Today, an article from The Unpolished Putter caught my attention. It originally started on the subject of the top 16 golfers in the world and who could win a match play competition between them. I will let you to read the article called Ben Hogan – An Insight Into A Legend for the results. But this well written article sparked an idea in my mind about the comparison of the old with the new golfers.
When comparing old to new golfers it is important to keep in mind that it cannot be a straight comparison. There are so many variables that it is almost impossible to derive a conclusive answer. Here are some of the aspects that need to be taken in to account when trying to determine the greatest golfer of all time:
Clubs – the technology today is far better than 50 years ago. Although Andrew Rice suggests that the actual club makes very little difference when the “sweet spot” is hit, the “sweet spot” is considerably larger now and thus clubs are more forgiving.
Ball – The golf ball has changed significantly over the years. Knetgolf.com provides the history of the golf ball and its composition is outline. Technology in this area has out distance all other areas of golf. The golf ball has been the single greatest advantage to the modern-day golfer.
Career Longevity – How successful was the player’s career? How long did they play? More importantly, what was his winning percentage? This area can be a little tricky. Today’s upward and mobile society allows players to compete in golf tournaments all over the world. Players can move across the country in less than a day. This is a huge advantage over golfers even 50 years ago. Of course players must still win, but they also have more opportunities to be successful.
These are three areas that make the comparison between old and new golfers. Regardless, players like Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, Harry Vardon, Francis Ouimet, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Phil Mickelson, Sir Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods are all great golfers within their own right. Is it really possible to compare them?
On a final note, most amateurs are not really influenced by these great golfers. They are influenced by the person who introduces them to the game, a friend, local pro, or some person they randomly meet on the course. For me it was my Dad, he introduced me to this great game, taught me etiquette and showed me a few tricks! Maybe these are people are the greatest players of all time, but never won a Major!
I am a grateful golfer. See you on the links!