An important component of every sport will be the individual or team competitive rivalries that build. The Yankees and Red Sox or Cubs and Cardinals are fantastic baseball rivalries, and they often develop during a period of time throughout their head-to-head meetings. Golf isn't different, but by the nature of golfing contests today they do not involve as many face-to-face matchups. Except for Ryder Cup contests golfers tend to be competing against an entire field within a tournament. |
I'm going to cover 5 golf rivalries, except we are going to take under consideration not only the degree of competitiveness but their historic significance to the golf game. Because of this I won't include, for example Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson as I don't think it was a significant rivalry to the game of golf. Golf fans wished it to be, though for most of the period Woods was thoroughly dominant. Huge rivalries have to have rivals that are on reasonably equal ranking.
1. Palmer-Nicklaus. That rivalry ended up being momentous as it transpired at the time television was growing to be a major part of spectator sports. It attracted countless new fans than any other time plus gave golf a kick-start among the general population. Arnold Palmer had been most likely the first superstar golfer inside the TV age, so people flocked to him. As he was tested by the younger Jack Nicklaus, who had been the better golfer even if Palmer followers refused to admit it, it created fascinating golf drama.
2. Snead-Hogan. Here are a couple of true legends of golf and it's really intriguing their careers resembled each other, but at the same time these were totally different individuals. Through the late 30s to late 50s the pair were strong rivals, Sam Snead winning 81 tournaments plus Ben Hogan 61, nine of them majors. Snead won seven majors but the blemish on his resume was to never be triumphant in the US Open. 3. Nicklaus-Watson. It is my opinion this was an important rivalry because it epitomizes what every rivalry should be. Their individual duels produced many of the most unforgettable shots in golf history, and when they challenged each other it never seemed like somebody lost, but the champion triumphed due to excellent play. Just as impressive was the common respect Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus had for each other.
4. Faldo-Norman. Following the Nicklaus-Palmer along with Nicklaus-Watson rivalries had finished there was a lull. I'm sure most of us had missed the rivalries and looked for another, though when an Australian and a Brit elevated to prominence it introduced an international essence to golf. And this is something that we've seen since that time. During those years Nick Faldo won six majors but Greg Norman spent 331 weeks called the world's top ranked player. Norman will likely go down in history for being the unluckiest player in major tournaments.
5. Azinger-Ballesteros. I cite this rivalry not for the brilliant records, though both were extremely accomplished golfers, yet I believe this rivalry has a great deal in connection with making the Ryder Cup what it actually is today. It began in 1989, and the not so gentlemanly confrontations helped transform the Ryder Cup into the high-intensity affairs of today.
Generating club head speed, and as a result distance starts in the back swing. Read more on the four aspects of a good golf swing, broken down into their individual components. Jim O'Connell is an avid golfer and writer living in Chicago.
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