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Hi Everyone! 

Brand new here; I hope this is the correct place for this Thread.  If not, could a Moderator please move it? Thank you!

 

So...who was a greater golfer? Why?

 

Below is my personal (initial) take. I'm hoping to learn as much as possible from the Resident Experts and Veterans here!

 

Here are some reasons why I (currently) rank Jack Nicklaus GOAT ahead of Tiger Woods. Despite Tiger being a hero of mine, starting all the way back when I was a kid:

Most Top 3 Finishes, Majors:
Nicklaus: 46
Woods: 26
Mickelson: 23
Snead: 22

Most Top 10 Finishes, Majors
Nicklaus: 73
Snead: 46
Watson: 46
Player: 44
Hogan: 39
Woods: 39

Nicklaus finished runner up in Majors 19 times. Tiger only 7 times.

Top Tier HOF players Jack had to face, mostly through their primes, also:
Watson
Palmer
Player
Casper
Trevino
Floyd
Miller
Ballesteros

Jack lost 7 Major Championships to Tom Watson and Lee Trevino alone.

Top Tier HOF Players Tiger had to face a ton:
Mickelson
Singh
Els
McIlroy (possibly)
 

I have much more to say about this, but I figured that's a start.

 

Thanks again, everyone.

 

-Chris

Edited by csh19792001
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I personally don't put a lot of weight on second place finishes (Finau and Fowler critics don't either). Go ahead and win the event if you're the best player   I have no problem with anyone

LOL, I have much more to say about this too, haha, but I won't!  This is it:    18 > 15   Singular talents, if someone believes Tiger is the best ever they aren't "wrong" (just

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3 minutes ago, csh19792001 said:

How much better was the average golfer in Tiger's Era vs. Jack's? If any? How does this figure in the conversation? 

The equipment was really difficult to use in Jack's era, which made the cream rise to the top more often.  You have identified the Hall Of Fame players that Jack had to beat, but it might have been easier for him because not that many could play the equipment.

 

The equipment was difficult at the start of Tiger's career, but then with big driver heads and better balls, a lot of "more average" pros could play well from time to time.  So Tiger lost some of his advantage to equipment.

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I'm OK with having Jack at #1, i didn't think i would say that but Tiger's career really took a hard right turn pretty quickly. So given Jack's longevity and 28% more majors, i do have to acknowledge it's a solid position

 

I do not agree with most of the nostalgic "soft" stats that accompany many of these arguments however. Like saying Jack had better competition because there are more "big names" in his era. These arguments are nonsense IMO, there were more big names in his era because there were less overall names. Players in the 60s won more for the same reason players in the CFL win more titles on average than those in the NFL do , and it's not because they are better players. There are less teams in the CFL ergo you win more. 

 

Nevertheless , as mentioned, Jack stood out and was dominant for many years. He was also as much a physical freak as Tiger at first. So yeah OK, he can still be #1

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53 minutes ago, Hawkeye77 said:

LOL, I have much more to say about this too, haha, but I won't!  This is it: 

 

18 > 15

 

Singular talents, if someone believes Tiger is the best ever they aren't "wrong" (just a little bewildered, lol). 

Yep. Jack is Goat until tiger gets 19.  
 

now I’ll also say tiger played the greatest 4 consecutive days of golf in human history at pebble ..... when you compare conditions and strength of competition vs the score he shot.   Then compare that to the score everyone else shot.  But still.  Jack was simply the greatest mental player there’s ever been.  

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With all the injuries and everything else, Tiger will always have the "what ifs" for all "The Missing Years", as John Prine might say.

 

His accomplishments could have been, stress "could have" been, staggering (that's relative because he and Jack and Sam and a couple others truly do have staggering numbers relative to thousands who have ever played the game).  Okay, probably would have been. As I said, either vote isn't really wrong.

 

Give OP some credit, he didn't test the waters with "blades" with his first thread, but not sensing an historian - left a ton of HOF "top tier" players off that list that Jack beat in majors, seems a bit of a Google argument, but sports will always be numbers it seems.  I'll stay away from the depth of field conundrum, though, different eras are different eras.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Hawkeye77 said:

Give OP some credit, he didn't test the waters with "blades" with his first thread, but not sensing an historian - left a ton of HOF "top tier" players off that list that Jack beat in majors, seems a bit of a Google argument, but sports will always be numbers it seems.  I'll stay away from the depth of field conundrum, though, different eras are different eras.

 

Ok, I understand. Please give me "The Non Google Argument". No snark here, I'm here to learn and develop as a Historian. 

 

Thanks! 🙂 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, csh19792001 said:

Ok, I understand. Please give me "The Non Google Argument". No snark here, I'm here to learn and develop as a Historian. 

 

Much appreciated. Thanks! 🙂 

Nothing personal, it's just looking up Jack's numbers (and if they'd been presented, Tiger's numbers) and as I said, sports arguments are usually records and numbers.

 

But you can argue Staubach vs. Bradshaw, Sayers vs. Payton, Russell vs. Kareem, Bird vs. (okay, bad example, nobody better at his position!), with an appreciation for the eras, things maybe the numbers don't show, all sorts of stuff.  Same with Jack and Tiger - not going to go farther with it.  Those that have actually seen most of Jack's career and all of Tiger's so far will have different perspectives than say, someone who was born in 1992 - doesn't make the arguments more valid, and they won't even agree among themselves, just different.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, csh19792001 said:

Ok, I understand. Please give me "The Non Google Argument". No snark here, I'm here to learn and develop as a Historian. 

 

Much appreciated. Thanks! 🙂 


 

Heres some history for ya...

 

“Nicklaus and I were watching Tiger play on TV," Tom says. "I can't remember where it was. I think it was at the Senior Skins Game. So we were in Hawaii.
 

I said, 'Bear, he's the best, isn't he?'

 

Jack said, 'Yeah, he's the best.'"

 

-Tom Watson


So, who has the most Majors? Jack

 

Who’s the best to ever tee it up?

 

“ I bite my lip every time I say this -- Tiger's better.”

 

-Lee Trevino 

 

 

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, csh19792001 said:

Ok, I understand. Please give me "The Non Google Argument". No snark here, I'm here to learn and develop as a Historian. 

 

Much appreciated. Thanks! 🙂 

Historian?  There is a wealth of books about golf history.

 

When you get to Bobby Jones, you will find a record in national championships which is superlative in every way to Jack's and Tiger's.

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21 minutes ago, tungstenplug said:

I personally don't put a lot of weight on second place finishes (Finau and Fowler critics don't either). Go ahead and win the event if you're the best player

 

I have no problem with anyone saying Jack is better than Tiger, but to be more convinced I'd really like to see more wins based on how many more starts he had compared to Tiger

 

428678616_ScreenShot2021-01-18at6_49_26PM.png.08081e44de11710ec88e6b2edb9d5ca7.png

 

As far as Major Championships go, I understand that 18 > 15. Let's not forget that Jack has played in 164 majors to Tiger's 86.

18/164 = 11% win rate and 15/86 = 17.4% win rate

 

Tiger Woods = better at winning golf tournaments.

 

I'm not even going to talk about strength of field or which player missed several years of his prime. I believe these things would also help Tiger's case

 

They are both the greatest of their time and semantics can be argued for either of them as the GOAT, but if I had to pick 1 guy in his prime to go win a golf tournament, I'm picking Tiger Woods

 


Agree, Tiger had game Jack just never had. I would add one thing.

 

Some talk about TW not facing great competition and ask how he would have dove against Jacks fields. 

 

Somehow, the “strength of field” paused during the TW 1.0 years, they would say. 

 

But the same people then are adamant that the current crop of Uber golfers is so deep, that TW couldn’t have won as much if he was in his prime now.

 

So, what does TW do?

 

At 43 years old, with a destroyed knee and fused back, a mere shadow of his prime

 

He beats all the young guns at Augusta just a short time after being able to walk!

 

Imagine what TW in his prime would do to these guys? ; )

 

 

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10 minutes ago, tungstenplug said:

I personally don't put a lot of weight on second place finishes (Finau and Fowler critics don't either). Go ahead and win the event if you're the best player

 

I have no problem with anyone saying Jack is better than Tiger, but to be more convinced I'd really like to see more wins based on how many more starts he had compared to Tiger

 

428678616_ScreenShot2021-01-18at6_49_26PM.png.08081e44de11710ec88e6b2edb9d5ca7.png

 

As far as Major Championships go, I understand that 18 > 15. Let's not forget that Jack has played in 164 majors to Tiger's 86.

18/164 = 11% win rate and 15/86 = 17.4% win rate

 

Tiger Woods = better at winning golf tournaments.

 

I'm not even going to talk about strength of field or which player missed several years of his prime. I believe these things would also help Tiger's case

 

They are both the greatest of their time and semantics can be argued for either of them as the GOAT, but if I had to pick 1 guy in his prime to go win a golf tournament, I'm picking Tiger Woods

 

It's really ironic; I was just going to pull up that chart of winning percentage. 

 

Here's a major caveat with that, though...that chart was published after Tiger's age 43 season. 

 

End of Age 43 Seasons, respectively: 


Nicklaus: 417 starts, 71 wins (17% win rate), 54 seconds, 34 thirds 

Woods: 358 starts, 81 wins (23% win rate), 31 seconds, 19 thirds

 

Jack finished in the top 3 38% of his starts

Tiger finished in the top 3 37% of his starts

 

I believe Tiger won more because he had far fewer Hall of Famers in their primes to contend with. 

 

But more on that with the next post....

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1 hour ago, bscinstnct said:


 

Heres some history for ya...

 

“Nicklaus and I were watching Tiger play on TV," Tom says. "I can't remember where it was. I think it was at the Senior Skins Game. So we were in Hawaii.
 

I said, 'Bear, he's the best, isn't he?'

 

Jack said, 'Yeah, he's the best.'"

 

-Tom Watson


So, who has the most Majors? Jack

 

Who’s the best to ever tee it up?

 

“ I bite my lip every time I say this -- Tiger's better.”

 

-Lee Trevino 

 

 

 

 

 

What years did Watson and Lee Buck make these statements? And to whom? These are great quotes!! 

 

It's ironic, because I've heard them both say the exact opposite. 

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Jack was better for a longer period of time. Tiger at his peak was better, but that peak was only for a year or two. 
 

if the two of them had a shot to hit or a putt to make, with my life on the line, I think it’s a draw, and everyone else is at best a distant second. 
 

if you put the two of them on the 72nd hole with a putt to make to win the GOAT title, I gotta say they would be replaying the hole for a long time. 
 

Both were very physically talented, both were extremely mentally tough, and both seemed to slow down under pressure when everyone else went into choke mode. 
 

It’s a battle of the longevity, consistency vs. peaks and valleys. Tiger had a better short game, Jack didn’t develop his till 1980. Tiger kept changing his swing and sprayed his driver, Jack stuck with what worked and hit it long and straight for many years. Both were great iron players, putters and had great distance control.  
 

in the end I’m sticking with Jack. Why?  Tiger had Jacks records above his bed growing up, his goal was to break them. 15 to 18. He didn’t meet his goal. 

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3 minutes ago, dlygrisse said:

Jack was better for a longer period of time. Tiger at his peak was better, but that peak was only for a year or two. 
 

if the two of them had a shot to hit or a putt to make, with my life on the line, I think it’s a draw, and everyone else is at best a distant second. 
 

if you put the two of them on the 72nd hole with a putt to make to win the GOAT title, I gotta say they would be replaying the hole for a long time. 
 

Both were very physically talented, both were extremely mentally tough, and both seemed to slow down under pressure when everyone else went into choke mode. 
 

It’s a battle of the longevity, consistency vs. peaks and valleys. Tiger had a better short game, Jack didn’t develop his till 1980. Tiger kept changing his swing and sprayed his driver, Jack stuck with what worked and hit it long and straight for many years. Both were great iron players, putters and had great distance control.  
 

in the end I’m sticking with Jack. Why?  Tiger had Jacks records above his bed growing up, his goal was to break them. 15 to 18. He didn’t meet his goal. 


Id argue that TWs peak was 10 years and within that he had several absurd pinnacles that set the bar for the absolute height that the game has ever been played.

 

But look at these two separate 4 year periods to see that TWs “peak” was really practically a decade of a nirvana like plateau...

 

 

1999-2002

 

27 pga tour wins and 7 Majors. In 4 years. This is so obscenely gaudy and will never be approached. This included:

 

4 consecutive majors, a 35% win rate on pga tour events and a 44% win rate on majors.

 

 

2005-2008

 

25 PGA tour wins and 6 majors. That a 43% win rate on PGA Tour events

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, YMark said:

Remind me why I should download a spreadsheet from some stranger off the internet that has been a member of this forum for less than a day.

Yep, seems like he's got it all worked out, just releasing a few crumbs at a time to keep it going.  Leaving this one, lol.  Been done better.

 

Every major tour in action this week starting Wednesday night!

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There are no right or wrong answers to this one.

 

My view Tiger > Jack. 

 

I guess it can come down to how the question is framed but in terms of the best player, with the best golfing ability, for me it has to be TW. If the question was who had the better career then I would have no issue with those who lean towards Nicklaus for that. 18 majors beats 15 but that’s when you can start to slip down the worm hole...

 

How many regular tour events beat a major. Should a career be defined solely be major wins. Should you take account of injuries, that type of thing. As I say, there is no right or wrong answers. All we are left with is opinion and my opinion is that TW was better than Jack.

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12 hours ago, tungstenplug said:

I personally don't put a lot of weight on second place finishes (Finau and Fowler critics don't either). Go ahead and win the event if you're the best player

 

I have no problem with anyone saying Jack is better than Tiger, but to be more convinced I'd really like to see more wins based on how many more starts he had compared to Tiger

 

428678616_ScreenShot2021-01-18at6_49_26PM.png.08081e44de11710ec88e6b2edb9d5ca7.png

 

As far as Major Championships go, I understand that 18 > 15. Let's not forget that Jack has played in 164 majors to Tiger's 86.

18/164 = 11% win rate and 15/86 = 17.4% win rate

 

Tiger Woods = better at winning golf tournaments.

 

I'm not even going to talk about strength of field or which player missed several years of his prime. I believe these things would also help Tiger's case

 

They are both the greatest of their time and semantics can be argued for either of them as the GOAT, but if I had to pick 1 guy in his prime to go win a golf tournament, I'm picking Tiger Woods

 

Not saying that Jack didn't want to win tournaments every time out, but he was in an era where you had to win to make a living and a name for yourself. I think he realized for the viability of the sport others had to win as well, and, in my opinion, Nicklaus was instrumental in fostering the type of competition that enabled the sport to grow in stature. This spirit of competition surely came from his background in team sports, which Tiger didn't have.

 

Tiger's focus was much more on winning. As a result Tiger grew the sport in leaps and bounds, but I don't think Tiger quite had the burden of the sport on his back that Jack had for others to be successful. Because of Tiger, today you can be successful on tour and not have to win much. Tiger did all the winning for them.

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