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How should golf view it’s past?


MattyO1984
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On 7/26/2021 at 1:30 PM, bscinstnct said:


 

Lol, well that’s a completely different talent pool than current.

 

But, I’ll make this analogy.

 

Mickey Mantle is as good a ball player as anybody now or ever played. You could say there are guys as good and more guys as good now than then

 

But nobody is a better baseball player than him. 
 

I think this holds true in golf. Jack is as good as anybody now. Hogan too. So, was Hagen or Old Tom? Very possible. 
 

Look at Mantle. He don’t even lift, bro!!
 

 

DF036689-8ADF-40FB-9709-F1356437C9B9.jpeg

 

Mickey lifted plenty, it was just bottles 😂

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Well, comparing players now and then is probably difficult on a stroke to stroke pow. Enough have been said already on equipment, training methods and so on.

 

whats interesting, I think, is rather - what kind of people played back then and what kind of people play now. How many did play? And in what environment

 

its easy to think like yeah back in those days only snobs were playing so the population to pick top golfers from was small.

 

But you see the crowds golf tournaments attracted on old films. Wodehouse fantastic golf stories(that really takes you back) did find large audiences and reveals a great interest in the game, not only from lords and american millionaires. Thats like in the 20`s. His heros are arivadon and erbmisjel as Brusiloff called them.  At that time golf was already big. And golfers back then might have had more time to play than the egalitarian daytime workers of today.

 

I have often wondered, the times of YTM, how many did really play in scotland those days? The 1870’s like. 

 

And even though golf found its way to the more humble, Scandinavian suburb in the 80’s where I lived, not only Djursholm, Täby, Lidingö and Saltsjöbaden, the top golfers nowadays quite seldom come from really humble backgrounds. Having a supportive soccer mom that drives you to the course day in day out will not be a disadvantage. Or a Pro dad. Guys like Tiger and Rory did not come from the poshest of backgrounds but they definitely had golf friendly backgrounds anyway. I can tell you, no matter how good I had become if I had been able to start playong before the age of 19, no chance that I have got any support from my parents. Golf(and writing books, studying humanities and so on) is not a job. Period. 
 

South Korean female success - Golf in NOT, I have learned, a lower middle class activity.

 

so I believe that the possibility in the western countries nowadays isnt all that much better now than in the say 20’s(the previous 20’s, that is) to single out top players now. The talents of Abe Mitchell and Bobby Jones was probably as good as those of JT or DJ. But media interest, other society situations, and media interests have of course allowed the really good golfers of today to take golf to levels unattainable for a Harry Vardon. And not only because of equipment development.

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Yeah I don't like the denigration of old achievements. They beat the best of who was available at the time. 

 

For example Bobby Jones winning the Grand Slam. He got a ticker tape parade out of it. It was considered massive. You see some people say Bobby Jones wasn't "that" good. Hogan and Jones were good enough to be a select number of people in any discipline to deserve a ticket tape parade from 1880s to 1960s, alongside Lindbergh, world war heroes and astronauts, that's the kind of company they were keeping with their perceived achievements at the time. Who are we to now denigrate their achievements, attaching modern values to a different time?

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12 hours ago, Shilgy said:

Seems odd a guy swinging 132 with the driver would hit 1 iron from 200.  Even with old balata and swinging for precision those numbers don’t match.

To be fair, Hogan's 1-iron would have had the same loft as a modern 3-iron (yes, things have changed), and the old balata balls might account for most of the difference.

 

Also, the 132 number might have been on a practice range, warm day, when Hogan was swinging all out, which he probably did not do on the golf course.  And maybe 132 is exaggerated, but Hogan was still among the longest of his era, almost as long as Snead.  There are stories of Hogan out driving Arnold Palmer in the late 1950's, when Hogan is on bad legs a much older than the King.

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14 hours ago, Shilgy said:

Seems odd a guy swinging 132 with the driver would hit 1 iron from 200.  Even with old balata and swinging for precision those numbers don’t match.

How do they not match? That shot at Merion was uphill, balata ball, and he was swinging a 1950's butter knife. We have no idea what kind of shot he was hitting (most likely a cut) nor the wind conditions. He clocked 132 MPH with a driver, on a range, in a testing environment. He hit 2 iron on the 18th hole while in the lead in the final round of a US Open?? You're comparing apples to oranges. 

 

I've attached the article elsewhere in this thread if you doubt his swing speed. 

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43 minutes ago, pbuck said:

How do they not match? That shot at Merion was uphill, balata ball, and he was swinging a 1950's butter knife. We have no idea what kind of shot he was hitting (most likely a cut) nor the wind conditions. He clocked 132 MPH with a driver, on a range, in a testing environment. He hit 2 iron on the 18th hole while in the lead in the final round of a US Open?? You're comparing apples to oranges. 

 

I've attached the article elsewhere in this thread if you doubt his swing speed. 

 

3 hours ago, gvogel said:

To be fair, Hogan's 1-iron would have had the same loft as a modern 3-iron (yes, things have changed), and the old balata balls might account for most of the difference.

 

Also, the 132 number might have been on a practice range, warm day, when Hogan was swinging all out, which he probably did not do on the golf course.  And maybe 132 is exaggerated, but Hogan was still among the longest of his era, almost as long as Snead.  There are stories of Hogan out driving Arnold Palmer in the late 1950's, when Hogan is on bad legs a much older than the King.

I’m not questioning what was measured….I’m questioning the accuracy of the device used to do so. And the veracity of the report? This was what? 70 years ago? And the only mention of this superhuman achievement is a guy that wasn’t born yet saying it happened. It’s amazing that Dan Jenkins didn’t bring it up repeatedly if true.

 

132 is what? The equivalent of 140 today? More?

 

PS 18 at Merton is not much uphill. Here is a dip between the player and the green but from where Hogan hit it’s fairly flat.  Unless the picture we all have lies.

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Shilgy said:

 

I’m not questioning what was measured….I’m questioning the accuracy of the device used to do so. And the veracity of the report? This was what? 70 years ago? And the only mention of this superhuman achievement is a guy that wasn’t born yet saying it happened. It’s amazing that Dan Jenkins didn’t bring it up repeatedly if true.

 

132 is what? The equivalent of 140 today? More?

 

PS 18 at Merton is not much uphill. Here is a dip between the player and the green but from where Hogan hit it’s fairly flat.  Unless the picture we all have lies.

 

 

 

Superhuman achievement? Tiger, Rory, and Bryson and many others are all capable of this. Tiger was clocking mid 120's in the early 2000s. 132 mph 70 years ago is equivalent to..... 132 mph today. I already said in my initial post that the validity of Spalding's radar is questionable, but it's hard to believe it's wildly inaccurate. I really don't see why this is so controversial.  

 

image.png

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7 hours ago, pbuck said:

Superhuman achievement? Tiger, Rory, and Bryson and many others are all capable of this. Tiger was clocking mid 120's in the early 2000s. 132 mph 70 years ago is equivalent to..... 132 mph today. I already said in my initial post that the validity of Spalding's radar is questionable, but it's hard to believe it's wildly inaccurate. I really don't see why this is so controversial.  

 

image.png

You don’t think most players swing a modern lightweight club faster than a steel shafted persimmon? That is why I said equivalent to 140.  
 

Bottom line is if Jenkins didn’t bring up that story it likely didn’t happen.  He would have bragged up anything Hogan.

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Impossible to compare players from different eras. An era is much bigger than any individual player, it is an entire environment, with different conditions, attitudes, and technology. Even further, there are no bright lines between eras, the game transitions gradually, until you suddenly realize there's an entirely different milieu. 

 

Early in their careers, both Jack and Arnie chain smoked. More than one golfer in that era was seen on TV walking down fairways with cigarettes. Hogan was infamous for smoking about two packs (of unfiltered Chesterfields no less) in an 18 hole round. In the modern era? Hardly any smokers, in fact there's a lot of golfers who are in the gym nearly as much as baseball or basketball players. Very few are now overweight. Golf has become a full bore sport, with athletes every bit as fit as pro tennis players.

 

30 or 40 years ago most golfers had caddies, and maybe some friends they talked about their game with. A few had a coach/pro to help them. Today a lot of the top guys have entire entourages. Swing coach, putting coach, trainer, club fitters, often even sports psychologists. 

 

Equipment? Good grief. The sheer science and technology embedded in every ball and club these days is mind boggling compared to past eras. I'm just an amateur weekender (at this point), and even I have a driver that I can adjust to 16 different combinations of lie and loft. Can go on machines in golf stores that will measure all sorts of swing variables to optimize clubs. The top pros generally have entire teams assigned to them by their club sponsors. 

 

Could go on and on, but the point is that comparing players from very different eras is just flat out apples and oranges. How is it possible to say whether Jon Rahm or Dustin Johnson are better or worse than Ben Hogan or Bobby Jones? 

 

The best in every era are those that made the best of the total environments they played in. You can't just compare players to players, or swings to swings. Comparisons would need to be acts of pure imagination.

 

How would DeChambeau do 50 years ago if it was the norm to smoke, if he had no access to sophisticated gym equipment and trainers, and didn't have a custom 15*driver with a high end shaft - how would he fare against the best of that time, playing within the norms of that era? Similarly, Walter Hagen (who had 11 majors - 3rd behind Jack and Tiger) won mostly in the 1920's. The balls of the time. Hickory shafts. His game was one of the best of his era, but I'm not certain if it would even be competitive on the Korn Ferry Tour. But what if he had access to all the modern technology, physical conditioning, and coaching that today's players have?

 

IMO, it isn't possible to even speculate about the questions posed by the OP.

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52 minutes ago, bobfoster said:

Impossible to compare players from different eras. An era is much bigger than any individual player, it is an entire environment, with different conditions, attitudes, and technology. Even further, there are no bright lines between eras, the game transitions gradually, until you suddenly realize there's an entirely different milieu. 

 

Early in their careers, both Jack and Arnie chain smoked. More than one golfer in that era was seen on TV walking down fairways with cigarettes. Hogan was infamous for smoking about two packs (of unfiltered Chesterfields no less) in an 18 hole round. In the modern era? Hardly any smokers, in fact there's a lot of golfers who are in the gym nearly as much as baseball or basketball players. Very few are now overweight. Golf has become a full bore sport, with athletes every bit as fit as pro tennis players.

 

30 or 40 years ago most golfers had caddies, and maybe some friends they talked about their game with. A few had a coach/pro to help them. Today a lot of the top guys have entire entourages. Swing coach, putting coach, trainer, club fitters, often even sports psychologists. 

 

Equipment? Good grief. The sheer science and technology embedded in every ball and club these days is mind boggling compared to past eras. I'm just an amateur weekender (at this point), and even I have a driver that I can adjust to 16 different combinations of lie and loft. Can go on machines in golf stores that will measure all sorts of swing variables to optimize clubs. The top pros generally have entire teams assigned to them by their club sponsors. 

 

Could go on and on, but the point is that comparing players from very different eras is just flat out apples and oranges. How is it possible to say whether Jon Rahm or Dustin Johnson are better or worse than Ben Hogan or Bobby Jones? 

 

The best in every era are those that made the best of the total environments they played in. You can't just compare players to players, or swings to swings. Comparisons would need to be acts of pure imagination.

 

How would DeChambeau do 50 years ago if it was the norm to smoke, if he had no access to sophisticated gym equipment and trainers, and didn't have a custom 15*driver with a high end shaft - how would he fare against the best of that time, playing within the norms of that era? Similarly, Walter Hagen (who had 11 majors - 3rd behind Jack and Tiger) won mostly in the 1920's. The balls of the time. Hickory shafts. His game was one of the best of his era, but I'm not certain if it would even be competitive on the Korn Ferry Tour. But what if he had access to all the modern technology, physical conditioning, and coaching that today's players have?

 

IMO, it isn't possible to even speculate about the questions posed by the OP.

Ya ya ya ……do you know what we do here on golfwrx?  All of your pointts made are correct.  But if we followed those guidelines there would be no threads!🤣

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15 hours ago, Shilgy said:

You don’t think most players swing a modern lightweight club faster than a steel shafted persimmon? That is why I said equivalent to 140.  
 

Bottom line is if Jenkins didn’t bring up that story it likely didn’t happen.  He would have bragged up anything Hogan.

We can only believe what has been recorded in history, which I choose to do. You have not provided any historical evidence to prove otherwise, good day sir 🤠

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2 minutes ago, pbuck said:

We can only believe what has been recorded in history, which I choose to do. You have not provided any historical evidence to prove otherwise, good day sir 🤠

It’s also said he never missed a fairway. One guy saying something happened is not historical evidence.

 

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On 7/26/2021 at 12:25 PM, 3whacker said:

many golf fans only know and recognize the history of their favorite sport from the time they first started following it...for many golf fans that timeline started with TW, its difficult for many to relate to Nicklaus-Watson-Palmer-Player because they never really saw them play in their prime, their is limited video of their heroics, but there is probably a video of every tournament TW ever played and certainly of every major that he has won. Historians have a way of choosing for us what they want us to remember. You have to do your own work if you want to learn the entire story in context

Underrated comment right here.  Nailed it.

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On 7/30/2021 at 12:46 AM, bobfoster said:

Impossible to compare players from different eras. An era is much bigger than any individual player, it is an entire environment, with different conditions, attitudes, and technology. Even further, there are no bright lines between eras, the game transitions gradually, until you suddenly realize there's an entirely different milieu. 

 

Early in their careers, both Jack and Arnie chain smoked. More than one golfer in that era was seen on TV walking down fairways with cigarettes. Hogan was infamous for smoking about two packs (of unfiltered Chesterfields no less) in an 18 hole round. In the modern era? Hardly any smokers, in fact there's a lot of golfers who are in the gym nearly as much as baseball or basketball players. Very few are now overweight. Golf has become a full bore sport, with athletes every bit as fit as pro tennis players.

 

30 or 40 years ago most golfers had caddies, and maybe some friends they talked about their game with. A few had a coach/pro to help them. Today a lot of the top guys have entire entourages. Swing coach, putting coach, trainer, club fitters, often even sports psychologists. 

 

Equipment? Good grief. The sheer science and technology embedded in every ball and club these days is mind boggling compared to past eras. I'm just an amateur weekender (at this point), and even I have a driver that I can adjust to 16 different combinations of lie and loft. Can go on machines in golf stores that will measure all sorts of swing variables to optimize clubs. The top pros generally have entire teams assigned to them by their club sponsors. 

 

Could go on and on, but the point is that comparing players from very different eras is just flat out apples and oranges. How is it possible to say whether Jon Rahm or Dustin Johnson are better or worse than Ben Hogan or Bobby Jones? 

 

The best in every era are those that made the best of the total environments they played in. You can't just compare players to players, or swings to swings. Comparisons would need to be acts of pure imagination.

 

How would DeChambeau do 50 years ago if it was the norm to smoke, if he had no access to sophisticated gym equipment and trainers, and didn't have a custom 15*driver with a high end shaft - how would he fare against the best of that time, playing within the norms of that era? Similarly, Walter Hagen (who had 11 majors - 3rd behind Jack and Tiger) won mostly in the 1920's. The balls of the time. Hickory shafts. His game was one of the best of his era, but I'm not certain if it would even be competitive on the Korn Ferry Tour. But what if he had access to all the modern technology, physical conditioning, and coaching that today's players have?

 

IMO, it isn't possible to even speculate about the questions posed by the OP.

I would say IMHO you can compare. A change in human golf genes will not happen in a generation. So its environmental causes that will decide how many of the people of a generation really gets in a situation where they get a possibility to become good players.

 

The USA population is less than 10% of the worlds population but you will year in year out find 50% of the players in the OWGR from USA. And on the female side there is South Korea. So yes, doing a bit of sociological and anthropological studies you can say if todays players are better or worse. I would guess even steven btw our 20’s and the previous 20’s. Maybe Tiger might have made a difference if favor of the current one.

Edited by Hankshank
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On 7/30/2021 at 10:38 AM, PappyVanWinkle53 said:

Underrated comment right here.  Nailed it.

 

 

That is a great post. But I think most golf fans understand this and wish there was a much footage of the greats throughout the decades.

 

I’m a huge TW fan but how great would it be if there as much footage of all the insane shots so many greats hit over all these years. 
 

Is like our friend Roy Batty say…

 

 All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. 

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On 7/29/2021 at 4:43 AM, gvogel said:

To be fair, Hogan's 1-iron would have had the same loft as a modern 3-iron (yes, things have changed), and the old balata balls might account for most of the difference.

 

Also, the 132 number might have been on a practice range, warm day, when Hogan was swinging all out, which he probably did not do on the golf course.  And maybe 132 is exaggerated, but Hogan was still among the longest of his era, almost as long as Snead.  There are stories of Hogan out driving Arnold Palmer in the late 1950's, when Hogan is on bad legs a much older than the King.

 

For long hitters during that era, look no further than George Bayer. My uncle (RIP dear uncle Leo!) said no one was even close to him back then -- not Sneed, not Hogan, nobody -- it was Bayer, then 20+ yards back to anyone else. He caddied for him back in Ohio in a couple events and said it was a thing to behold.

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3 hours ago, bscinstnct said:

 

 

That is a great post. But I think most golf fans understand this and wish there was a much footage of the greats throughout the decades.

 

I’m a huge TW fan but how great would it be if there as much footage of all the insane shots so many greats hit over all these years. 
 

Is like our friend Roy Batty say…

 

 All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. 

  " More human than human is our motto"

 

 And that is how we think of our heroes

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Will the future Professional Corn Holers in 2355 compare themselves to the corn holers of today?  Will they believe they are superior with the latest and greatest corn bags with the newest aerodynamic design and special space age material of the bag itself plus the newest corn kernel hybrids for stuffing? Why yes , yes they will.  

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1 hour ago, NoTalentLefty said:

Will the future Professional Corn Holers in 2355 compare themselves to the corn holers of today?  Will they believe they are superior with the latest and greatest corn bags with the newest aerodynamic design and special space age material of the bag itself plus the newest corn kernel hybrids for stuffing? Why yes , yes they will.  

 half will have died of hemorrhoids

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Too bad we couldn't convince them to play a 72 hole tourney with all traditional equipment, on a course that most closely resembles what it did in the days of yore.

 

 

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Golf is like any other sport ... you're judged on winning and losing. Your job is to beat the people in front of you, that's all you can do. Old Tom, Bobby Jones, Nicklaus, Woods ... they could only beat the players who entered the event. They can't be punished because the game wasn't "bigger". Winners win, it's what they do. Losers sit back and compare and wonder "what if?"

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1 hour ago, tatertot said:

Golf is like any other sport ... you're judged on winning and losing. Your job is to beat the people in front of you, that's all you can do. Old Tom, Bobby Jones, Nicklaus, Woods ... they could only beat the players who entered the event. They can't be punished because the game wasn't "bigger". Winners win, it's what they do. Losers sit back and compare and wonder "what if?"

No one is being punished.  Each of those you mentioned beat the players in the field…..Old Tom beat a few….Jones beat more……Jack beat more than that……and Tiger beat even more.  
  The increased depth does make winning more difficult. Period.  If Jones had had ten Hagens and a dozen Sarazens and nine Armours does he win the Slam? Who knows is the only answer but it’s fair to discuss.

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2 hours ago, tatertot said:

Golf is like any other sport ... you're judged on winning and losing. Your job is to beat the people in front of you, that's all you can do. Old Tom, Bobby Jones, Nicklaus, Woods ... they could only beat the players who entered the event. They can't be punished because the game wasn't "bigger". Winners win, it's what they do. Losers sit back and compare and wonder "what if?"

You are totally correct, IMO ....."You are what your record says you are"

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