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Are modern golfers REALLY better GOLFERS?

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I don’t think so.... I’m watching “At the Masters” on the Golf Channel and Jack tells a story about Bobby Jones. He says in one of his meetings with Jones, Jones said, “I wasn’t a real golfer until I could finish a round and NOT run home to my teacher.” Nicklaus said this was something Jack Grout ingrained in him, that he needed to be able to self-evaluate and make changes during around on his own. As Jack points out, these modern golfers can’t do this. He said, “The Pros these days need to remember that their coach can’t be with them on-course during a round to help.”

 

From this standpoint alone, I honestly believe golfers of “old” were actually BETTER than modern golfers. Sure, diet, exercise, the ball, equipment, launch monitors etc all make us believe these guys are better today, but I disagree. These guys now need psychologists, mental coaches, swing coaches, dietitians, etc. I think golfers in Jack’s day, and before, were actually better.

 

Agree? Disagree?

 

 

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Not sure that I agree completely with this.  Could it be that the field is much deeper today than it was in the past, with much more talent out there competing against each other?  Couldn't this cause the players to seek any advantage that they can to best their opponents?  I'm quite sure that any of these top level golfers are fully capable of addressing their issues, but do rely on another set of eyes more often than prior generations, perhaps for that competitive edge more than any self doubt.

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I'd say that golfers today are better athletes with better physical abilities, but golfers of the past were arguably more knowledgeable about the game and their swing. A good demonstration of this would be a video Taylormade put out recently of Tiger explaining how he manipulates trajectory and spin to other Taylormade staffers. Literally, Jason Day tells Tiger to slow down because the way Tiger works the ball is on a different level.

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Not sure that I agree completely with this.  Could it be that the field is much deeper today than it was in the past, with much more talent out there competing against each other?  Couldn't this cause the players to seek any advantage that they can to best their opponents?  I'm quite sure that any of these top level golfers are fully capable of addressing their issues, but do rely on another set of eyes more often than prior generations, perhaps for that competitive edge more than any self doubt.

I think equipment advances and MONEY on Tour have made this argument presented more often.

I still think guys were actually better golfers years ago because they had inferior everything!

 

 

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Absolutely. Science has played a huge part of it (launch monitors for understanding swing and ball flight and fitness for increasing overall performance).

The argument that the older golfers were better because they had to perform without knowing the science or having the fitness is not really valid. You are assuming that guys like Jack and company wouldn't have taken advantage of technology if it was readily available to them.  

Now if you want to make the argument that certain golfers have way too many people working with them and they aren't setting themselves up for on course success, then I would have to agree with you there. 

But that brings is to a much more philosophical conversation - the crotchety old man saying things like "kids these days don't know how to learn or communicate on their own because of those new-fangled cell phones and social media"

Things are different.  Times are different.  Some for better, some for worse.  It is easy to blame the tools and technology rather than the person, but that would be rather lazy.

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I'm not sure today's golfers are better so much as there are more golfers today at the top level than in the aforementioned days of old where it was only 3 or 4 guys at the top and then everybody else. 

I also think it is the dramatic change in the prize money available on tour that drives the modern players' "need" for - swing coach, mental coach, trainer, dietitian,  launch monitor crew etc. When every lost stroke is potentially $1000s of dollars worth of miss they look for every insight/advantage they can find to minimize their errors. That was all technology and concepts the older generations of players just didn't have.

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21 minutes ago, PMookie said:

I still think guys were actually better golfers years ago because they had inferior everything!

And shorter coursed to use it on....

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I do t know what to say.

Modern Golfers hit the ball a mile, have technology to help them optimize everything from their brain to their tees.

Old timers had nothing. Their hands, feet, and feel.

Depends on a lot of different things honestly. What do you classify as “better” sure most of them have some sort of fitness routine, but Gary Player did too. As did Seve and I am sure there are countless others.

They were hitting balls that literally came apart very often. With clubs that were just made, not CAD produced perfect.

My opinion is technology has taken away from the game in some areas, and made it better in some. It is what it is, can’t go back now.

I will say that with all of the advances in tech, I thought for sure the scoring average would have gone down drastically... been pretty even comparatively.

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And I love Jack the golfer, but he is a hypocrite when he complains about the new generation of talent and their fancy equipment.  

He complains about the ball being too long and making short courses obsolete, yet he is a businessman that puts his name on and makes money off of a pretty far-flying ball

https://mygolfspy.com/jack-nicklaus-says-golf-ball-is-reason-golf-courses-are-closing/

 

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Ironically, I'm sure that Bobby Jones could make the same argument about the equipment Jack played.  😄

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Like with any sport advances there have been advances in technology, stats and such that get used. When talking about the elite in each sport any advantage they can get to be better than their opponents an athlete will pursue. 

Saying that any of that makes them not as good as a previous generation is a stretch. Did Player being obsessed with fitness during his playing make him a worse golfer than jack or Arnie? 

 


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Absolutely. Science has played a huge part of it (launch monitors for understanding swing and ball flight and fitness for increasing overall performance).
The argument that the older golfers were better because they had to perform without knowing the science or having the fitness is not really valid. You are assuming that guys like Jack and company wouldn't have taken advantage of technology if it was readily available to them.  
Now if you want to make the argument that certain golfers have way too many people working with them and they aren't setting themselves up for on course success, then I would have to agree with you there. 
But that brings is to a much more philosophical conversation - the crotchety old man saying things like "kids these days don't know how to learn or communicate on their own because of those new-fangled cell phones and social media"
Things are different.  Times are different.  Some for better, some for worse.  It is easy to blame the tools and technology rather than the person, but that would be rather lazy.

Are they better GOLFERS, able to play without all of the modern conveniences, able to analyze their swing without TrackMan, video, etc. Able to mid-round adjust due to knowing their swing, not run to a coach or send video. I say no. The premise doesn’t make allowances for “Jack would’ve if he could’ve”, that’s a completely separate premise. I’m not talking about fitness making a difference either. Take away all of the modern conveniences, strip golfers down to just being able to PLAY, not run to a coach, or NEED the monitor. Nah, not even close. These guys these days can’t function WITHOUT it.
Are they better TRUE golfers? I think there’s no doubt the golfers of old were better because they had to be. They had to “dig it out of the dirt”.


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And shorter coursed to use it on....

Not sure I follow....


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And I love Jack the golfer, but he is a hypocrite when he complains about the new generation of talent and their fancy equipment.  
He complains about the ball being too long and making short courses obsolete, yet he is a businessman that puts his name on and makes money off of a pretty far-flying ball
https://mygolfspy.com/jack-nicklaus-says-golf-ball-is-reason-golf-courses-are-closing/
 
And he designs golf courses that reward length indiscriminately

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I'm not sure today's golfers are better so much as there are more golfers today at the top level than in the aforementioned days of old where it was only 3 or 4 guys at the top and then everybody else. 
I also think it is the dramatic change in the prize money available on tour that drives the modern players' "need" for - swing coach, mental coach, trainer, dietitian,  launch monitor crew etc. When every lost stroke is potentially $1000s of dollars worth of miss they look for every insight/advantage they can find to minimize their errors. That was all technology and concepts the older generations of players just didn't have.
Not only that, but the $$ now allows for those cottage industries to pop up around the player. Nobody was a full time guru when there was no money in it

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And I love Jack the golfer, but he is a hypocrite when he complains about the new generation of talent and their fancy equipment.  

He complains about the ball being too long and making short courses obsolete, yet he is a businessman that puts his name on and makes money off of a pretty far-flying ball

https://mygolfspy.com/jack-nicklaus-says-golf-ball-is-reason-golf-courses-are-closing/

 

Jack was quoting Bobby Jones. How it related to him, and modern golfers. He wasn’t talking about the ball. He’s talking about KNOWING one’s swing and being able to adjust, and still perform when it’s not going great. Jack’s opinion on balls and distance is hogwash, but his point here, and Bobby Jones’s point, is the argument, the premise.

Let’s get back on track here.

 

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Ironically, I'm sure that Bobby Jones could make the same argument about the equipment Jack played. 

And that’s not the point.... Take equipment and technology, and fitness, and all of that out: are they better GOLFERS?
I say no.


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45 minutes ago, jlukes said:

And I love Jack the golfer, but he is a hypocrite when he complains about the new generation of talent and their fancy equipment.  

He complains about the ball being too long and making short courses obsolete, yet he is a businessman that puts his name on and makes money off of a pretty far-flying ball

https://mygolfspy.com/jack-nicklaus-says-golf-ball-is-reason-golf-courses-are-closing/

 

I gotta say, I respect the man, but I also feel like he spews a lot of nonsense sometimes. 

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We’re conditioned to go right to technology, and fitness, and all of that. Folks, this is SIMPLY about who are better golfers? Course length doesn’t matter. Equipment, and TrackMan don’t matter. All things being equal (the only way to compare and contrast), are today’s players better GOLFERS?
Stop adding stuff in.
Are they better GOLFERS?
No swing coaches, none of it.

I say Lee Trevino was TEN TIMES the true GOLFER that these guys are today. Making the shots, the imagination, manipulation of the club, ability to GRIND, and change mid-round to swing the swing they have that day. It’s not even close.
But do you agree or disagree???


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I gotta say, I respect the man, but I also feel like he spews a lot of nonsense sometimes. 

Ugh.
Let’s get back on track here. It’s not about Jack’s opinion on balls and course length....
Ugh.


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