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Many PGA Tour golfers lack Tiger Woods' drive to be No. 1, reader Chad Dodds says

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Tiger Woods (.)

I was interested in your comments about the golf commentators and Johnny Miller on the lack of competition for Tiger Woods. I have been giving this a lot of thought lately and have read a number of books about golf years ago in Bobby Jones' day and when Palmer and Nicklaus were head to head.

I do very definitely agree that the competition is not nearly as difficult as it was then. You do not find any 10 players constantly at the top of the leader board like you used to. You cannot name the top players in the world at present, like we used to be able to.

Tiger Woods is not setting scoring records for these tournaments as you would think he should. You could make a case for the lengthening of the courses, as you mentioned. However, the courses are far better. The equipment is better and far surpasses that of former years with hickory shafts, unfitted clubs, etc.

If you take Tiger Woods' name out of golfing today, we would be hard-pressed to name the routinely dominant players on tour who are always there in the thick of the action. Golf has become very lucrative for the mediocre pro. That is not to say that they do not work at it hard; but the desire to win, to excel, to be the best, is just not there.

As Ben Hogan said, you go out and hit practice balls until your calluses are down to the bone. You hit balls until your hands bleed and then keep hitting. The one thing I do like about Tiger Woods is he is determined to win and be the best.

I do wish there were lots of other golfers who had that desire. The pro golf tour would be much more fun to follow and there would be players to root for. But, at the present, no one but Woods is working at it with a burning desire to be number one. We need that drive back!

I miss the days of Palmer, Nicklaus, Watson, Fuzzy, Norman, and on and on and on. Golf isn't what it used to be as far as the professional competition. I miss it.

Chad Dodds
by e-mail

Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Today's Competition

    Mike wrote on: Apr 3, 2008

    I would have to disagree entirely with this e-mail. Golf has become so much more accessible and also popular in the last 20 years; gone are the years when only the few and privileged are those hitting the links. This increased accessibility and popularity has made added great depth of field to a game whose professional ranks were previously much more limited. In my opinion the competition is stronger today than in the days of Nicklaus,et al. That is what makes Tiger's acheivements so impressive. He is able to consistently win even though the number of competitive professional golfers has sky-rocketed. An analagous situation is that of present-day professional poker. Back in the 70's when Doyle Brunson won his two World Series, the fields were much smaller and you could consistently name those players who would be at the final tables in tournaments. Such a prediction is next to impossible today due to the huge number of players that currently play poker, and you would be incorrect in saying that the skill level of current players has deteriorated. Granted, you might argue that poker is a game where chance and luck play a significant role, yet the same can be argued of golf. In fact, this is exactly what Tiger is quoted saying after finishing fifth at Doral: you need some luck and positive things to happen in order to win touraments. Both games require an incredible level of skill to play, but both also are dependent on a huge number of other variables which necessitate positive or lucky occurrences to foster winning (note: I'm not trying to argue that Tiger is always lucky, I'm just drawing the parallels between contemporary poker and golf).


  • Golf Ain't what it use to be,

    Jerry wrote on: Apr 2, 2008

    Like all other sports I would like to see a statistical comparison between Tigers' competition and Nicklaus, Palmer, and Norman's. There is too much opinion without enough facts to back it up. Miller is only reminising without any facts. I know courses and equipment are better today, as well as players are in better condition. But other sports manage to level the playing field inorder to create valid comparisons between eras.
    If the only comparison that can be made is wins, then you guys need to shut-up about Tigers lack of competition today.


      • RE: Golf Ain't what it use to be,

        Vern wrote on: May 28, 2009

        Jerrrys Gay.