Date of birth: May 27, 1912
Place of birth: Hot Springs, Virginia
Date of death: May 23, 2002
Nickname: Slammin' Sam, or just "Slammer" (because he hit the ball far)
PGA Tour Victories:
(Snead won an estimated 160 professional tournaments in all.)
• Masters: 1949, 1952, 1954
• British Open: 1946
• PGA Championship: 1942, 1949, 1951
Awards and Honors:
• Recipient, PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award
• PGA Tour money leader, 1938, 1949, 1950
• PGA Tour Vardon Trophy winner, 1938, 1949, 1950, 1955
• Member, U.S. Ryder Cup team, 1937, 1947, 1949, 1951, 1953, 1955, 1959
• U.S. Ryder Cup captain, 1951, 1959, 1969
Sam Snead: "If a lot of people gripped a knife and fork the way they do a golf club, they'd starve to death."
Sam Snead: "Thinking instead of acting is the number-one golf disease."
Sam Snead: "Practice puts brains in your muscles."
Tim Finchem: "No one will ever duplicate Sam Snead. No one will ever surpass Sam Snead because he was so unique."
• Snead won 27 times on tour before getting his first major championship title.
Sam Snead Biography:
Snead grew up in backwoods Virginia during the Depression and taught himself to play golf using clubs carved from tree limbs by his father. He never lost sight of his home, returning to Virginia throughout his life.
Snead was an extremely gifted athlete, so gifted that even into his 70s he could still kick the top of a door frame. And although he could rub his fellow pros the wrong way sometimes - Snead could be rude, crude and difficult to deal with - for the public he had a folksy image embellished by his trademark straw hat and homespun wit.
Snead burst onto the PGA Tour in 1937, wowing with long drives that earned him the nickname "Slammin' Sam," and winning five times. The following year he won eight tournaments and the money title.
In 1942, he won his first major at the PGA Championship. He would go on to win the PGA three times total, one British Open, and three Masters (including a memorable 18-hole playoff victory over Ben Hogan in 1954).
In 1950, Snead won 11 times, the last PGA Tour golfer to post double-digit victories in a single season.
While Snead won seven majors, he never could win the U.S. Open, although he finished second four times. In 1939, needing par to win, he scored 8 on the 72nd hole. In 1949, Snead missed a 2 1/2-foot putt on the final playoff hole to lose to Lew Worsham.
His record in eight Ryder Cups was a sterling 10-2-1, and he captained three Ryder Cup teams.
Snead was one of the best "old" golfers ever, remaining competitive into his 60s. At age 62 he finished third in the 1974 PGA Championship; at age 67, he posted rounds of 67 and 66 at the Quad Cities Open. He also won six Senior PGA Championship titles and five World Seniors Championships.
In 1983, at age 71, he shot 60 at his home course, The Homestead.
Sam Snead was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974. His newphew, J.C. Snead, was also a winner on the PGA Tour.