Golf Digest editors picks

The Slammer: Sam Snead

August 2002

Some have said he was the greatest athlete ever to pick up a golf club. Some say he was the greatest player of all time. Some refer to his 81 victories on the PGA Tour, the most ever. Some say his shooting under his age in a PGA Tour event was the most amazing fact (a 66 at age 67). Some might argue it was that he shot 60 at age 71 on the challenging, par-72 Upper Cascades course. It's hard to hang one tag on Sam Snead, but if I had to, I believe it would be "He had the sweetest swing in the history of the game."

In this article you'll see the great moves and perfect positions of The Slammer in a sequence photographed at The Greenbrier and published here for the first time, courtesy of his son Jack. Words can't describe Sam's fluid tempo, his awesome power. For anyone who ever saw him play, you know what I mean. You simply had to see it.

Sam's ageless swing surely speaks for itself, but allow me to point out some of his signature positions, like the famous "sit-down" move shown above. Many of today's tour players study this move. Nobody did it better. Notice also his one-piece takeaway, the powerful coil, how his left wrist, arm and clubface are in line at the top. See how his right arm is in the perfect "throw" position on the way down. Note how his right heel is slightly up at impact, his weight well on his left side. And finally, the classic Sam Snead finish.

There is no telling how many golfers have attempted to copy some or all of Snead's swing action. For sure, the list includes many of the game's greatest modern players.

After all, how can anyone not learn something from the sweetest swing of them all?

Jim McLean collaborated with Snead in making the instruction video, "Sam Snead: A Swing for a Lifetime."


The Sweetest Swing

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