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|Would Tiger be as dominant if he had to handle all the babysitting plans and pump his own gas? (Courtesy PGA of America)|
In response to last week's WorldGolf.com newsletter written by Brandon Tucker, who argued Tiger Woods' dominance may be a result of all the lengthening and tweaking to PGA Tour venues, reader "C" has a different take. He believes legends like Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer couldn't be as dominant as today because they had more on their plate than just golf.
"Tiger is great, probably the best athlete in the world. The other players on tour are great as well or they would not be where they are.
Tiger has coaches for golf, yoga, fitness, golf psychology, etc. And with all of that support, has learned how to psyche out his fellow competitors.
However, compare today with the conditions that Jack, Arnie and Bobby Jones played under, and compare today's purses with the pittance paid years ago and the pleasures and comforts today's players have as a result.
Players today are taken care of very well. Volunteers take care of their every need. They are pampered on tour: picked up from the airports, well fed at the tournaments, given a new vehicle to drive for the length of the tournament, their motor homes are pumped with gas and pumped out of sewage. They are paid appearance fees, and people give them gifts. There are sitters for their children and organized bus tours and activities for their wives and children.
They are idolized, catered to and pampered. The details are all taken care of. The last-place player earns a livable wage.
What do they have to do? Worry about their game. Practice. Tough life.
The greens are perfect, maybe the only week of the year for that particular course. The golf courses are well manicured, and while the rough may be high at a few venues, it is not full of holes as it is at a regular course.
They play with equipment that is not available for amateurs. The balls, the clubs, course conditions, the technology is so far superior to the days of Sam Snead, Jack, Arnie.
Rewind the years: Give Arnie, Jack, Bobby and Sam the same level playing field as today, and pit them against Tiger and see what would happen. Who would break what records?
Hmmm....Let's have a PGA Tour event on a scruffy course with all the players using equipment from years past, and let's see how they play. Now THAT would be fun and a true measure of a great player."
March 25, 2008
Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.
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