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Sam Snead ;An Irv Schloss high-speed film of a three quarter wedge swing.

Perfect swing mechanics.

A film taken by Irv Schloss in 1965:

Few swings have survived the "old school" jibe better than Sam Snead. Spanning an active period of six decades the Snead swing remained at the top of everyone`s list as the most beautiful golf movement of them all. While a silky smooth rhythm and clockwork tempo were the most stunning aspects of Snead`s action, his flawless mechanics have also stood the test of time, and even today you will not find better. This wedge swing, using a three-quarter length arc, demonstrates the most important qualities we all strive to achieve.

A tall set-up provides the body with the necessary space to both turn and swing the arms. He also has a good arm-body connection, making sure his upper arms are "grooved" to his torso (a light contact is enough). This "connection" will be maintained throughout the whole swing. At no time will his arms race forward and leave his body behind, or vice versa. Snead`s perfect center will ensure he can repeat this exemplary model of synchronization on every shot. By staying on center and keeping his arms in contact with the torso Snead finds the perfect plane. Two new phrases that have entered golf in the last ten years can also be seen in the Snead swing. Covering the ball: Snead transfers his weight to the left while turning his body in complete unity. The result is his big muscles are being used to their maximum effect as he strikes down on the ball. The ground resists but cannot hinder the continuous momentum of his motion. There are no upward forces from the body as his torso just continues to turn on its set axis. At the same time, the hands and arms provide the leverage and force while the left arm simultaneously counter-winds against the ball, and beyond. Exit path: As can be seen in the first film Snead continues the swing to the left, with the shaft coming out over the left shoulder until the spine starts to straighten up.

Fortunately for us, Irv Schloss recorded the players of his day like Snead in this detail. Nobody in those days was doing such high-quality work, and working so hard to leave information that could be used for future generations.




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4 Comments


Ira Schloss was really a man before his time, and Sam Sneads swing was a swing for all time!

What interests me most is the footwork, the rolling of the ankles seems not to be taught anymore.

In any case, many, many thanks for posting these gems.....and if you happen to come across Peter Thompsons swing.....

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Replying to

Hi Justin, not sure why I`ve only just seen this. Quick comment to Sam Snead, I think I might have mentioned it in the article- Snead played his early golf often without shoes on- explaining the bandy-leg action, and of course footwork.

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John Mule'
John Mule'
Jul 31, 2023

Really regret that I never had the chance to watch Sam play in person. I remember an interview done by ABC with Peter Thomson where the interviewer asked Mr. Thomson which was his favorite swing out of Hogan, Snead, and Nelson...he didn't hesitate to say it was Snead "by a mile".

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Replying to

Great to here from you again John. Bernard Cooke always said that Snead had the best swing while Hogan had the best mechanics. I always regret not filming and chatting with Sam in his later age when I met him on the range at Boca Raton.

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