YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


June 11, 1997|LARRY STEWART

A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, played, heard, observed, worn, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here.

What: "Sam Snead: A Swing for a Lifetime" video, the first in a Golf Channel series

Cost: $19.95: (800) 842-7566

The Golf Channel is the best thing that has happened to television since the VCR. Golf on demand 24 hours a days. Is that heaven, or what?

One of the more appealing aspects of the Golf Channel is the instruction offered on shows such as the "Golf Channel Academy." From that show has evolved a series of tapes featuring legendary Sam Snead and renowned teaching professional Jim McLean. "Sam Snead: A Swing for a Lifetime" is the first in the series. Another, "Jim McLean's 8-Step Swing," recently came out as a two-part CD-ROM package ($29.95) and it will be available on video ($19.95) this fall.

You say you already have enough golf videos? But how many do you have that break down Snead's swing, called the greatest ever by such people as Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Tom Watson. Jack Nicklaus says in the tape that, when he was 16, he was competing in a tournament and shot a 146 after two rounds. After the morning round Friday, he played in an exhibition with Snead that afternoon. "I studied his rhythm and the next day went out and shot 64," Nicklaus says. "As far as pretty swing and rhythm go, I don't think anyone matches Sam Snead."

Snead, who turned pro in 1934, scored his first victory in 1936 in the West Virginia PGA. He posted his last PGA Tour victory in 1965 in the Greater Greensboro Open, at 52 years 10 months and 8 days, becoming the oldest player to win a PGA event. In 1977, at 67, he became the first player to shoot his age or better in a PGA tournament, doing it twice with a 67 and a 66 at the Quad Cities Open. In 1986, at 74, he shot a course-record 60 at the Lower Cascades Golf Course in Hot Springs, Va. In 1973, Snead shot a 64 in a tournament at Bel-Air Country Club, still the course record from the blue tees during a competition.

In the video, McLean talks with Snead about what made his swing so great. Also included are 40 minutes of exclusive footage from the Golf Channel's "Profiles of a Pro" on Snead's life. The video runs about 110 minutes.

Los Angeles Times Articles