Vijay Singh says Tiger Woods' supremacy will continue to go unchallenged unless players stop admiring the American and get themselves up to his standard.
Singh was the last player to displace Tiger Woods as world number one
Woods, 32, has won six consecutive tournament wins and has talked of completing the season unbeaten.
Singh, preparing for the Johnnie Walker Classic in India, told BBC Sport: "It's up to us to give ourselves a kick up the butt, play well and beat him.
"If you stay back and admire him you're never going to get up there."
Singh added: "That's what is happening with a lot of players."
Singh was the last player to hold the world number one mantle before it was recaptured by Woods in March 2005.
But the Fijian, now ranked 11, intends to set the example by winning the Johnnie Walker Classic, starting on Thursday, makes its Indian debut.
"He's playing incredible golf and there's nothing we can do but play better," Singh told BBC Radio 5 Live golf correspondent Iain Carter.
People talk about the next Tiger Woods but this is a one off, this is a unique individual and we're very lucky to be part of that era
"My goal is to go out there and see if I can beat everybody.
"At the moment, Tiger is doing everything right and even the luck is going his way. When those things are going his way it's very hard to go up against him.
"But golf is a funny game, the ball is round and anything can happen."
Scotland's Colin Montgomerie has compared Woods to the Arsenal team that went through the 2003-04 Premier League season unbeaten and he believes it is possible for Woods to get finish this campaign with a 100% record.
"You talk about the famous Arsenal team that never lost a match but in golf terms so much can happen, so many outside influences can play a part in golf more so than any other sport," he said.
"We're talking a season without losing - and that means winning the grand slam which has never happened before - but who's going to back against him doing that?
"I truly believe that, for the first time, we have the best sportsman in the world playing our game.
"People talk about the next Tiger Woods but this is a one-off, this is a unique individual here and we're very lucky to be part of that era."
America's Byron Nelson won 11 consecutive tournaments in 1945 but Montgomerie insists Woods' achievements eclipse those of his late compatriot.
"You have to remember the competition in 1945, just after the war, was nothing like it is now," he said.
"This is a very, very stiff competition that Tiger Woods is beating week-in week-out.
"These guys from number two to number 10 in the world are no mugs, they are very good indeed and to be beating them on a regular basis by a lot is incredible to witness."