The Great Tiger Woods

golfEvery time Tiger Woods wins another major there's talk of him being the greatest athlete of all time. Not the greatest golfer of all time, but the greatest athlete.

He won the PGA Championship with ease on the weekend and he almost won me my golf pool. I finished tied for first but lost the cash on some crazy tie breaker. I'm still a little ticked about losing on a technicality, but I digress. Tiger is thirty years old and he's won twelve majors. Many will argue there's been no one like him.

When I think of the greatest in sports, people who rose above it all and transcended their sport, I think of four men, in addition to Tiger. I think of Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali and Babe Ruth. Removing any political and social significance, Gretzky, Jordan and Ruth were heads and tails above their peers, absolutely dominating their respective sports. Gretzky and Ruth essentially rewrote the record books and changed their sports forever. Woods is having a similar impact, but is Woods any better than Wayne Gretzky? I say no.

Upon his retirement on the 18th of April, 1999, Wayne Gretzky held or shared 61 National Hockey League records. These records include 40 regular season records, 15 playoff records, and 6 All-star records. Check out the Wayne Gretzky's records Wikipedia page, if you dare.

Woods is unbelievable, a talent that comes around rarely, and we should appreciate him. He might just be the best golfer in the history of the game. Is he the best athlete ever? I'm not willing to give him The Great One's crown just yet. Would you?

Share this entry

Comments (4 - click here to join in!)


Methinks the reason for more agreeing that Gretzky is the all time athlete may have more to do with the game then the skills. Golf has never been a sport that many could afford and therefore appreciate. All economic groups love hockey but the main group to embrace hockey was your small town blue collar workers. The scrapping and speed gave an adrenaline flow to those who watched. Golf is a very slow game that does not get played by many without deep pockets. It is not as understood and the speed leaves many cold. It also takes 5 hrs. to complete a game of golf. Who has five hours???????

August 22, 2006 @ 3:52 PM

Mike Boon

Sure, golf is a rich man's sport, but when was the last time you priced hockey equipment and ice time?

This is where our inherent bias comes into play. I love hockey. I've only played one round of golf in my life, and that was in lifetime gym back in grade 12.

You'll notice I didn't include Pele on my list - another inherent bias. I've never played a single game of soccer outside of gym class.

August 22, 2006 @ 3:58 PM


Methinks the type of game rather then the skills is what makes us appreciate Gretzky over Woods. Hockey has long been a small town sport loved by those who enjoy a good fight and speed. It gets the adrenaline going. This is not what golf is all about. Golf is slow and expensive to play. It takes five hours to play and not enough people have learned to appreciate and watch this sport. I think both men are to be admired for the raw talent and hard work that goes into being the best in their field. I believe we are not yet ready to accept golf with the same enthusiasm all way round that Hockey has been given over the years.

August 22, 2006 @ 3:58 PM


Obviously, the idea of a "greatest ever" is subjective. It's tough to reach consensus even in a single sport.
You could make cases for varied sports greats:
The one-namers …...Pele, Babe, Jack
The oldies……… Jim Thorpe, Willie Mays, Joe Louis
The Olympians……. Mark Spitz, Carl Lewis
The Tennis Players ………Martina Navratilova, Pete Sampras

August 22, 2006 @ 10:52 PM

Leave a comment

Only 4 comments? C'mon, we can do better... Leave a comment above and let's keep this conversation going!

« Link: PDF Online : Create PDF Rest in Peace »