Tiger Woods: Jack Nicklaus Is Best of All Time
By mustang6560 on 4/30/12
You know it, I know it, legitimatebeef knows it - heck even Tiger Woods knows it - until Tiger Woods reaches the 18 major mark, Jack Nicklaus is the best golfer of all time.
Maybe it isn't breaking news, but Tiger Woods confirmed that Jack Nicklaus is the greatest when asked about it during his annual private golf clinic at Tiger Jam. The VIP event was held at Las Vegas' Cascata, and Tiger drew a big laugh when asked who is the greatest golfer ever: "Nicklaus," he replied. Asked to clarify where he personnally rated, Tiger quickly said, "I am four majors back."
While I don't actually know how you or legitimatebeef truly feels, I've found the answer to the "Who is the best golfer of all time?" question is generational. Sports fans under the age of 30 tend to give the nod to Tiger because they grew up watching him, whereas golfers over the age of 30 relate more to the Golden Bear. Very rarely do I meet someone my age who thinks Jack is the best of all time.

Tiger was smart to say the right thing, even though he probably feels differently. But, you can't argue with the numbers. Jack has four more majors than Tiger, and unless Tiger has the career of a Byron Nelson or Seve Ballesteros left in him (each won five majors), Jack should be regarded as the best-of-all-time.

Now, "Who had a greater influence on golf?", that's a totally different conversation...

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Image via Flickr, Keith Allison

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[ comments ]
Scott Shields says:
Haters gonna hate. :p

Different eras in my opinion. But I'll always lean towards Tiger, and what he did for the sport, aside from winning. Building Nike golf, and exposing an entire generation to the game, really paving the way for the atheletes that play the game today.

Jack is a better human being, but I don't consider that in the equation.
guzzlingil says:
I really don't think it is fair to compare golfers from different eras...mostly because of technology....that being said...I am a Jack fan and always have been...
legitimatebeef says:
I'm not so sure Nathan. Let's say Woods wins 18 or even 17 of these so-called "major championships" but surpasses Nicklaus in the total wins. Then what would you say? (Is anyone else tired of Sam Snead and his total wins record getting snubbed all the time? I know I am.) Point is that you cannot just use a single statistical category to measure greatest of all time. Yogi Berra won ten world series, Bill Russell won 11 NBA finals, Dan Marino never won...ahhh who cares I'm already bored with my own point.
joe jones says:
Rating and comparing athletes from different era's is futile. Without the ability to compare equipment, course conditions, physical attributes and desire you cannot come to any conclusion. I have been playing, following and reporting on golf for 50 years and all I can do is state which players are my favorites. The only thing we should do is to be thankful that these great players exist and to admire each for what they are. Nothing else matters.
Spaceman_Spiff says:
well put Joe.

I'd agree its a generational thing. Heck I'm 34 and didn't start watching until Tiger won at Augusta in 97. So if it were not for TW I would likely have almost never watched. But now I can't turn off the TV, if TW is even at the course.
jcstoll says:
Spaceman_Spiff along with many others would not have tuned in to golf if not for TW, but TW might not have become the dominating player he is(was?) were it not for Jack Nicklaus - so Nicklaus could be considered as having the greater influence. But then, Nicklaus might not have been the influence he was, if not for Hogan, or Snead, or Sarazen, or Hagen, or Jones. Or any one of them might have been nothing were it not for Old Tom Morris. Then again, who cares? It's just a bunch of jaw-boning.
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