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View Poll Results: Rate Tiger Woods and Golf. Choose the two options that reflect your opinion.

Tiger Woods is an elite athlete 20 74.07%
Tiger Woods is not an elite athlete 5 18.52%
Golf is a sport 17 62.96%
Golf is not a sport 5 18.52%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 27. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-14-2008, 10:14 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kds13 View Post
Tiger Woods is an elite athlete and Golf is a sport. Are all golfers elite athletes though? Hell no.
Agreed.


Tiger is definitely an elite athlete and I did vote for Golf being a sport- it may not require super athletic skills(see John Daly puffin' and drinkin') or an athletic physique(see Phil Mickelson's glorious man-boobs) but the mental toughness, practice of long hours honing different shots with different clubs and the maintenance of your body to remain strong and flexible. A lot of golfers did not work out until Tiger came onto the scene and his driving length forced them to adapt their game(and physical abilities) to try and catch up with him.

You can also see Tiger's development and changed swing- back when he first entered the PGA the announcers would talk about his crazy body torque on his drives, knowing that over time that would put to much stress on his low back and knees he adapted his swing. Now it's tighter and puts less stress on his body. Tiger is definitely an elite athlete.
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:16 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kds13 View Post
To be fair, he hasn't been in the position to make a Sunday comeback more than 5 times. He's usually either running away with the trophy already or is more than 5 shots back. Those times he has been within striking distance, he hasn't got it done, but he has never lost ground. Most of the time, it comes down to whoever is in the lead plays a great round of golf on Sunday and he can't make it up.

I agree that a comeback win in a Major will cap off his career, but the dude is already the best without it.
If he retired today would you say he is the best? I just get the feeling that people put him as the best all time because of what he will probably do. Everyone think he will break all the major (events as well as in terms of big) records but he hasn't yet.

Also on the mental toughness thing, it's not that hard to distract a golf player and break his concentration. We have seen this from many players including Tiger.
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:32 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Also on the mental toughness thing, it's not that hard to distract a golf player and break his concentration. We have seen this from many players including Tiger.
Doesn't that reinforce just how difficult golf is? It is an accepted standard that there should be as close to complete silence whilst a golfer takes his swing due to the mental concentration required to complete an effective stroke. Golf is a hugely mental game. Every professional golfer is sensitive to distractions from unruly fans.
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:35 AM   #14 (permalink)
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If he retired today would you say he is the best? I just get the feeling that people put him as the best all time because of what he will probably do. Everyone think he will break all the major (events as well as in terms of big) records but he hasn't yet.

Also on the mental toughness thing, it's not that hard to distract a golf player and break his concentration. We have seen this from many players including Tiger.

I would actually say yes he is the best ever. More than going for 18 majors is the streak he had of "made cuts". I can't remember what it was when it got snapped a couple of years ago but it was insanely long- like freaky crazy long. Golfers have bad days and every player goes through bad streaks but his bad days still got him through the cut and to do it as long as he did is enough for me(plus his 13 majors and huge list of other wins) to call him the best ever. It's all hypothetical either way when saying a player is the best-ever in any sport.

As to the mental toughness by distracting them(I love it when Stevie goes ape-sh!t on a fan for clicking a picture during Tiger's backswing)- it's how golf has been played forever- with silence. That's just part of the game if they allowed cheering or jeering during a player's swing I'm sure over time they could adapt to it but that's just not how it's played.

Silence can be deafening- standing over an 8 foot putt to make par and win a tournament with thousands of people surrounding the green, the announcers in the TV booth critiquing your every single move and plus the possible thousands or millions of viewers is mind boggling to consider let alone deal with.

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Old 05-14-2008, 11:11 AM   #15 (permalink)
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This thread is a lot different from the one that was being discussed before. The topic before was about Tiger being the TOUGHEST athlete. That's a lot different then being an ELITE athlete.

Do I think he's an elite athlete, yes. And I don't blame you for wording it the way you did in this thread. You're going to get a lot more positive responses.

Do I think he's the toughest athlete??? Not in a million years. I believe he's a VERY focused man that has shown the ability to use the fine muscle movements over and over with a smaller percentage of mistakes then most other golfers. This doesn't make him the toughest.

If you want to have the discussion of him being and elite athlete, by all means do. But I for one, don't think that has anything to do with the conversation that got the topic started.
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Old 05-14-2008, 11:11 AM   #16 (permalink)
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As the only person to say "Tiger Woods is not an elite athlete," let me explain what I mean by athlete.

An athlete is someone who is athletic, someone who shows incredible general physical prowess. That is to say: a combination of strength, speed, agility, coordination and skill in their sport.

A real elite athlete is someone who can play their sport, but also has the physical conditioning and skills to play another sport, not on the same level, but very, very well.

Reggie Bush is an elite athlete, because if he played basketball, he could dunk and he could move and his athleticism would remain consistent.

If you took Tiger of the golf course he might be a guy in very good shape (in fact, he is a guy in very good shape), but he wouldn't be able to move like a pro in another sport. He can't run a 40 like an elite athlete, he can't hit the bench like an elite athlete and he can't thread the needle like an elite athlete. That's my criteria.

Is Tiger a great sportsman, sure. I have no problem with people saying he's one of the greatest sportsmen of all time, but when you start calling him an athlete, you are saying that he is athletically comparable to guys like Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali and that's just not true.
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Old 05-14-2008, 11:14 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Do I think he's the toughest athlete???
You're right, Chris. This is a very different question.

That said, the toughest athlete wouldn't complain about flashbulbs in his backswing.
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Old 05-14-2008, 11:23 AM   #18 (permalink)
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This thread is a lot different from the one that was being discussed before. The topic before was about Tiger being the TOUGHEST athlete. That's a lot different then being an ELITE athlete.
I can't get to the thread now because it is closed, but I believe it was exactly what the argument was. Alex_DeLarge began with a diatribe of Tiger Woods and golf being a professional sport, after Tiger was #2 (?) on ESPN's list of toughest athletes. "Toughness" was only brought up to refer to his mental toughness. Golf was then bashed as a sport and Tiger as an athlete. The problem RushFan came accross (IMO) was posts such as "It isn't a sport if after you hit the ball you don't run to it - you get in a cart" or "how much athletic talent does it take to hit a ball with a stick four feet?"

I don't remember the wording being along the lines of "Tiger Woods is one of the toughest athletes" in terms of enduring physical stress. I'm not trying to get into an argument here, but IMO the wording of this post is pretty much exactly what he was debating on the last thread. As I recall, one of the final posts was from a mod states, "if you guys want to debate on whether or not Tiger Woods is an athlete, START A THREAD, otherwise this thread is about fighters that have not been KO'd before."

PS - My opinion is such: Tiger Woods is an ELITE athlete and golf is a sport.

Quote:
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An athlete is someone who is athletic, someone who shows incredible general physical prowess. That is to say: a combination of strength, speed, agility, coordination and skill in their sport.
I think Tiger Woods is a perfect example of such.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMan View Post
A real elite athlete is someone who can play their sport, but also has the physical conditioning and skills to play another sport, not on the same level, but very, very well.

If you took Tiger of the golf course he might be a guy in very good shape (in fact, he is a guy in very good shape), but he wouldn't be able to move like a pro in another sport. He can't run a 40 like an elite athlete, he can't hit the bench like an elite athlete and he can't thread the needle like an elite athlete. That's my criteria.
I have a problem with this in that if you take Federer off the court, I don't think he will compete in other sports. Is he not an elite athlete? If you take Crosby or Ovechkin off the ice, their 40s might not be quite that fast for they are using different muscles of their legs. Are they not elite? Ali probably wouldn't have run that quick of a 40...or Lenox Lewis. Wayne Gretzky, Kaka, Ronaldo, etc, I'm not sure if any of them would be able to dominate other sports. Does that make them less of elite athletes? I don't think so. Michael Jordan was able to almost go pro at baseball and Deon Sanders and Bo Jackson played two sports professionally, while Tom Glavine was drafted by the MLB and NHL. IMO that makes them more ATHLETIC, but not more of an elite athlete.

When you not only master, but dominate your discipline that is known to be considered a "sport" - IMO you are an elite athlete. Tiger Woods has done it like few else in professional sports have.
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Old 05-14-2008, 11:34 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMan View Post

A real elite athlete is someone who can play their sport, but also has the physical conditioning and skills to play another sport, not on the same level, but very, very well.

Reggie Bush is an elite athlete, because if he played basketball, he could dunk and he could move and his athleticism would remain consistent.
I don't know if I agree with this. Hockey players are some of the toughest and best conditioned athletes in the world but god knows they would not be able to play basketball worth shit. Golfing on the other hand.. no problem.

Tiger Woods is an elite athlete. I am confident in saying if you asked the top 10 basketball, baseball, football and hockey players if he was an athlete 80-90% would agree.

My bad ALLINGSP, I didn't read your post but we had the same thinking. Smart men think exactly alike!
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Old 05-14-2008, 11:40 AM   #20 (permalink)
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For some reason the definition of "toughness" on this thread derives from the risk to life and limb. Therefore, How could any MMA athlete compare their "toughness" to a free style mountain climber or a sky diver?
I repeat, the debate is about "Mental Toughness". Almost every MMA athlete rides a wave of euphoria throughout an MMA bout. This is a primary attraction to the sport for many "adrenaline junkies". I don't want to have to say this but, For most MMA practitioners there is very little mental aspect to their fighting style. They enter the octagon to enact certain trained aspects of fighting and can be reassured by the fact they will be relatively unharmed if they fail because a referee will save them. Does that constitute mental toughness?
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