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May 27, 1912: Legendary Golfer Sam Snead Born

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Legendary golfer Sam Snead was born on May 27, 1912, in Ashwood, Virginia. In high school, he excelled at baseball, basketball, football, and tennis but decided to focus on golf. He started teaching the game at The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs in the ’30s and, in 1936, won the first of 17 West Virginia Opens. The next year—his first on the PGA tour—Snead captured five wins. Then, in 1938, he won the first of eight titles at the Greensboro Open. His last victory at Greensboro came at age 52, making him the oldest player ever to win a tour event. He also won seven majors and a total of 82 PGA tournaments, placing him first all time in victories, ahead of “Tiger” Woods and Jack Nicklaus.

For much of his career, Snead was the golf pro at The Greenbrier. He left in 1974 but returned in 1993. During the last decade of his life, he served as The Greenbrier’s golf professional emeritus, delighting guests with his sense of humor and that smooth signature swing. Sam Snead died in 2002, shortly before his 90th birthday.

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