018 as the #1 strokes gained approach to the green by a pretty good margin. DeChambeau was 10th at .599, but Tiger was 1st at .938 which is a pretty large gap. He can shape it with tremendous accuracy using the fade, and although not his preferred ball flight and also play right to left when needed.



    So all those who are skeptical of TW and his ability, these stats don't lie and aren't by chance. The guy is still the best with his irons and when he puts the ball in the fairway off the tee which in 2019 he is using more 3woods and cut drivers his iron play is so good that it will give him chances to win almost every event he plays.



    BTW Stenson and Keegan Bradley (which I'm not a fan of) are also great iron players. For young guns however I think Justin Thomas will end up being the best iron player of his generation.




    "The young guns" was a feature on CBS golf coverage in the early 90's where they would profile some kid who hadn't won anything yet that they wanted to hype, and who usually wouldn't go on to win anything. Just wanted to point that out and prove how old I am.
  • deadsolid...shankdeadsolid...shank ClubWRX Posts: 14,620 ClubWRX


    Arguably the best long iron player of all time




    There is a guy named Jack who was known for hitting some pretty good long irons.
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  • Broessner71Broessner71 Members Posts: 85 ✭✭
    Wholeheartedly agree. His irons are it.
  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 Countdown to The Masters! ClubWRX Posts: 17,399 ClubWRX



    Arguably the best long iron player of all time


    There is a guy named Jack who was known for hitting some pretty good long irons.




    Yep! Some of his classic, jaw droppers are 1 and 2 irons forged in the day when men were men!!!!!
  • dlygrissedlygrisse Members Posts: 13,014 ✭✭



    Arguably the best long iron player of all time




    There is a guy named Jack who was known for hitting some pretty good long irons.




    I would say Jack is the greatest long iron player ever, but Tiger is better with the short irons and wedges. If Jack and Tiger have one thing in common it is they both have/had great distance control. Both Jack and Tiger were/are perpetually pin high with the irons. This is the mark of a great iron player. Johnny Miller in his prime may have been better than both, but he didn't sustain it for very long.

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  • Schley Schley Love ya don't tell ya enough! Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaMembers Posts: 1,126 ✭✭
    One thing to consider is the evolution of the strengthening of lofts in irons over the years. Today's irons are as much as 2 clubs stronger than the 1980's/90's sets for example. That 9 iron you are hitting 10 yards longer is probably a degree or two stronger. Game improvement clubs and blade lofts certainly differ and look at tour players clubs and they vary.
  • sdandreasdandrea Steve Members Posts: 2,329 ✭✭
    Tidy little 7 on the par 3 17th today.
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  • MarkripMarkrip Boss fan 62 Members Posts: 1,582 ✭✭
    sdandrea wrote:


    Tidy little 7 on the par 3 17th today.




    They looked good until they went into the water.
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  • sdandreasdandrea Steve Members Posts: 2,329 ✭✭
    Markrip wrote:

    sdandrea wrote:


    Tidy little 7 on the par 3 17th today.




    They looked good until they went into the water.




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  • gvogelgvogel Members Posts: 7,203 ✭✭


    Arguably the best long iron player of all time




    arguably. but guys who followed Nicklaus would like to argue.
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  • Broessner71Broessner71 Members Posts: 85 ✭✭
    Through the bag his best shots we see highlighted are typically his fantastic iron play
  • CAT GOLFERCAT GOLFER Members Posts: 906 ✭✭
    I wish he would just dial it back like 1 or two off the tee. Can’t for the life of me understand how he can’t realize that.
  • dlygrissedlygrisse Members Posts: 13,014 ✭✭
    Schley wrote:


    One thing to consider is the evolution of the strengthening of lofts in irons over the years. Today's irons are as much as 2 clubs stronger than the 1980's/90's sets for example. That 9 iron you are hitting 10 yards longer is probably a degree or two stronger. Game improvement clubs and blade lofts certainly differ and look at tour players clubs and they vary.




    What does that have to do with this discussion? Tigers iron lofts are pretty old school. What difference does it make if Justin Thomas is hitting a club with an 8 on it instead of a 7?



    We are talking about great ball strikers not who hits a 9 iron the farthest.

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  • Vardon GripVardon Grip Members Posts: 433 ✭✭



    Arguably the best long iron player of all time




    There is a guy named Jack who was known for hitting some pretty good long irons.




    Jack's long iron distance is now a 7 or 8 iron.
  • Ashley SchaefferAshley Schaeffer Members Posts: 1,953 ✭✭
    edited Mar 16, 2019 2:13am #26
    TW is the greatest ball striker of all time. In 20 years, there will be someone better, and we will all be saying he isn't better than TW because we will be comparing that dude's every day play with TW highlight reels. Pretty much what's been going on for a while now.
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  • Schley Schley Love ya don't tell ya enough! Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaMembers Posts: 1,126 ✭✭
    dlygrisse wrote:

    Schley wrote:


    One thing to consider is the evolution of the strengthening of lofts in irons over the years. Today's irons are as much as 2 clubs stronger than the 1980's/90's sets for example. That 9 iron you are hitting 10 yards longer is probably a degree or two stronger. Game improvement clubs and blade lofts certainly differ and look at tour players clubs and they vary.




    What does that have to do with this discussion? Tigers iron lofts are pretty old school. What difference does it make if Justin Thomas is hitting a club with an 8 on it instead of a 7?



    We are talking about great ball strikers not who hits a 9 iron the farthest.




    Dly....... my friend..... Tiger actually has weaker lofts than what you would call standard today and more old school. I believe his PW is 50 degrees for example as opposed to 46 degrees many are using. It makes his feats more amazing for as it is we hear him hitting a 7 iron for example at PB in the 2000 US Open from 205 yards to number 6 out of deep rough and severely uphill. He was using what for most of us was an 8iron loft and hit it to 15 feet.



    Here is an article that speaks to this. https://golfweek.com/2014/08/20/tiger-woods-golf-equipment-nike-golf-irons/



    Tiger, do you find yourself verbalizing to Mike or to Rick in different ways now that you have been with Nike for so long? Are you more technical?

    Woods: Yeah, I understand things like CG and the difference bounce can make in a 9-iron, 7-iron, 5-iron and those things. One thing that has been consistent throughout, and Rick and Mike T can say this too, is that I have basically played the same lofts, the same grips, basically since I was 14 or 15 years old. I’m not part of this wave where the pitching wedge is 45 degrees. That’s my 9-iron!

    All of my lofts are very weak in this day and age, so when these guys build products and put them in front of me, it’s going to look very different to me than it’s going to look like to a guy like Rory (McIlroy). Different generations, different lofts, different eyes.

    I’ve been lucky enough to have Mikey here, and Rick, and we all grew up in the same era when the lofts were weaker, and I haven’t changed from that. They know what that looks like because that’s what they grew up playing. In this day, when guys are hitting a wedge 150, 155 because it’s 45 degrees, that’s a totally different look. I picked up Rory’s wedge last night and was like, “Holy cow! That’s about my 9-iron,” and it is.

    These guys are old school enough . . . I mean Rick’s dad (Bobby Nichols) won the PGA Championship and played on the tour for a very long time. Mike here worked with Hogan. You can’t get much better than that.

    But I also started to learn about how clubs are made and what I need to feel. Like when we put a dowel in my irons, these are all feel things. I can tell you now what it feels like through the dirt, what it feels like through the entire motion of the club swing. What the ball should be doing. Then I have to articulate my feels, and they put numbers to it. Mike then goes off and grinds away, and then he’ll come back and I’ll hit it and go, “Ooh, we’re on to something.’ Then he goes and makes five different 7-irons and grinds them all differently.

    That to me is fun, testing product. Especially when I’m playing well. I think that is the best time to test. Sometimes we’ll have a testing session coming up and I’ll say that I’m not playing well enough, let’s hold off, give me a couple of weeks or a month to get my game back where I need to be and then let’s test. You always want to test when you are playing great, because obviously you can see the differences.
  • GolfnutgalenGolfnutgalen Members Posts: 2,503 ✭✭
    Yeah, Tiger uses really weak lofts. His famous 2 iron had 21° of loft which is the same as DJ's 3 iron or a rogue x 5 iron.
  • dlygrissedlygrisse Members Posts: 13,014 ✭✭




    Arguably the best long iron player of all time




    There is a guy named Jack who was known for hitting some pretty good long irons.




    Jack's long iron distance is now a 7 or 8 iron.




    Not true. Jack could hit a 1 iron 240-ish when needed. No one is hitting a legit 8 iron 240.

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  • dlygrissedlygrisse Members Posts: 13,014 ✭✭
    Schley wrote:

    dlygrisse wrote:

    Schley wrote:


    One thing to consider is the evolution of the strengthening of lofts in irons over the years. Today's irons are as much as 2 clubs stronger than the 1980's/90's sets for example. That 9 iron you are hitting 10 yards longer is probably a degree or two stronger. Game improvement clubs and blade lofts certainly differ and look at tour players clubs and they vary.




    What does that have to do with this discussion? Tigers iron lofts are pretty old school. What difference does it make if Justin Thomas is hitting a club with an 8 on it instead of a 7?



    We are talking about great ball strikers not who hits a 9 iron the farthest.




    Dly....... my friend..... Tiger actually has weaker lofts than what you would call standard today and more old school. I believe his PW is 50 degrees for example as opposed to 46 degrees many are using. It makes his feats more amazing for as it is we hear him hitting a 7 iron for example at PB in the 2000 US Open from 205 yards to number 6 out of deep rough and severely uphill. He was using what for most of us was an 8iron loft and hit it to 15 feet.



    Here is an article that speaks to this. https://golfweek.com/2014/08/20/tiger-woods-golf-equipment-nike-golf-irons/



    Tiger, do you find yourself verbalizing to Mike or to Rick in different ways now that you have been with Nike for so long? Are you more technical?

    Woods: Yeah, I understand things like CG and the difference bounce can make in a 9-iron, 7-iron, 5-iron and those things. One thing that has been consistent throughout, and Rick and Mike T can say this too, is that I have basically played the same lofts, the same grips, basically since I was 14 or 15 years old. I’m not part of this wave where the pitching wedge is 45 degrees. That’s my 9-iron!

    All of my lofts are very weak in this day and age, so when these guys build products and put them in front of me, it’s going to look very different to me than it’s going to look like to a guy like Rory (McIlroy). Different generations, different lofts, different eyes.

    I’ve been lucky enough to have Mikey here, and Rick, and we all grew up in the same era when the lofts were weaker, and I haven’t changed from that. They know what that looks like because that’s what they grew up playing. In this day, when guys are hitting a wedge 150, 155 because it’s 45 degrees, that’s a totally different look. I picked up Rory’s wedge last night and was like, “Holy cow! That’s about my 9-iron,” and it is.

    These guys are old school enough . . . I mean Rick’s dad (Bobby Nichols) won the PGA Championship and played on the tour for a very long time. Mike here worked with Hogan. You can’t get much better than that.

    But I also started to learn about how clubs are made and what I need to feel. Like when we put a dowel in my irons, these are all feel things. I can tell you now what it feels like through the dirt, what it feels like through the entire motion of the club swing. What the ball should be doing. Then I have to articulate my feels, and they put numbers to it. Mike then goes off and grinds away, and then he’ll come back and I’ll hit it and go, “Ooh, we’re on to something.’ Then he goes and makes five different 7-irons and grinds them all differently.

    That to me is fun, testing product. Especially when I’m playing well. I think that is the best time to test. Sometimes we’ll have a testing session coming up and I’ll say that I’m not playing well enough, let’s hold off, give me a couple of weeks or a month to get my game back where I need to be and then let’s test. You always want to test when you are playing great, because obviously you can see the differences.




    Umm...okay? I think that’s the point I was trying to make?

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  • Schley Schley Love ya don't tell ya enough! Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaMembers Posts: 1,126 ✭✭
    dlygrisse wrote:

    Schley wrote:

    dlygrisse wrote:

    Schley wrote:


    One thing to consider is the evolution of the strengthening of lofts in irons over the years. Today's irons are as much as 2 clubs stronger than the 1980's/90's sets for example. That 9 iron you are hitting 10 yards longer is probably a degree or two stronger. Game improvement clubs and blade lofts certainly differ and look at tour players clubs and they vary.




    What does that have to do with this discussion? Tigers iron lofts are pretty old school. What difference does it make if Justin Thomas is hitting a club with an 8 on it instead of a 7?



    We are talking about great ball strikers not who hits a 9 iron the farthest.




    Dly....... my friend..... Tiger actually has weaker lofts than what you would call standard today and more old school. I believe his PW is 50 degrees for example as opposed to 46 degrees many are using. It makes his feats more amazing for as it is we hear him hitting a 7 iron for example at PB in the 2000 US Open from 205 yards to number 6 out of deep rough and severely uphill. He was using what for most of us was an 8iron loft and hit it to 15 feet.



    Here is an article that speaks to this. https://golfweek.com/2014/08/20/tiger-woods-golf-equipment-nike-golf-irons/



    Tiger, do you find yourself verbalizing to Mike or to Rick in different ways now that you have been with Nike for so long? Are you more technical?

    Woods: Yeah, I understand things like CG and the difference bounce can make in a 9-iron, 7-iron, 5-iron and those things. One thing that has been consistent throughout, and Rick and Mike T can say this too, is that I have basically played the same lofts, the same grips, basically since I was 14 or 15 years old. I’m not part of this wave where the pitching wedge is 45 degrees. That’s my 9-iron!

    All of my lofts are very weak in this day and age, so when these guys build products and put them in front of me, it’s going to look very different to me than it’s going to look like to a guy like Rory (McIlroy). Different generations, different lofts, different eyes.

    I’ve been lucky enough to have Mikey here, and Rick, and we all grew up in the same era when the lofts were weaker, and I haven’t changed from that. They know what that looks like because that’s what they grew up playing. In this day, when guys are hitting a wedge 150, 155 because it’s 45 degrees, that’s a totally different look. I picked up Rory’s wedge last night and was like, “Holy cow! That’s about my 9-iron,” and it is.

    These guys are old school enough . . . I mean Rick’s dad (Bobby Nichols) won the PGA Championship and played on the tour for a very long time. Mike here worked with Hogan. You can’t get much better than that.

    But I also started to learn about how clubs are made and what I need to feel. Like when we put a dowel in my irons, these are all feel things. I can tell you now what it feels like through the dirt, what it feels like through the entire motion of the club swing. What the ball should be doing. Then I have to articulate my feels, and they put numbers to it. Mike then goes off and grinds away, and then he’ll come back and I’ll hit it and go, “Ooh, we’re on to something.’ Then he goes and makes five different 7-irons and grinds them all differently.

    That to me is fun, testing product. Especially when I’m playing well. I think that is the best time to test. Sometimes we’ll have a testing session coming up and I’ll say that I’m not playing well enough, let’s hold off, give me a couple of weeks or a month to get my game back where I need to be and then let’s test. You always want to test when you are playing great, because obviously you can see the differences.




    Umm...okay? I think that’s the point I was trying to make?




    Well if it was we all missed it. It certainly is relevant for all of us as the feats of him using XYZ club are actually weaker than our own so...... be impressed or not, we are.
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