“No one will ever be able to replace Sam Snead,” Tim Fenchem once stated. Because he was so distinctive, no one will ever exceed Sam Snead”; and he was. Sam Snead is known as one of golf’s titans, who stayed competing in gigantic proportions well into his later years, leaving a great legacy in his wake. He won a total of 82 PGA Tour tournaments, including seven majors, setting a new record. In his whole professional career, he won a total of 165 times. He was awarded the Vardon Trophy and the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding accomplishments and achievements in the sport of golf. Snead had never taken a single professional golf instruction or course when he first began out. He began his career as an amateur who was destined for greatness and went on to dominate the sport for over four decades. His ‘fluid, forceful swing’ and straw hat were his signature looks. He’d also go barefoot on the pitch, making him one of the most antiquated but poised players of the twentieth century.
Childhood and Adolescence
Sam Snead was born in Ashwood, Virginia, near Hot Springs, on May 27, 1912. He grew up on a farm in the little town of Ashwood, where he was expected to get into squirrel hunting, which was a Virginia tradition for all rural boys. However, he was drawn to athletics as a child and was an all-around athlete in school, making the football and track teams.
This little child is thought to have played golf with a crooked stick and stones he had collected. At the age of 15, he was hired as a caddy at a Hot Springs golf course not far from his home, which was his first true introduction to the game.
He and his pals would go barefoot to the course and caddy for professional players in order to make a little money. He became addicted to the sport as a result of this. At the age of 19, he served as an assistant pro at ‘The Homestead’ until turning professional in 1934. He joined the PGA Tour two years later and became an instant success.
Career of Sam Snead
He won two golf matches at the Meadow Brook Club in 1936, earning a $10,000 prize. This money assisted him financially as well as allowing him to pursue the sport full-time. He won five events in his first full year on the Tour, including the Oakland Open at Claremont Country Club in California. He competed in the US Pro Tennis Championship the same year, losing to Karel Kozeluh. He won the Greater Greensboro Open the next year.
During World War II, he was conscripted into the US Navy and served as an athletic specialist in San Diego. He was medically discharged from the army after suffering a back ailment. He was promoted to head pro at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, in 1944. He won 11 tournaments six years later, finishing third overall behind Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan.
After the duo’s match finished in a stalemate at the end of regular play at the Jacksonville Open in 1952, he forfeited rather than play against Doug Ford. In December 1959, he competed in a contentious match against Mason Rudolph at the Mid Ocean Club in Bermuda. He lost his match on purpose after realizing he had too many golf clubs in his bag on the 12th hole. At that point, the game was tied. According to the Rules of Golf, a player is limited to 14 clubs, therefore Snead would have been disqualified right away. In 1959, he captained a Ryder Cup team.
He won the Royal Poinciana Plaza Invitational in 1962, making him the only guy to ever win an authorized LPGA Tour event. In the same year, he published ‘The Education of a Golfer,’ his autobiography. He won the Greater Greensboro Open in 1965, making him the oldest player to win a PGA Tour tournament at the time. In 1969, he captained a Ryder Cup squad for the second time. He won the PGA Club Professional at Pinehurst Resort two years later.
In 1973, at the age of 61, he competed in the US Open. The following year, he finished tied for third in the PGA Championship, three shots behind champion Lee Trevino. In 1978, he competed in the ‘Legends of Golf’ competition and won it. He won the ‘Golf Digest Commemorative Pro-Am’ in 1980, which was also his senior victory. He and Don January competed in and won the ‘Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf’ two years later.
He was spotted playing golf at ‘The Homestead’ in Hot Springs, Virginia, in 1983, when he played a round of 60.
In 1997, he played the Old White course at ‘The Greenbrier’ in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, and shot a 78. He was honored for his achievements to golf the following year. He struck the symbolic’starting tee shot’ at the prestigious ‘The Masters’ until 2002. He produced a number of teaching manuals and pieces for golf periodicals in his latter years.
Achievements & Awards
He won the Vardon Trophy four times between 1939 and 1955. He received the PGA Player of the Year Award in 1949. He was the only player to finish in the top ten in at least one major championship in each of the five decades. In 1974, he was inducted into the ‘World Golf Hall of Fame.’ He holds the record for ‘Most PGA Tour Victories’ (82).
He was given the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998.
Personal History and Legacy
Sam Snead was well-known for playing many tournaments barefoot and with his trademark straw hat. In 1940, he married Audrey, and they had two sons, Sam Jr. and Terry. Audrey died in 1990, and the pair remained together.
He died four days before his 90th birthday on May 23, 2002, in Hot Springs, Virginia, as a result of complications from a stroke. In 2009, he was posthumously inducted into the West Virginia Golf Hall of Fame.
Estimated Net Worth
Sam is one of the wealthiest golfers and one of the most popular. Sam Snead’s net worth is estimated to be at $4 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.
‘Keep tight note of your nickels and dimes, keep away from liquor, and never surrender a putt,’ said an American golfer. For his ‘perfect swing’ in golf, this famous professional golfer was affectionately called as ‘Slammin’ Sammy.’