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The Gemini Golfer

The GEMINI Golf Legend: Sam Snead

  • Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame – 1974
  • Major Championship Victories: 7
  • Masters: 1949, 1952, 1954
  • British Open: 1946
  • PGA: 1942, 1949, 1951
  • PGA TOUR Victories: 81

Samuel Jackson Snead was born on May 27, 1912 in Ashwood, Virginia, the youngest of five brothers. Growing up on the family farm Snead became enamored with golf while watching his brother Homer hit balls into the cow pasture. Fashioning clubs out of swamp maple limbs and using balls he had picked up caddying at the nearby Homestead Hotel Golf Course, Snead soon discovered his calling. He got his first assistant pro job at 19 at the Homestead, moved to the Greenbriar as the pro in 1935 and in 1936 joined the PGA TOUR.

Sam SneadTremendously long off the tee and a creative shotmaker, Snead took the TOUR by storm. He won four times in 1937, and eight times in 1938. Long limbed and graceful, Snead was a gifted athlete and even into his 70’s could-- from a standstill-- kick the top of a seven foot doorway. Once during a discussion of his swing mechanics, Snead said simply, “I try to feel oily.”

In 1939, Snead had even greater success on TOUR but that year also began for him a frustrating quest to win the U.S. Open when in contention on Sunday. Thinking he needed a birdie to win on the 72nd hole in the 1939 Open he carded an eight to finish in a tie for 5th when a par would have won it. He would go on to finish 2nd in the U.S. Open a total of four times, once when he missed a 30- inch putt on the final green of a playoff with Lew Worsham in 1947. This was a tournament he would never be able to add to his growing and impressive resume.

Still, Snead won three Masters, three PGA’s and the British Open. He led the money list three times, won the Vardon Trophy four times, and played on seven Ryder Cup Teams. Snead’s final major championship may have been his most memorable. At the 1954 Masters he found himself tied with Ben Hogan after 72 holes and went on to defeat Hogan in a playoff by one shot.


Also see: Gifts for the GEMINI Golfer

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His longevity as a player is well documented and he became the oldest winner of a PGA TOUR event when he won the Greater Greensboro Open for the eighth time at the age of 52 years, 10 months. He was fourth at the PGA Championship at the age of 60 in 1972 and third in 1974 at the age of 62.

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