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Are modern golfers REALLY better GOLFERS?

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It’s very hard to make these comparisons for obvious reasons. Like all sports the game has changed.

Consider that Forest Gregg died today - he was an anchor on the Packer O line in the 60’s as a 249 lb tackle. The Rays have 4 guys who throw 100 on their pitching staff.

Jack averaged 270 off the tee in his prime. 291 leads the LPGA this season.

It’s just a different game.


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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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Okay - I disagree - I will take the guy capable of hitting wedge into a par 5 over the guy who hit his 3 wood 230 every time. And today’s players have better short games and are better putters too.

That was easy

The game is different - the skills that Trevino cultivated were what was needed then. They would not translate to today’s game very well. That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have gone out and cultivated what he needed to were he playing today.

The players today are light years better - that being said it’s because they have built on the foundations laid by those who came before them.


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I’ll take this angle. The golf Equipment has made it easier for older guys to hang.

 

When I was 20, It was my 7.5* Great Big Bertha with a Grafalloy ProLite 35 and a Titleist Tour Professional 90.

 

I’d carry it 280-290 easy.

 

Today I have a G400 LST with a slightly higher MOI than the GBB2 and I’m hitting a four piece ball designed to fly. I still carry it 280-290.

 

Each generation made the most of what they had because it’s all they knew.

 

 

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I’ll take this angle. The golf Equipment has made it easier for older guys to hang.
 
When I was 20, It was my 7.5* Great Big Bertha with a Grafalloy ProLite 35 and a Titleist Tour Professional 90.
 
I’d carry it 280-290 easy.
 
Today I have a G400 LST with a slightly higher MOI than the GBB2 and I’m hitting a four piece ball designed to fly. I still carry it 280-290.
 
Each generation made the most of what they had because it’s all they knew.
 
 
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I agree with all this but it seems as if the OP wants a straight guy forward head to head in which case there’s no comparison - Lee Trevino is not competing on the courses used today with his 240 yard drives no matter how well he works it and strikes it. 440 yards was a monster par 4 in his day. Now it’s driver wedge for everyone in the field.


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Ping G410 - set at 12 degrees, fade setting - Alpha Distanza 40 weak R flex shaft

Tour Exotics EX 10 3 wood

Ping G410 5-9 wood

G30 6-PW -  Aerotech FT 500 shafts

SCOR 48,52,58

EVNRoll ER 5

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The question should be . How dominant would Nicklaus, Jones , Snead and Hogan have been with today’s tech ? This includes trackman and on course coaching and gps yardage books. 

Would Nicklaus have won 45 majors ?

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Keep it in the short stuff

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Given that he only won 18 majors, probably not 🙂

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They are just as good now as then and vice versa. If you take away all the tech and could measure just the swing speed and strike accuracy of both a modern Masters champion and a 1950’s Masters champion, I’m sure it would be very similar.

Now, add in the tech and Nicklaus hit it farther the Bobby Jones and Dustin Johnson hits it further than Jack. Were any of their strikes less precise than the others? Probably not. They all have grooved their swings with the club in their hand, be it hickory, blade, or speed foam players distance iron.

Some guys from the past had such tight games they could easily win today, others wouldn’t even get their tour card. And just as easily some guys today could go back and win with old tech while others wouldn’t stand a chance.


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What were jacks swing speeds? Is it comparable to today’s players

 

 

Here is an interesting article.

 

https://www.google.com/amp/amp.pga.com/golf-instruction/golf-buzz/how-far-would-golfs-legends-drive-ball-using-modern-equipment

 

Most notable was the mention of Fred Couples at age 22 in the early 80’s averaging 267 yards off the tee. 27 years later at age 49 he was averaging 297.

 

I don’t know about you, but I was in better shape at 22 than I am at 42.

 

 

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The question should be . How dominant would Nicklaus, Jones , Snead and Hogan have been with today’s tech ? This includes trackman and on course coaching and gps yardage books. 
Would Nicklaus have won 45 majors ?

But maybe the opposite would’ve happened. Perhaps Jack doesn’t win as many with others stepping up. Perhaps Trevino wins a few of those.


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What were jacks swing speeds? Is it comparable to today’s players


Equipment matters in regards to SS - so you can’t go by that. I know Frank Thomas did an extrapolation that had Nicklaus’ driver SS around 120 - comparable to today’s top players.

It is what it is - you could reverse it - maybe Bobby Jones was wrong and it’s the wise person who seeks advice when his game is going side ways rather than self corrects.

Top players are top players. Could Nicklaus have ended up with only 15 majors in another era or 22 at another time - perhaps - either way he’d be an all time great - like wise with Tiger


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Tour Exotics EX 10 3 wood

Ping G410 5-9 wood

G30 6-PW -  Aerotech FT 500 shafts

SCOR 48,52,58

EVNRoll ER 5

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On 4/13/2019 at 1:35 PM, deejaid said:

They are just as good now as then and vice versa. If you take away all the tech and could measure just the swing speed and strike accuracy of both a modern Masters champion and a 1950’s Masters champion, I’m sure it would be very similar.

Now, add in the tech and Nicklaus hit it farther the Bobby Jones and Dustin Johnson hits it further than Jack. Were any of their strikes less precise than the others? Probably not. They all have grooved their swings with the club in their hand, be it hickory, blade, or speed foam players distance iron.

Some guys from the past had such tight games they could easily win today, others wouldn’t even get their tour card. And just as easily some guys today could go back and win with old tech while others wouldn’t stand a chance.


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DJ hit a persimmon 300. These guys have amazing hand eye coordination and they don’t miss the sweet spot very often and if they do it isn’t by much 

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DJ hit a persimmon 300. These guys have amazing hand eye coordination and they don’t miss the sweet spot very often and if they do it isn’t by much 


Using a modern ball - still amazing but the ball is at least half the equation. Jack hit a drive 340 with a persimmon driver and balata ball during the PGA last big drive contest a number of years back.

All touring pros have remarkable hand eye co-ordination.


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Ping G410 - set at 12 degrees, fade setting - Alpha Distanza 40 weak R flex shaft

Tour Exotics EX 10 3 wood

Ping G410 5-9 wood

G30 6-PW -  Aerotech FT 500 shafts

SCOR 48,52,58

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

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Anyone remember Jack driving the 18th at St Andrews many many years ago. Anyone driving it now armed with modern tech, go faster drivers, increased ball speed etc etc is still a rarity.


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Jack had the same attributes in his day that Tiger has in his and I’m sure Bobby Jones had in his.

 

He was long, he was a machine tee to green in fact and a great putter. Tiger has a better short game than Jack but Jack was a killer tee to green so much so that he didn’t work on his short game much.

 

 

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Ping G410 - set at 12 degrees, fade setting - Alpha Distanza 40 weak R flex shaft

Tour Exotics EX 10 3 wood

Ping G410 5-9 wood

G30 6-PW -  Aerotech FT 500 shafts

SCOR 48,52,58

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

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So there was another observation here if the OP doesn’t mind. It’s in some ways sparked by the DJ 300 yard drive with persimmon (but modern ball).

 

I don’t know if it was the course conditions or a characteristic of the balata golf ball but I can remember well struck shots taking huge hops in the Masters and US Open - I mean man sized hops when they hit the green. Yes those balls could be spun back but when conditions were firm no amount of spin helped.

 

I’ve been watching golf since the mid 60’s so I’ve seen a lot. I saw Snead, Palmer, Nicklaus, Trevino, Player, Watson, Seve play live. Heck I saw Her fan hitting balls at the range at a Senior tour event. Any guy winning 5 plus majors is remarkable. I don’t care when he did it or with what equipment.

 

I’m convicted that the 5 plus guys would find a way to win in any era - especially if the 5 plus was in 3 different majors.

 

Final answer :)

 

 

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Ping G410 - set at 12 degrees, fade setting - Alpha Distanza 40 weak R flex shaft

Tour Exotics EX 10 3 wood

Ping G410 5-9 wood

G30 6-PW -  Aerotech FT 500 shafts

SCOR 48,52,58

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

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