Sam Snead Quotes: A Sampling of the Golfer's Best Sayings

Sam Snead pictured during the 1942 PGA Championship.

Bettmann / Contributor


Sam Snead is one of the giants of golf, a golfer who remained competitive at the highest levels well into his 60s and died as the all-time leader in PGA Tour wins. Here are some quotes from and about Sam Snead.

Quotes From Sam Snead

  • "Thinking instead of acting is the number-one golf disease."
  • "There is an old saying: If a man comes home with sand in his cuffs and cockleburs in his pants, don't ask him what he shot."
  • "The only reason I played golf was so that I could afford to go hunting and fishing."
  • "I always tried to remind myself of the great number of times I would follow a sequence of bad shots with a good one — or even a great one. As as this was a possibility, I reasoned, then why not expect good ones to follow bad ones?"
  • "Practice puts brains in your muscles."
  • "Correct one fault at a time. Concentrate on the one fault you want to overcome."
  • "The two mistakes I see most often from amateurs are lifting up and hitting the equator of the ball, sending it into the next county; or taking a divot of sand large enough to bury a cat."
  • "The mark of a great player is in his ability to come back. The great champions have all come back from defeat."
  • "If a lot of people gripped a knife and fork the way they do a golf club, they'd starve to death."
  • "These greens are so fast I have to hold my putter over the ball and hit it with the shadow."
  • "Nobody asked how you looked, just what you shot."
  • "You will hit the ball farther more frequently when you don't try to hit it far."
  • "The fairways were so narrow you had to walk down them single file."
  • "You can not go into a shop and buy a good game of golf."
  • "There are no short hitters on the tour anymore, just long and unbelievably long."
  • "The three things I fear most in golf are lightning, Ben Hogan, and a downhill putt." (This quote has always and only been attributed to Snead, but later in life Snead disputed that he'd ever said it.)
  • "When I swing at a golf ball right, my mind is blank and my body is loose as a goose."
  • When asked about his swing keys: "I try to feel oily."

Quotes About Sam Snead

  • USGA president William Campbell: "He was the best natural player ever. He had the eye of an eagle, the grace of a leopard and the strength of a lion."
  • PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem: `"No one will ever duplicate Sam Snead. No one will ever surpass Sam Snead because he was so unique."
  • Curtis Strange on Snead's swing: "It was a gift, something you can't teach. His hands looked like they were born to have a golf club in them."
  • Ben Hogan on Snead: "Sam doesn't know a damn thing about the golf swing. But he does it better than anyone else."
  • Jack Nicklaus: "He brought so much to the game with his great swing and the most fluid motion ever to grace a golf course."
  • Phil Mickelson: "I don't think there's ever been a golf swing as aesthetically pleasing as Sam Snead's."
  • Gene Sarazen: "Sam Snead is the only person who came into the game possessing every physical attribute — a sound swing, power, a sturdy physique, and no bad habits."
  • John Schlee, U.S. Open runner-up in 1973: "Watching Sam Snead practice hitting golf balls is like watching a fish practice swimming."