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Slammin' Sam Snead

A legend who gave so much to golf

Posted Apr 29, 2011 by Legends

Sam Snead

Slammin’ Sam Snead will forever been remembered with adoration by golf fans for his beautiful swing and his monstrous drives that brought him record numbers of wins. Until his death in 2002 four days short of his 90th birthday, Snead continued to play an active part in the sport, hitting the honorary opening tee shot at The Masters alongside Byron Nelson (until 2001) and Gene Sarazen (until 1999).
His stunning career brought him 82 victories on the PGA Tour and a further 80 worldwide as well as seven major championships. The only one to elude him was the US Open – a competition where he finished as runner-up four times between 1937 and 1949.
However, this stunning record didn’t come from years of dedicated practice on the range, it in fact came from a blessing of natural talent that undoubtedly annoyed several people. Snead, himself, admitted that his approach to golf was a relaxed one but he also pointed to his record that he believed proved that what he was doing worked. And he was right. But the scary thing is how good he could have been had he put the effort in.
Slammin’ Sam has left a legacy within the sport that doesn’t just cover his victories and his talent. He will be remembered for being the first person to shoot a round less than his age when he struck a 67 and a 66 at the 1979 Quad Cities Open when he was 67. He also holds the record for most wins at a single event after eight successes at the Greater Greensboro Open between 1938 and 1965 when he was 52. This last victory made him the oldest player to win a PGA Tour event too.
He is also credited with playing an active role in the creation of the Senior’s Tour two years after his retirement from the professional game in 1979.
This man was truly unique as Tim Finchem, the Commissioner of the PGA Tour, recognised when he said: “No one will ever duplicate Sam Snead. No one will ever surpass Sam Snead because he was so unique.”
And that just about says it all. Sam Snead was a remarkable golfer, a remarkable talent and a remarkable man and he will forever be remembered for everything he gave to a sport that had never encountered anyone like him ever before.

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