There are undisputed greats in every major sport. Babe Ruth is synonymous with baseball, Wayne Gretzky with hockey, and Michael Jordan on the court. But in golf, there’s going to be an eternal debate over who was the greatest player to step foot on the course. Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer were considered the cream of the crop until Tiger Woods came along, but the fact that Tiger will (probably) never eclipse Jack’s record of 18 majors will always be a knock on him going down as the GOAT, as much as I hate to admit it.
I, personally, have always thought as Tiger Woods being the greatest golfer of all-time and that was only solidified by Steve Stricker’s recent column on The Players Tribune where he described how Tiger completely rid him of his confidence on the course after their first time playing together.
“You never really forget the first time you hear Tiger hit a golf ball.
Several times, I would really connect with a drive only to be stunned to see that Tiger’s ball had landed 40 to 50 yards beyond mine.
After the first round had ended, I told Nicki, my wife and caddy, what I had been thinking since the moment we left the course: “I can’t compete with that type of game. I just can’t compete with that.”
This was the first big blow to my confidence as a golfer.
My round with Tiger made me introspective, and for the first time I began to doubt myself. All the early mornings on the range hitting balls until my hands were torn with calluses; all the hours spent practicing during the frigid Wisconsin winters; all the memories I had of being on the course with my father; in my mind, at that moment, it truly seemed as though all of the time and effort I had put into the game of golf had been rendered utterly meaningless.”
How fucking demoralizing. But Stricker didn’t even end his sob story there as he continued to disclose that Tiger made him completely question his passion for the game.
“I realized that I was exerting too much of my time and energy trying to play golf like someone who I wasn’t, which led me to question my passion for the game.”
Jesus, Steve. Have some self-respect, dude. I get that Tiger bombed the ball but you were one of the greatest putters in the game. I know there’s better looking guys than me, but that never stopped me from peacocking around bars when I was living that single-and-ready-to-mingle life.
Shooters shoot, man. Never forget that, Steve. .
[via Golf WRX]