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Johnny Miller Defends the 1970s

Johnny Miller on TalentJohnny Miller’s Thoughts on Young Talent


I saw Johnny Miller on “The Morning Drive” today, I know it is popular to trash the guy for being over the top in his color commentary on NBC. But, I have to admit I can sincerely appreciate his insights on golf and golf history.

I used to share the sentiment that he was a bit much, but recently I find his opinions interesting. Johnny Miller had an amazing career and I think most people forget his accomplishments. It was pointed out by Eric Kuselius that Johnny Miller had 18 wins on Tour before the age of 30. I have to admit that I didn’t realize just how prolific Johnny Miller was at such a young age.

The discussion today mostly revolved around the question of young players on the PGA Tour, Eric mentioned that Dustin Johnson led the players under 30 with wins  at 4. This is incredible given some of the young talent we have on the PGA Tour these days. Dustin Johnson, Hunter Mahan, Jeff Overton, Camilo Villegas, Bill Haas and Rickie Fowler, just to name a few.

Johnny was asked this very question, he was then asked why he was able to win so much at a young age and these young guys today aren’t. It was interesting because Johnny immediately began defending his era as being just as tough to play in. He pointed out that he had Watson, Nicklaus and Trevino to deal with.

The reason it was interesting was because Eric hadn’t posed the question in a way that was meant to stir up the “which era was tougher” discussion, but Johnny felt he needed to defend his era, the 1970s, anyway.

After he defended the 70s, he went on to point out that so many of these young players have a hard time closing. I have to admit, I agree at least a little bit. He went on to say a lot of guys are “winning by mistake almost”. This comment coming just two days after Gary Woodland won the Transitions after his co-leader, Under 30 Webb Simpson made bogy on 18 to miss a playoff.

So, what is it? Why aren’t these young guys winning more?

I think that there are too many great young players and only so many tournaments to go around. This would fly in the face of the argument that the 70s were just as tough as today and I’m fine with that. I don’t think there has ever been a deeper week to week field on the PGA Tour than there is today. The Tiger Effect is in full reverb and the age of the Elite Athlete in Golf has arrived.

What do you think?

Is the talent deeper today than it was in the 70s?

Is the talent so deep we’ll never see a dominant player again?



  1. Jack Lane says:

    I did watch in the 70s and there is no way the fields were as deep then as there are today, no way. These players today are far more advanced than the players I grew up watching. there is no comparison.

  2. I don’t see how anyone could say that the players back then are as good as today. I’m one of those people that still think Miller is a fool.

    • Golf Newz says:

      You’re not he only one Mike! Hard to argue with 18 wins under 30 though, you do have to admit that! Thanks for weighing in.

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