Ranking Arnie

Ranking Arnie October 7, 2016

How do you rank the best golfers? Tallying up the wins doesn’t tell the whole story. The quality of the competition matters, as do the number of golfers in a tournament. Using a variety of complicated metrics, the Economist ranked the late Arnold Palmer among the greats of golf and concluded that he was even better than he looked:

. . . the numbers tell a fairly consistent story about Mr Palmer’s place in golf history. While Mr Nicklaus and Mr Woods appear light-years ahead of the competition on almost every metric, mostly in that order, Mr Palmer sits squarely atop the second tier, at least when it comes to stroke-play majors. There’s a strong case that Hogan, who won a pair of match-play PGA Championships, may have been better, and it’s hard to know what to do with Hagen, Jones or John Henry Taylor, giants of the game’s early years. And among modern greats, it wouldn’t take much for the resurgent Mr Mickelson to overtake him. But Mr Palmer’s record more than justifies his reputation. If anything, pundits have probably sold him a bit short.

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