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Best driver .............ever

 Night train ·  
Night trainNight train Members  2885WRX Points: 262Posts: 2,885 Titanium Tees
Joined:  edited Aug 26, 2019 in Tour Talk #1

I never got to see Hogan and very little of Sam Sneed. Jack was a very impressive driver of the ball in his prime...........dominant is the word that comes to mind, he had a reserve that was incredible. I thought Greg Norman was incredible with the driver.................I think Rory has taken it up another notch, watching him hit driver is simply a display of grace, power and accuracy the game has never seen. His game has weak spots...........the driver isn't one of them!

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  • GolfWRXGolfWRX Warning Points: 0  11 Members Posts: 11 #ad
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  • GolfnutgalenGolfnutgalen Members  2685WRX Points: 401Posts: 2,685 Titanium Tees
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    One of the best of all time no doubt about it. I might give the edge to Jack Nicklaus, but we can't statistically prove it.

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  • Drewmiller07Drewmiller07 North carolinaMembers  207WRX Points: 106Handicap: I’m Okay I guess. Posts: 207 Fairways
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    On -, @Night train said:

    I agree completely ..............but he sure is fun to watch. I played the old stuff, and have no desire to go back to it. I'd love to see the PGA Tour have an event with vintage clubs and balls though.........once a year!

    There’s a couple of short videos on YouTube of the modern guys hitting them. They’re still hitting them pretty well and I’d definitely watch that tournament.

    Posted:
  • 300_yard_drives300_yard_drives Jr. Boomers  1264WRX Points: 171Posts: 1,264 Platinum Tees
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    DJ is just as good of a driver of the golf ball as Rory.

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  • GolfnutgalenGolfnutgalen Members  2685WRX Points: 401Posts: 2,685 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @Night train said:

    It's sad that most players today have no idea how powerful Jack was in his prime.

    How powerful was he though? I think Brandel argued he would be outdriving the longest hitters by 30 yards at one point and I think that is totally bogus. Like I said there isn't much data pre 1980, but we do have some:

    https://www.pga.com/golf-instruction/golf-buzz/how-far-would-golfs-legends-drive-ball-using-modern-equipment
    IBM recorded driving distance data at 11 PGA Tour events in 1968. The top 10 players averaged 270.2 yards, the average was 264.0 yards and Nicklaus led the Tour at 276.0 yards. Adding 35 yards for increased speed, hotter driver and better ball, Nicklaus would've averaged 311.0 last season.

    276 is a long way obviously, but it was not that much further than his contemporaries.

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  • dpb5031dpb5031 Jupiter, FLMembers  5881WRX Points: 1,451Posts: 5,881 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @Night train said:

    It's sad that most players today have no idea how powerful Jack was in his prime.

    So true. My uncle played with him several times. Said he seemingly had unlimited power in reserve that he typically only used on par 5s.

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  • Ashley SchaefferAshley Schaeffer Members  2822WRX Points: 1,102Posts: 2,822 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @Golfnutgalen said:

    On -, @Night train said:

    It's sad that most players today have no idea how powerful Jack was in his prime.

    How powerful was he though? I think Brandel argued he would be outdriving the longest hitters by 30 yards at one point and I think that is totally bogus. Like I said there isn't much data pre 1980, but we do have some:

    https://www.pga.com/golf-instruction/golf-buzz/how-far-would-golfs-legends-drive-ball-using-modern-equipment
    IBM recorded driving distance data at 11 PGA Tour events in 1968. The top 10 players averaged 270.2 yards, the average was 264.0 yards and Nicklaus led the Tour at 276.0 yards. Adding 35 yards for increased speed, hotter driver and better ball, Nicklaus would've averaged 311.0 last season.

    276 is a long way obviously, but it was not that much further than his contemporaries.

    Yeah, but if you add 90 yards for increased speed, hotter driver, and better ball, he would average 366 yards off the tee today.

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  • ByeBye EnglandMembers  1366WRX Points: 125Handicap: 0.9Posts: 1,366 Platinum Tees
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    Rory has to be the best since the equipment change. He has the most variety in shot making with driver, along with his power and being completely fearless with it.

    Is Adam Scott a worthy mention though! He must be close in the conversation.

    Norman was incredible with the old gear, and probably the best of his generation.

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  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 IowaClubWRX  21717WRX Points: 5,715Posts: 21,717 ClubWRX
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    Nicklaus and Norman at the top, IMO. It’s more than a little close, lol.

    Rory still has a career to finish and still runs hot and not so hot.

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  • Ashley SchaefferAshley Schaeffer Members  2822WRX Points: 1,102Posts: 2,822 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @Hawkeye77 said:

    Nicklaus and Norman at the top, IMO. It’s more than a little close, lol.

    Rory still has a career to finish and still runs hot and not so hot.

    I agree, but I wouldn't put Norman in the same league as Nicklaus. A lot of people don't realize that Nicklaus played with an inferior golf ball for much of his career out of respect and loyalty to MacGregor Golf Company. He still hit it by many of his competitors, and had two more gears when he wanted them. He didn't often use those gears out of respect.

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    On -, @Ashley Schaeffer said:

    On -, @Hawkeye77 said:

    Nicklaus and Norman at the top, IMO. It’s more than a little close, lol.

    Rory still has a career to finish and still runs hot and not so hot.

    I agree, but I wouldn't put Norman in the same league as Nicklaus. A lot of people don't realize that Nicklaus played with an inferior golf ball for much of his career out of respect and loyalty to MacGregor Golf Company. He still hit it by many of his competitors, and had two more gears when he wanted them. He didn't often use those gears out of respect.

    I feel like this is comment is more Paul Bunyan than fact. It is soo hard to say due to so little info other than Hyperbole. First hand witness is biased and untrustworthy. jack was good that is no doubt, but I just wonder how good. It is the some old generational debate that there is no way of ever deciding definitively.

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  • tideridertiderider Members  3178WRX Points: 2,197Handicap: 5ishPosts: 3,178 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @Golfnutgalen said:

    One of the best of all time no doubt about it. I might give the edge to Jack Nicklaus, but we can't statistically prove it.

    1980 ... jack finished 10th in distance and 13th in accuracy, per pgatour records ... very few have gotten close to that ... mainly norman and lietzke ...

    and nicklaus was #1 or in the top 5 for several years after that ... only played 15 tournaments a year, so one could argue that against the obvious fact that he's the GOAT driver, but one would be wasting one's time ...

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  • PepperturboPepperturbo Midwest and SouthwestMembers  16986WRX Points: 1,079Handicap: 4-5Posts: 16,986 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @dalehead said:

    Rory is great with the driver. I just don’t think you can compare results with a TM M5 and modern ball with persimmon drivers and wound balata balls both in distance and accuracy.

    Having played Balata and Professional balls with persimmon drivers, I agree **100%.

    Though TM M5 plays a role as well as the ball, the shaft IMO is overlooked. For example, I have been playing an aftermarket Fujikura Fuel Tour Spec 60, 67-gram shaft in TS2 9.5 at D4 since TS2 was introduced. It always gave me some dispersion when I went after it. A few weeks back I installed a new aftermarket HZRDUS Red 6.0 in TS2 and haven't missed a fairway since, plus out beyond 250 yards at times and I am almost 70, using same ProV1 ball. D***, I love technology as it allows me to stay competitive to an extent.

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  • QuigleyDUQuigleyDU Members, ClubWRX  10796WRX Points: 3,915Handicap: 8Posts: 10,796 ClubWRX
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    On -, @Night train said:

    On -, @QuigleyDU said:

    On -, @Ashley Schaeffer said:

    On -, @Hawkeye77 said:

    Nicklaus and Norman at the top, IMO. It’s more than a little close, lol.

    Rory still has a career to finish and still runs hot and not so hot.

    I agree, but I wouldn't put Norman in the same league as Nicklaus. A lot of people don't realize that Nicklaus played with an inferior golf ball for much of his career out of respect and loyalty to MacGregor Golf Company. He still hit it by many of his competitors, and had two more gears when he wanted them. He didn't often use those gears out of respect.

    I feel like this is comment is more Paul Bunyan than fact. It is soo hard to say due to so little info other than Hyperbole. First hand witness is biased and untrustworthy. jack was good that is no doubt, but I just wonder how good. It is the some old generational debate that there is no way of ever deciding definitively.

    I watched Jack give a clinic in 1975 before playing an exhibition. They had the first fairway marked with yardage grids and he went thru his bag hitting shots. He hit an 8 iron and said this is my 145 club and hit it 145............and then I stood dumbfounded as hit the 8 iron again............."but I always have some in reserve, and flew it to the 185 yard marker"

    I am not sure what you are telling me here. I think that if you went to a demo with any tour pro they could do that as well. This alone does nothing for the case of him being the best driver ever. I don't argue his greatness over all or that he was the greatest. But, I don't think this plays well as proof of that.

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  • tideridertiderider Members  3178WRX Points: 2,197Handicap: 5ishPosts: 3,178 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @Ashley Schaeffer said:

    On -, @Hawkeye77 said:

    Nicklaus and Norman at the top, IMO. It’s more than a little close, lol.

    Rory still has a career to finish and still runs hot and not so hot.

    I agree, but I wouldn't put Norman in the same league as Nicklaus. A lot of people don't realize that Nicklaus played with an inferior golf ball for much of his career out of respect and loyalty to MacGregor Golf Company. He still hit it by many of his competitors, and had two more gears when he wanted them. He didn't often use those gears out of respect.

    Posted:
  • Ashley SchaefferAshley Schaeffer Members  2822WRX Points: 1,102Posts: 2,822 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @QuigleyDU said:

    On -, @Night train said:

    On -, @QuigleyDU said:

    On -, @Ashley Schaeffer said:

    On -, @Hawkeye77 said:

    Nicklaus and Norman at the top, IMO. It’s more than a little close, lol.

    Rory still has a career to finish and still runs hot and not so hot.

    I agree, but I wouldn't put Norman in the same league as Nicklaus. A lot of people don't realize that Nicklaus played with an inferior golf ball for much of his career out of respect and loyalty to MacGregor Golf Company. He still hit it by many of his competitors, and had two more gears when he wanted them. He didn't often use those gears out of respect.

    I feel like this is comment is more Paul Bunyan than fact. It is soo hard to say due to so little info other than Hyperbole. First hand witness is biased and untrustworthy. jack was good that is no doubt, but I just wonder how good. It is the some old generational debate that there is no way of ever deciding definitively.

    I watched Jack give a clinic in 1975 before playing an exhibition. They had the first fairway marked with yardage grids and he went thru his bag hitting shots. He hit an 8 iron and said this is my 145 club and hit it 145............and then I stood dumbfounded as hit the 8 iron again............."but I always have some in reserve, and flew it to the 185 yard marker"

    I am not sure what you are telling me here. I think that if you went to a demo with any tour pro they could do that as well. This alone does nothing for the case of him being the best driver ever. I don't argue his greatness over all or that he was the greatest. But, I don't think this plays well as proof of that.

    My Dad's uncle watched Nicklaus on the range once in the late 1970s in Southern California. There was a huge net at the end of the range about 200-350 yards out. He said Nicklaus was flying 2-irons into the net, and they wouldn't even let him hit driver because of the homes beyond the net. If that isn't another gear, then every car should be a snowmobile.

    Posted:
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  • DpavsDpavs OverWRX'ed MichiganClubWRX  4031WRX Points: 695Posts: 4,031 ClubWRX
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    65 players rank better than Rory in 2019 alone unfortunately.. so based on accuracy alone, I don't think I would agree.
    Maybe if you scratch accuracy off the list :)
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    Posted:
  • QuigleyDUQuigleyDU Members, ClubWRX  10796WRX Points: 3,915Handicap: 8Posts: 10,796 ClubWRX
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    On -, @Ashley Schaeffer said:

    On -, @QuigleyDU said:

    On -, @Night train said:

    On -, @QuigleyDU said:

    On -, @Ashley Schaeffer said:

    On -, @Hawkeye77 said:

    Nicklaus and Norman at the top, IMO. It’s more than a little close, lol.

    Rory still has a career to finish and still runs hot and not so hot.

    I agree, but I wouldn't put Norman in the same league as Nicklaus. A lot of people don't realize that Nicklaus played with an inferior golf ball for much of his career out of respect and loyalty to MacGregor Golf Company. He still hit it by many of his competitors, and had two more gears when he wanted them. He didn't often use those gears out of respect.

    I feel like this is comment is more Paul Bunyan than fact. It is soo hard to say due to so little info other than Hyperbole. First hand witness is biased and untrustworthy. jack was good that is no doubt, but I just wonder how good. It is the some old generational debate that there is no way of ever deciding definitively.

    I watched Jack give a clinic in 1975 before playing an exhibition. They had the first fairway marked with yardage grids and he went thru his bag hitting shots. He hit an 8 iron and said this is my 145 club and hit it 145............and then I stood dumbfounded as hit the 8 iron again............."but I always have some in reserve, and flew it to the 185 yard marker"

    I am not sure what you are telling me here. I think that if you went to a demo with any tour pro they could do that as well. This alone does nothing for the case of him being the best driver ever. I don't argue his greatness over all or that he was the greatest. But, I don't think this plays well as proof of that.

    My Dad's uncle watched Nicklaus on the range once in the late 1970s in Southern California. There was a huge net at the end of the range about 200-350 yards out. He said Nicklaus was flying 2-irons into the net, and they wouldn't even let him hit driver because of the homes beyond the net. If that isn't another gear, then every car should be a snowmobile.

    Dads uncle?? Really??

    Posted:
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  • BloctonGolf11BloctonGolf11 Members  549WRX Points: 387Handicap: 8Posts: 549 Golden Tee
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    The problem here comes down to simple issues that plague any comparison of GOAT's in any sports: far separated eras are essentially impossible to compare. There is no concrete way to make a determination of someone like Rory to Jack in the same way you can't leave someone like Hogan out of the equation. Also, we have no idea how the progenitor players of the early part of the century like Jones and Sarazen would have stacked up. They were certainly playing with inferior technology as well as playing a different style of game due to course design and maintenance. Moral of the story is you can basically just say who the GOATs of each era were and dream up ways to try to compare them that can never be quantified in any meaningful way.

    Posted:
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  • NevinWNevinW Southside, West VirginiaClubWRX  1224WRX Points: 228Handicap: 4Posts: 1,224 ClubWRX
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    I've seen everyone from Sam Snead to Nicklaus to Tiger to Daly and now today's players hit drivers. Nicklaus was by far the most impressive driver that I have seen. Although seeing him hit a 1 iron was even more impressive. However, it is impossible to compare eras. The current ball is not only MUCH longer but so much easier to hit straight. I'd say Rory is the most impressive driver of todays players.

    Posted:
  • Ashley SchaefferAshley Schaeffer Members  2822WRX Points: 1,102Posts: 2,822 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @QuigleyDU said:

    On -, @Ashley Schaeffer said:

    On -, @QuigleyDU said:

    On -, @Night train said:

    On -, @QuigleyDU said:

    On -, @Ashley Schaeffer said:

    On -, @Hawkeye77 said:

    Nicklaus and Norman at the top, IMO. It’s more than a little close, lol.

    Rory still has a career to finish and still runs hot and not so hot.

    I agree, but I wouldn't put Norman in the same league as Nicklaus. A lot of people don't realize that Nicklaus played with an inferior golf ball for much of his career out of respect and loyalty to MacGregor Golf Company. He still hit it by many of his competitors, and had two more gears when he wanted them. He didn't often use those gears out of respect.

    I feel like this is comment is more Paul Bunyan than fact. It is soo hard to say due to so little info other than Hyperbole. First hand witness is biased and untrustworthy. jack was good that is no doubt, but I just wonder how good. It is the some old generational debate that there is no way of ever deciding definitively.

    I watched Jack give a clinic in 1975 before playing an exhibition. They had the first fairway marked with yardage grids and he went thru his bag hitting shots. He hit an 8 iron and said this is my 145 club and hit it 145............and then I stood dumbfounded as hit the 8 iron again............."but I always have some in reserve, and flew it to the 185 yard marker"

    I am not sure what you are telling me here. I think that if you went to a demo with any tour pro they could do that as well. This alone does nothing for the case of him being the best driver ever. I don't argue his greatness over all or that he was the greatest. But, I don't think this plays well as proof of that.

    My Dad's uncle watched Nicklaus on the range once in the late 1970s in Southern California. There was a huge net at the end of the range about 200-350 yards out. He said Nicklaus was flying 2-irons into the net, and they wouldn't even let him hit driver because of the homes beyond the net. If that isn't another gear, then every car should be a snowmobile.

    Dads uncle?? Really??

    Bud. Read it again. I'm with you.

    Posted:
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  • Ashley SchaefferAshley Schaeffer Members  2822WRX Points: 1,102Posts: 2,822 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @BloctonGolf11 said:

    The problem here comes down to simple issues that plague any comparison of GOAT's in any sports: far separated eras are essentially impossible to compare. There is no concrete way to make a determination of someone like Rory to Jack in the same way you can't leave someone like Hogan out of the equation. Also, we have no idea how the progenitor players of the early part of the century like Jones and Sarazen would have stacked up. They were certainly playing with inferior technology as well as playing a different style of game due to course design and maintenance. Moral of the story is you can basically just say who the GOATs of each era were and dream up ways to try to compare them that can never be quantified in any meaningful way.

    This makes far too much sense to ignore the fact that Jack Nicklaus was the best to ever putt around a bunker.

    Posted:
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  • QuigleyDUQuigleyDU Members, ClubWRX  10796WRX Points: 3,915Handicap: 8Posts: 10,796 ClubWRX
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    On -, @Ashley Schaeffer said:

    On -, @QuigleyDU said:

    On -, @Ashley Schaeffer said:

    On -, @QuigleyDU said:

    On -, @Night train said:

    On -, @QuigleyDU said:

    On -, @Ashley Schaeffer said:

    On -, @Hawkeye77 said:

    Nicklaus and Norman at the top, IMO. It’s more than a little close, lol.

    Rory still has a career to finish and still runs hot and not so hot.

    I agree, but I wouldn't put Norman in the same league as Nicklaus. A lot of people don't realize that Nicklaus played with an inferior golf ball for much of his career out of respect and loyalty to MacGregor Golf Company. He still hit it by many of his competitors, and had two more gears when he wanted them. He didn't often use those gears out of respect.

    I feel like this is comment is more Paul Bunyan than fact. It is soo hard to say due to so little info other than Hyperbole. First hand witness is biased and untrustworthy. jack was good that is no doubt, but I just wonder how good. It is the some old generational debate that there is no way of ever deciding definitively.

    I watched Jack give a clinic in 1975 before playing an exhibition. They had the first fairway marked with yardage grids and he went thru his bag hitting shots. He hit an 8 iron and said this is my 145 club and hit it 145............and then I stood dumbfounded as hit the 8 iron again............."but I always have some in reserve, and flew it to the 185 yard marker"

    I am not sure what you are telling me here. I think that if you went to a demo with any tour pro they could do that as well. This alone does nothing for the case of him being the best driver ever. I don't argue his greatness over all or that he was the greatest. But, I don't think this plays well as proof of that.

    My Dad's uncle watched Nicklaus on the range once in the late 1970s in Southern California. There was a huge net at the end of the range about 200-350 yards out. He said Nicklaus was flying 2-irons into the net, and they wouldn't even let him hit driver because of the homes beyond the net. If that isn't another gear, then every car should be a snowmobile.

    Dads uncle?? Really??

    Bud. Read it again. I'm with you.

    I know you are, thats why I added "I walked on the moon" haha.

    Posted:
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    4-PW Cobra king forged CB KBS $ Taper 130 X flex
    WEDGES; CLEVELAND RTX4: 49 and 64
    WEDGES: Titleist SM7 54 and 60 KBS tour custom matte black shafts.
    PUTTER; Kronos release long neck
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  • Ashley SchaefferAshley Schaeffer Members  2822WRX Points: 1,102Posts: 2,822 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @NevinW said:

    I've seen everyone from Sam Snead to Nicklaus to Tiger to Daly and now today's players hit drivers. Nicklaus was by far the most impressive driver that I have seen. Although seeing him hit a 1 iron was even more impressive. However, it is impossible to compare eras. The current ball is not only MUCH longer but so much easier to hit straight. I'd say Rory is the most impressive driver of todays players.

    Agreed. Imagine if Nicklaus played with these modern golf balls and drivers. Adding...bleep...blop...bloop 87.6 yards for the equipment, he would average over 360 today, and dead straight. I've watched his highlights, and they prove that he always hit his line off the tee.

    Posted:
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  • RmatzenRmatzen Members  12WRX Points: 8Posts: 12 Bunkers
    Joined:  #31

    On -, @Bye said:

    Rory has to be the best since the equipment change. He has the most variety in shot making with driver, along with his power and being completely fearless with it.

    Is Adam Scott a worthy mention though! He must be close in the conversation.

    Norman was incredible with the old gear, and probably the best of his generation.

    I think this is really important- Rory has a great inventory of shots off the tee that Jack just didn't have. However, for raw power and ability to get it done off the tee, you can't count Nicklaus out. Jack was so smooth he even switched to a regular flex shaft while on tour. Lots of power left in the tank I think.

    Posted:
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