Tiger Woods better than Jack Nicklaus ever was
Look, let’s get this out of the way. Tiger Woods is better, right now, than Jack Nicklaus ever was. Let’s stop tip-toeing around the subject. We all know about the majors chase, but people seldom bring up the fact of how long it took Nicklaus to win his 18 majors and how long it’s taken Woods to win his 12. (Hint: much longer).
It’s almost as if people don’t want to offend Nicklaus, or to prompt another of his crotchety statements that makes people who worship at his shrine cringe.
The only thing you can say about Nicklaus that was better than Woods is Nicklaus’ career longevity, and that’s only because the aging process is the one thing Woods hasn’t yet dominated.
“We all kind of smirk and laugh when he says he’s got his “B” game but that’s better than most of our “A” games,” Shaun Micheel said after Woods blitzed the field at the PGA Championships. “He’s just that good.”
Woods is dominating his peers like none before him, in an age where the players are bigger and stronger and the courses are longer and more difficult.
Now, all this being said, if Woods tears up his knee tomorrow and never swings a golf club again, the nod goes to Nicklaus. But, right now, at this point in his career, it’s no contest.
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Nicklaus was, and is Nicklaus and Tiger is, and will be Tiger. This Maury Povich/Jerry Springer crap...well it’s below the game, yes? What headlines are we hoping for: Nicklaus Vows To Destroy Usurper Woods, Nicklaus Wets Pants As Tiger’s Win-Rate In Majors Exceeds His Own, Woods Plots To Drive Nicklaus Into Cardiac Arrest - Relentless Assault On Record, etc, etc, etc..... Chill out, Yeah, record breaking is part of sport statistics and history, but what the heck Tim, did Jack refuse to sign an autograph for you or something?
The comparison thing is fun, but does it need to get nasty? Well, OK makes for more fun to read, but...well here’s an interesting comparison of sorts that involves Nicklaus. I was watching a CBS special called Jack and The PGA Championship. Jack was showing his 1968 money clip he won from a longest drive contest. SO in 1968, given the club and ball technology of the time and comparing it to the hi-tech gear we all enjoy today, Jack won with a 341 yards 17 inches boomer. Man that’s pretty good for them days. Just for the heck of it, not wanting to embarrass or anything like that, but I’d like to see how far Tiger could cork an drive using 1968-ish equipment. Ahs he ever done that?
18 was changed at Augusta, the bunkers were added after Jack took the woods out of play on the right by playing to the left...where the legendery Bobb jones said of him the quote of Jack playing a game of which he was unfamiliar...
Jack changed the game too...
I'll see if I can find a stat w/Google for the 340+ yarder.
Jack was the biggest hitter on the tour when he chose to be. He adopted the high-fade drive to accurately place the ball in fairways, and gave up 20+ yards. I watched all players tee off on the first hole at the '96 Masters. Jack crushed one dead on the sweet spot, and was the only player to get his ball over the top of the incline and up on the flat area. He looked stunned after he hit it. So did everyone else.
The equipment makes a HUGE difference. Why do you think the senior players are hitting the ball farther now than when in their primes twenty-five years ago?
As to this point, Nicklaus was hitting the ball 268 on average in 1980; at the age of sixty-three on the Senior Tour, he was hitting it an average of 271. Case closed.
I think all of the aforementioned players of Jack's era would have kicked
Tiger's butt at least half the time.
Also, Tiger has NEVER come from behind to win a major. If he's not in the lead, come Sunday, HE FOLDS.
Regardless, Hogan was the greatest post-war golfer.
Tiger's peers are fit, strong, and playing well on their own except when they're competing against Tiger. Do you think that by diminishing Tiger's peers by dragging out Nicklaus's peers as being better will somehow make Nicklaus bigger than he really was. Look, he was good in his time and he has his record.
Tiger Woods won 12 majors at 30 in a dominating manner whether some of the cranky guys like it or not.
This nonsense about Nicklaus's peers are better than Tiger's is getting really old and ridiculous.
BUT....your opinion is not backed up by statistical fact.
a) Elite few geniuses who play the game and not much thoery/ technology. In this era the quality of the opposition is very high (relative to how much the champ knows) but the breadth is not so high.
b) There is a LOT of technology available to a LOT of people. In this era the breadth of opposition is very large but the quality of the top opposition is somewhat lower.
Jack's top opposition was better and hence if one of them got hot there was a good chance Jack would lose. The breadth of the opposition Tiger faces statistically compensates for this. The probability of Tiger losing whn one of his opponents get hot is lower but then the number of opponents who can get hot is a lot higher than Jack faced.
What counts is how often the champion wins and as of now Jack is ahead. Once Tiger surpasses 18 he gets the throne. The argument about the opponents they had is not (in my opinion) valid.
I have had the honor of meeting Arnold Palmer and he was a true gentleman and a legend in every sense of the word, but he was just a little guy with an ugly swing--Ask anybody who knows and he wouldn't even rank in the top 5 golfers of all time, maybe not even the top 10. His impact on the game was huge and undeniable, but on his best day he doesn't touch Tiger. This is nothing but sour grapes and revisionist history--History will show that Ernie Els, Vijay Singh and Phil Mickelson were among the best to ever play this game and were better then Miller, Weiskopf and Floyd and when all is said and done they will probably be on par with Watson, Player and Trevino. The fields are deeper then they have ever been, the courses are longer, the greens faster, and the players bigger and stronger yet so many want to hold on the notion that today's players are soft and that Tiger's accomplishments should come with a disclaimer.
The Seniors are playing courses averaging over 7000 yards now, for God's sake. You don't think the equipment makes a huge difference?
Ten more years of Tiger on the prowl... get used to it.
Anyone who doesn't understand the profound difference the equipment has made can't be much of a golfer.
I'd say it's because the determination has been made that people want to see the big drives, and this is true. If you think about it, you'll realize that it would take the shine off the PGA Tour if the longer hitters were using lay-up clubs on most of the holes.
Modern equipment doesn't lead to the obsolescence of the courses in question because, by and large, only PGA players hit the ball far enough to render such courses obsolete, and they don't play on them. The average golfer lacks the prodigious length to be a factor in this, even with state of the art equipment. I mean, I don't know about you, but I don't see too many juggernautish golfers launching 300 yard drives at my local muni.
Tiger Woods by far did more for golf than Nicklaus.
Nicklaus records (esp.at The Masters)
are falling to Tiger very nicely.
accomplished in his still young career. Tiger: seven...repeat seven
straight PGA tour victories, after
on series of 6 straight previously.
Nicklaus is not even a close third
to Byron Nelson and Tiger Woods.
The 1997 Masters at Augusta was a defining moment in Golf records.
The youngest player age 21 ,won by
record 18 under par and by the largest margin of 12 strokes. Take it or lump it. It's in the record books.
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