Sam Snead: This is how to get more ‘firepower’ in your golf swing

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Welcome to Play Smart, a new game-improvement column that drops at noon (ET) every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from Director of Game Improvement content Luke Kerr-Dineen to help you play smarter, better golf.

I’ve been on a Sam Snead kick recently because, after all, once you get a fresh look at that silky smooth golf swing, how could you not fall in love with it? And so, in addition to his 82 PGA Tour wins, seven major championships, four Vardon Trophies and Hall-of-Fame induction, I decided to hand him the high honor of making him the focus of back-to-back Play Smart columns, the first time such a feat has been accomplished.

So congratulations, Mr. Snead. If you’re looking for the article I published earlier this week, it’s right here. If you’ve already read it and/or are more interested in this one, just keep scrolling!

While the previous post featured a rarely seen video from the 1960s, this one jumps forward into the ’90s, when Snead sat down with GOLF Hall of Fame Teacher Jim McLean for a fascinating chat about the golf swing on the Golf Channel. More than anything else, what stood out to me was how innovative and far ahead of his time McLean and Snead were, especially when the pair start talking about using your backswing to add more power.

1. Keep weight on the inside of your trail foot

Snead starts by explaining a swing feeling that has become an important part of teaching nowadays, as teachers use state-of-the-art technology to track how golfers use ground reaction forces during their swing. Snead says that on your backswing you want to make sure your weight remains on the instep of your trail foot. If you let it slide on the backswing, and your weight drifts outside your trail foot, you’ll never be able to move it all the way back in time. You won’t like the results.

“If you slide over [your trail leg], you’ll spin out almost every time,” Snead says as he talks about turning around the inside of your trail leg. “That gave me more firepower in pulling down as you can really turn. You watch all your big-hitters, that’s where they are.”

2. Turn, turn, turn

And once you do that, all Snead wants you to do next is turn. Turn, turn, turn, as much as you can. Remember, don’t slide — keep that weight insight your trail foot — but TURN.

“I got everything behind it,” Snead says. “My left heel came up and my shoulder came past my chin.”

Snead goes on to say that it’s easier when you’re young, but no matter what age you are, turning around your trail leg will help power-up your swing.

You can watch the full video below:


Luke Kerr-Dineen Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and In his role he oversees the brand’s game improvement content spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.