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That my friend is one whale of a discussion topic. Without counting to ten, I am sure most of you will automatically say Tiger Woods. Granted, it is difficult to argue that he is not the greatest playing today, but for all time? As a former professional golfer, teacher of the golf swing and student of the game, I have some very interesting and hopefully enlightening information that will give you pause when it comes to naming the greatest golfer of all time. Before you can compare players of different eras, regardless what sport it is, we must also take into account some of the most important part of the equation. The equipment in golf has under gone a myriad of changes. From the Old Hickory Shafts in the early 1900's to the much more advanced steel and Graphite Shafts today. Because my choice for the greatest golfer of all time was Bobby Jones, here are my reasons and also a glimpse into the late great Robert Tyre Jones. The young lad from Atlanta Georgia with the syrupy smooth flowing golf swing was a phenomenal player at any age you make him but, he retired from competitive golf at the ripe young age of 28. When asked why, the Southern Gentleman replied. "It (championships) is something like a cage. First you are expected to get into it and then you are expected to stay there. But of course, nobody can stay there." So, just like that he decided he was finished in competitive golf. Well and good for him but really sad for the rest of the golf fans throughout the world. Robert Tyre Jones who was born March 17, 2002, would go on to become a most accomplished Lawyer and a most respected man. Bobby, as he was mostly referred to, is most famous for completing The Grand Slam, a descriptive term which symbolizes winning the Open and Amateur Championships in both the United States and Britain, in a single calendar year. The 1930 Grand Slam. Even to this day, he is the only golfer to have ever done it. Truthfully, it is not just what Mr Jones accomplished, nor the age he reached this amazing feat at, it's more of with the kind of equipment that he had to use to play the great golf, that is what makes his conquests all the more spectacular. Now, before we look at the golf clubs, the golf ball and how they affected what you could and could not do with those tools, that is, unless your name was Bobby Jones. For it was using wooden shafted clubs that had much more flex than todays' Graphite shafts. The iron heads were not the forged steel that adorns the many different styles of the more modern golf club. Another extremely important aspect that golfers from the early years did not have was the advantage of higher lofted iron clubs. In fact the nine iron, also known as a niblick was the only club that could extricate the ball from a deep green side sand trap. I know that Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods would tell you that having their 60 degree specialized wedges accounts for scoring as well as they do today. Players could not utilize a nine iron to the same degree that they do a


sand wedge, not even close. If having to depend on the less lofted nine iron for trap shots was not enough, it would be most interesting if the players today were playing the same rules that Bobby Jones and the golfers from all those years gone by had to. Can't you see Tiger Woods having a ten foot putt to win a tournament but another player had his ball directly in Tigers line. You may not have realized this but they played what was then known as "Styme" back then. You left your ball where it was and did not mark it, even if it was directly in the line of another players putt. Of course they were playing by rules of "Match Play" but it had to be fun when another needed to hole a putt and there was a ball standing in the way. That's why the old era players became so adept at little chip shots. That was the only way to get "Over" the other players ball! Let's understand one other young man who can certainly stake his claim for the greatest and that's the most dominating player in the modern generation, Tiger Woods. It must be noted that The Golden Bear from Ohio, the brilliant Jack Nicklaus still holds the record of winning the most majors of 18, Tiger is just 5 away from tying the record. Also, Tiger has done this deed in many fewer tournaments than Nicklaus.

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Who is the Greatest Golfer of All Time