Comparing Woods and Nicklaus ‘grossly unfair’
There has been a great deal of recent discussion among Morning Read enthusiasts about identifying the greatest golfer of all time, with most of it centering on Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus. The number of major tournaments, strength of field and equipment have been a part of the banter.
Those of us of a certain age, myself included, might suggest that Ben Hogan should be in the mix. Others might question why Bob Jones, Walter Hagen or Harry Vardon aren’t in the discussion. All of them dominated their eras.
Perhaps we should listen to Jones, one of golf’s greatest players and thinkers, on the question: “I think we must agree that all a man can do is beat the people who are around at the same time he is. He cannot win from those who came before any more than he can from those who may come afterward. It is grossly unfair to anyone who takes pride in the record he is able to compile that he must see it compared to those other players who have been competing against entirely different people under wholly different conditions.”
(Fischer, a retired attorney, is a golf historian who is a past president of the Golf Collectors Society and a longtime member of the USGA’s Museum and Library Committee.)
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