Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Best Ever...

Over at the Manzella forum the question was asked to name the best ever at the following aspects of the game. Here is mine.

DRIVING - Jack Nicklaus

When the PGA Tour kept stats, Nicklaus was no higher than 14th in total driving from 1980-1984 which included being #1 from 1980-1983. This was when Nicklaus was 40-44 years old. I couldn't imagine him in his prime and while he is known for the long irons and clutch putting, I think he's the best ever because of his superior driving.


When I think of fairway woods, I think of Pavin. He had to use them a lot, knife them around bunkers, carve them so the wind could take them, hit 'em low and high.

LONG IRONS - Jack Nicklaus

Nicklaus was known for his long irons, with the saying he could hit them and have it long like a butterfly with sore feet.

MID IRONS - Ben Hogan

Tough one to pick here. Johnny Miller could stake claim here, but when it comes to an aspect of the game, I'd have a hard time not finding a spot for Hogan, somewhere.

SHORT IRONS - Lee Trevino

SAND GAME - Paul Azinger

This could probably go to Chi Chi Rodriguez or Lee Trevino, but I picked Azinger because I never paid much attention to their bunker game like I did Azinger's.

CHIPPING - Raymond Floyd

Floyd was the best I've ever seen. If you ever get the chance to re-watch some of the '90 Masters, you'll see Floyd put on a clinic during that tournament. It's easy to see why Floyd was such a great player despite an unorthodox swing. He was very good with the driver, decent with the irons and putter, but if he missed a green, he could get up and down with ease...if not chip in.

PITCHING - Seve Ballesteros

Seve has pretty much been the model for pitching the ball.

PUTTING - Ben Crenshaw

I'm sure Geoff Mangum would be more qualified to answer this, but Crenshaw's putting is the best I've ever seen.



Anonymous said...

I think you have to give serious consideration to TW as the best long iron player.

From the MoneyGolf series:

But now we reach one of the strongest parts of Tiger's game: He excelled at approach shots from 150-250 yards out, allowing him to pick up an amazing eight strokes on his closest competitors. This matches the highlights of his play. On Saturday, he hit a 4-iron around a stand of trees to within two feet of the hole. And on the last hole of the tourney, Tiger summoned what he called "the best swing I made all week" to land a 5-iron from 177 yards on the green and set up the winning putt. (Even with all of his 2010 struggles, Tiger remains the world's best on long approach shots. As I wrote last month, "His remarkable ball striking from this range is what keeps him in tournaments when other departments of his game are lagging.")

He's at least the best long-iron-out-of-the-rough player....

Rich H. said...

Certainly in the top 5.