My Five: Favorite Improvised Beginnings

January 26, 2011
Editor's Note: Jaime Diaz compiled this list in January 2011. Another potential candidate could be Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey, who recently captured his first PGA Tour win at the McGladrey Classic.

When 26-year-old rookie Jhonattan Vegas won the Bob Hope Classic, it was the culmination of a golf journey that began when he was a boy hitting rocks with a broomstick in a Venezuelan oil camp. Some of golf's greatest characters have come from similar roots, all of them not coincidentally wizards of shotmaking. Here are my favorite five.
Sam Snead

2. Sam Snead

Snead was 8-years-old when he turned a buggy whip attached to one of his big brother's old wooden heads into his first golf club and began swinging at rocks around his family's cow and chicken farm in Ashwood, Va., hitting one through the window of the local Baptist church during service. He soon graduated to shafts he fashioned out of swamp maple limbs and balls he found caddieing at the Homestead, playing "courses" he improvised in the woods. Snead later said learning in such a way was a key to a sublimely natural style that lasted for decades. "I figured everything out for myself," he said, "and when I finally got my hands on the real things, the regulation stuff seemed like a dream."
AP Photo
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