(Editor’s note: In honor of Sam Snead, whose longtime golf home was The Greenbrier, site of this week’s Greenbrier Classic, I bring you the following from the ARMCHAIR GOLF archives.)
These are real quotes and comments. The questions are made up. Welcome to the ARMCHAIR GOLF roundtable.
At the roundtable:
Sam Snead – 82 PGA Tour wins, 7 majors
Ben Hogan – 64 PGA Tour wins, 9 majors
Byron Nelson – 52 PGA Tour wins, 5 majors
Q: Gentlemen, welcome. Ben, let’s start with you. After all the rounds and practice sessions, tell us something you have learned about this game.
BEN HOGAN: Golf is not a game of good shots. It’s a game of bad shots.
Q: Byron, how about you? What about the game comes to mind?
BYRON NELSON: Golf is a lot like life. When you make a decision, stick with it.
SAM SNEAD: Playing golf is like eating.
SAM SNEAD: It’s something that has to come naturally.
Q: Ben, it didn’t come naturally for you. You constantly worked at your game.
BEN HOGAN: Very few times in my life I laid off two to three days. It seemed like it took me a month to three months to get back those three days when I took a rest. It’s a tough situation. I had to practice all the time.
Q: Byron, were you a natural like Sam or did you have to work hard on your swing?
SAM SNEAD: When I swing at a golf ball right, my mind is blank and my body is loose as a goose.
Q: Uh, thanks, Sam. Byron, any swing secret?
BYRON NELSON: Swing the club as though you were driving 60 miles an hour on the freeway. Not too fast, but not deathly slow. Once in a while, if the risk isn’t great, you can push your swing to 70, but never go faster than that.
Q: Ben, it’s well known that putting was not your favorite part of the game.
BEN HOGAN: There shouldn’t be any cups, just flagsticks. And then the man who hit the most fairways and greens and got the closest to the pins would be the tournament winner.
Q: Sam, are you with Ben on this?
SAM SNEAD: I shot a wild elephant in Africa thirty yards from me, and it didn’t hit the ground until it was right at my feet. I wasn’t a bit scared. But a four-foot putt scares me to death.
Q: How about you, Byron?
BYRON NELSON: Putting affects the nerves more than anything. I would actually get nauseated over three-footers.
Q: You all had humble beginnings. Talk about that.
SAM SNEAD: People think growing up in the hills was a handicap I had to overcome. In a lot of ways it gave me an advantage that has lasted me to this day. Just like with that stick, I’d have to overcompensate for just about everything.
Q: Anybody else?
LEE TREVINO: My family was so poor they couldn’t afford any kids. The lady next door had me.
Q: Lee? I didn’t see you come in. Any final thoughts, gentlemen?
SAM SNEAD: The only reason I ever played golf in the first place was so I could afford to hunt and fish.
BYRON NELSON: I tried to give my best to golf.
BEN HOGAN: Don’t ever get old.
LEE TREVINO: The older I get, the better I used to be!
Q: Thanks to all of you.
−The Armchair Golfer
(Source: The Gigantic Book of Golf Quotations, published by Skyhorse Publishing.)