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I keep thinking what an unusual game golf is. What other game covers so many acres set up and costs so much to take care of the field of play?

It's also unusual in that the prime of a golfer can last a lot longer than the prime of many other sports. Even when they're past their prime, great players like Nicklaus can still manage an occasional competitive round where the embers of their greatness are fanned and, for a day, burn brightly.

Arnold Palmer played his last Masters only this year, yet he got his first PGA Player of the Year award in 1960, the same year Wilt got his first NBA Most Valuable Player award. Just having that much of the history of the sport not just observing, but actually competing in tournaments, such as the Masters and the US Open...that is one of the things that makes golf a special game.

I remember Sam Snead's first shot at the 2001 Masters...it looked so good you knew he was going to be making many more first tee offs in the years to come. It was sad to see such a vibrant soul go the way of all things this year.

With Snead's passing, there are precious few left from his generation. Byron Nelson is the only one that comes to mind. Like Sarazen, Hagen and Jones before them, these icons from the era before Palmer and Nicklaus are living links back to glorious past of golf. Truly legends in their own time, their legends will only grow with time.

It's fun being able to watch a new legend in action. Even if he quit today, Tiger would be a legend. His impact on this sport is hard to overestimate. But the reason, first and foremost, that he is a legend is that he makes seemingly impossible shots look easy again and again. It is his consistent high performance under pressure that makes Tiger what he is.....amazing.

Sorry for the rambling,

Scott
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Why is it that everyone seems to think that the only way to have a discussion about any aspect of golf or golfers is to make sure they discuss the overhyped Eldridge Woods?

I agree, he is a great golfer but he is not the only one out there. I noticed at this last tourney that they just had to keep mentioning that Tiger has finished in the top 30 at his last XXX entries. This being done inspite of the fact that he was well back in the pack and they don't generally cover the 22nd place finisher at all, unless of course its Tiger.

I am so sick of hearing his name mentioned (even when he's not playing that week) that I would rather just not watch the sport anymore. Get a clue PGA, you are ruining it for millions. Have you actually noticed the drop off in golf course useage since you have started the great promotion machine? Look at American Golf and their financial problems for the answer.

Michael
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<Look at American Golf and their financial problems for the answer.>

Could you explain the connection between Tiger Woods and American Golf? Is there a grassy knoll involved?
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Why is it that everyone seems to think that the only way to have a discussion about any aspect of golf or golfers is to make sure they discuss the overhyped Eldridge Woods?

It could be that for the last few years he has dominated a field of admittedly extremely good golfers. He has broken any number of records and has topped the "standings" for number one professional golfer for many many months.He is just an amazing talent and I would submit that he has been a real positive for the PGA and not at all the negative that you imply. You are entitled to your opinion but the facts are he is the best there is today and at this point probably ever.
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Why is it that everyone seems to think that the only way to have a discussion about any aspect of golf or golfers is to make sure they discuss the overhyped Eldridge Woods?

Even those who don't believe the hype often fall victim to it. I agree that it gets tedious hearing announcers drone on about Tiger even when he's not playing in the tournament, or when he's out of contention. I even hate it when he is in contention and they show every shot he makes, while the leader is shown 1/4 as much.

But the fact is that Tiger is what sells golf. The explosion of golf's popularity has happened since 1997 when Tiger set records in the Masters.

Tiger is the best today and one of the best ever. When discussing golf's history or the best of all time, he is inevitably drawn into the discussion.
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Could you explain the connection between Tiger Woods and American Golf

Easy to explain. Many comments have been made about the increase in the number of golfers due to Tiger being around while the fact of the matter is the actual useage of public courses has been on the decline for at least 3 years. American Golf (well known in the west) is a prime example of this decline as they have dropped many courses under their management and have laid off hundreds of employees. Look at the BK rate of golf club retailers. Roger Dunn pulling back dramatically, Las Vegas Golf going under, even the new up and comer(retail area) GolfSmith pullin in it's horns in areas.

Tiger is not the golf god people want to make him out to be. He is an excellent golfer that has a great marketing machine behind him starting with the head of the PGA.

Michael
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I would submit that he has been a real positive for the PGA and not at all the negative that you imply.

I never said he was a negative. I said I was tired of the overexposure of Tigermainia. Why can't I can watch a tournament and have the commentators give equal time to all players or focus on the top 10 without genuflecting in front of him when he is not even in contention?


You are entitled to your opinion but the facts are he is the best there is today and at this point probably ever.

Your opinion. I would like to see him really compete with the records of old with the equipment of old. Heck I'm almost 44 and hitting it 50 yards longer than and 90% straighter than I could at 20.

Michael
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I see. There aren't enough rounds of golf being played to keep American Golf prosperous and Tiger Woods is a golfer, therefore Tiger must be to blame for American Golf's troubles. It couldn't have a thing to do with the fact that most of the golf courses American Golf manages are overpriced goat ranches.
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It couldn't have a thing to do with the fact that most of the golf courses American Golf manages are overpriced goat ranches.

A bit of an exaggeration here, AtlantaDon. The courses in the greater Houston area were average or above average (Longwood, Southwyck, and Bear Creek - Masters only). For their old annual pass, which included 2 hr advance twilight, a free round, yada, yada, yada, it was a good deal.

I can't speak about other areas, but it seems management companies own most public tracks now-a-days...public golf has become corporate golf.

-Caz
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I see. There aren't enough rounds of golf being played to keep American Golf prosperous and Tiger Woods is a golfer, therefore Tiger must be to blame for American Golf's troubles

No you don't see. Tiger has been credited with this supposed great increase in golf and the facts dictate that the increase is not really there unless you look at the subset of inner city Afro-Americans who now can tee it up for 3 holes in downtown Chicago under the First Tee program or what ever it's called.

You miss the whole point. This thread was titled "More thoughts on Sneads Passing...". If the author had stayed with his inital idea of talking about Slammin Sammy I would not have responded at all but lurked with interest.

Instead the post finished up talking about Tiger as a legend for this generation. I believe that this actually does a disservice to Sam's greatness as it places Tiger in the same group as legends of old while he has the advantage of new techniques and new equipment and new balls and new routines. Even Arnold has talked about how much further he hits it now with the new equipment than when he was in true competitive form.

It's sort of like having an F18 in a dog fight with a Bi-Plane of WW1. Not a comparison to be made. Different times are not of equal footing that can be compared.

Michael
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Michael,

For the record, I was encouraging us to compare golfers within eras, as attempting to take athletes out of time and compare their exploits just isn't that useful.

Instead the post finished up talking about Tiger as a legend for this generation. I believe that this actually does a disservice to Sam's greatness as it places Tiger in the same group as legends of old while he has the advantage of new techniques and new equipment and new balls and new routines.

Snead should be compared against his peers -- Woods against his peers -- and then their greatness may be compared as an outcome of how they performed against their peers. This is the same way to treat baseball and other sports.

David G.
handicap: 28
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Caz, I'll admit to exaggerating about American Golf because I only know a handful of the courses they manage. There is one near me that is terrible but it was bad before they took it over from the city of Atlanta, so it's not really their fault. My main point was that to suggest that Tiger Woods has something to do with the troubles of American Golf is ludicrous.

A good friend of mine works for one of the top golf course architects and he told me quite a while back that the high end public golf course market is in bad shape. Apparently they overestimated the number of people that are willing to drop anywhere from $60 to $200 per round to play golf on a public course. The best high end public course in this area (White Columns, greens fees in the $90-$125 neighborhood) is in the process of going private. As you point out, a lot of the demand for high-end public courses has been corporate golf and the expense budgets have been tightened up over the last couple of years.

Virtually all of the courses my friend's firm builds now are private, either for people with a ton of money who want a high end course with a small membership or for real estate developers who want one or more golf courses as the centerpiece of planned communities.
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Michael (IvoryJester),

Since you've written three separate posts deriding my use of Tiger Woods in starting a thread with this name, I'll respond...

You wrote:

You miss the whole point. This thread was titled "More thoughts on Sneads Passing...". If the author had stayed with his inital idea of talking about Slammin Sammy I would not have responded at all but lurked with interest.

Instead the post finished up talking about Tiger as a legend for this generation.


That's funny, because I didn't write my post about Sam Snead, but rather about his passing.

When some people die, it causes you to consider things that you may not have otherwise. Snead's death (and his longevity as a high caliber player) lead me to discuss Arny and Wilt Chamberlain and how long ago they were in their prime (you didn't seem to mind me mentioning these other athletes in my post with the thread title). This had to do with golf as a game that's different from others.

What strikes me about your attitude is that you seem to really resent Tiger and his success. I suspect, had you been born in another era, you would have resented "Arny's Army", insisting both that he wasn't as good as he was cracked up to be and that golf didn't really become as popular because of him...as the media portrayed it to be....

....or perhaps you'd be chastising the TV directors for paying way too much attention to Jack Nicklaus.

This happens a lot in art...people aren't appreciated in their own time...

I honestly don't think you've seen enough of Tiger's game. Did you watch the last round of the 1997 Masters, for instance? I have been watching golf on TV since probably the early 70's. The amount of game Tiger has is phenomenal. The list of incredible golf shots when he needed them is a long one....Jack Nicklaus himself has declared that Tiger will win as many Green Jackets as Palmer and Nicklaus combined. That's pretty high praise from a many who many consider the best golfer in history...

...BTW, the reason Tiger was on my mind (when writing about Snead's passing) was that he was this year's Master's champion and it was none other than Sam Snead that hit his last opening shot at this year's Masters.

I recalled Sam's graceful first swing at the 2001 Masters and didn't mention the fact that his tee shot went awry this year and hit a spectator...partly because Sam had been having medical problems before this year's Masters. Perhaps I left too much to the reader to remember...I wasn't mentioning Tiger because I felt I had to mention him, I was mentioning him because he is the next a logical progression of dominant players on the PGA tour and is not the people that admire him that I question, it is rather those like you that seem to discount Tiger's every achievement. It is a living part of golf history and if you can't see it when it's in front of you, I reckon I won't convince you otherwise.

Scott

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What strikes me about your attitude is that you seem to really resent Tiger and his success.

No actually I applaud succes. His included. I have not demeaned his accomplishments in any post. I HAVE stated that the overhyping of his successes is driving people away from watching the game being played by pro's. I have stated that the commentators need to get a clue and comment on the play actually happening in any given tournament instead of just licking Tiger's Nike wear when he is A) either not in contention or B) not even playing in that tournament.

I have also said that the credit given to Tiger for increasing golf's popularity is a false image and born out by the facts of less rounds now being played and the financial distress of golf related companies (this is a financial related message board isn't it?).

The history books are written for Sam Snead. His accomplishments won't change. Not the same for Tigers. I wonder what people would say 10 years from now if Tiger fell into a decade long slump or his back condition (which is public knowledge) keeps getting worse and his tremendous drives creep back to be oh so average.

He is an excelent golfer and has shown brillance. I just don't believe he should be called a legend yet.

Michael
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I wonder what people would say 10 years from now if Tiger fell into a decade long slump or his back condition (which is public knowledge) keeps getting worse and his tremendous drives creep back to be oh so average.

They'll say he won three U.S. Amateurs, three Masters, Two PGA's, a British Open, and, oh yes, a U.S. Open.

Which they won't say about Snead.
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I HAVE stated that the overhyping of his successes is driving people away from watching the game being played by pro's.

Actually, the television ratings for a tournament with Tiger vs. a tournament without Tiger shows a clear bias of the viewing public. They want to see Tiger. The networks are just giving the public what they want.

I have stated that the commentators need to get a clue and comment on the play actually happening in any given tournament instead of just licking Tiger's Nike wear when he is A) either not in contention or B) not even playing in that tournament.

I also find it annoying that we get to watch Tiger decide whether to hit a 9 iron or an 8 iron while Bob Estes (or someone equally bland) eagles a par five to win the tournament. But again, the viewing audience wants Tiger, so the serious golfers who appreciate golfers playing at the top of their game (whomever that may be) lose.

I have also said that the credit given to Tiger for increasing golf's popularity is a false image and born out by the facts of less rounds now being played and the financial distress of golf related companies (this is a financial related message board isn't it?).

I would be surprised is there were fewer rounds being played now than before Tiger's popularity exploded. I don't find the financial distress of one golf company that operates in three states to be sufficient proof. Perhaps that company overextended itself. There could be a million reasons that it is in trouble that have nothing to do with Tiger.

The history books are written for Sam Snead. His accomplishments won't change. Not the same for Tigers. I wonder what people would say 10 years from now if Tiger fell into a decade long slump or his back condition (which is public knowledge) keeps getting worse and his tremendous drives creep back to be oh so average.

I agree here. I'm very slow to jump on the bandwagon, but Tiger definitely has a place among the greatest ever. He has won 7 majors, after all. Now if he can win 13 more to pass Nicklaus, or win the next 16 in a row (which would put his winning percentage in majors at 62%, matching Bobby Jones), then I would seriously consider giving him the number one slot.
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