"I wouldn't sell it for a million!" said Snead during his life.1936-53 Sam Snead Tournament Used Driver--Veteran of over 100 Tournament Victories! It's arguably the most significant article of golf memorabilia that exists, the constant, faithful companion of a man whose record of PGA Tour success is unmatched in the history of the sport. If Snead's primary legacy is golf's most prolific winner, his second is the titanic power of his drives, and this is the club that earned him both distinctions. This is, quite simply, the primary tool of Snead's athletic immortality.
In 1993, Snead himself wrote a letter of provenance for the club, signing it at the bottom in 10/10 black ballpoint ink. The text, in its entirety:
"November 12, 1993
In 1936 I was signed with Dunlop, along with Henry Pickard (sic). We were at a tournament on the practice tee when I spotted this driver in Pickard's bag. I took it out and tried it and felt it and really liked it. Pickard said I could have it because it was too big for him. Pickard said that a club maker for Wilson by the name of Gansky made it.
At that time, some of Dunlop's clubs were made by Wilson.
Pickard said that he had paid $5.25 for it. I paid him that amount and took it with me.
I proceeded to win over 100 tournaments, including two Masters, one British Open and two P.G.A. Championships with this driver. I also won many long distance driving contests with it.
A few years after buying the driver, Pickard wanted to buy it back, and I said I wouldn't sell it for a million!
Description: Made by Wilson, name of Sam Snead and Wilson on head, Plain sole plate, dark brown head with black insert, head is cracked in neck with an added screw in the neck, also has an added screw in end of shaft on bottom of head and has lead weight in back of head.
I, Sam Snead, attest that the above-written information is true and accurate.
[signed] Sam Snead."
The multiple fixes and modifications (note that some photos of Snead with the driver exhibit the club with a different sole plate, or the absence of the repair screws) illustrate just how desperately Snead tried to extend the life of his most trusted weapon before finally putting it out to pasture after the victory of the US side in the 1953 Ryder Cup.
A comprehensive list of the tournaments won with the club is provided by Snead's son Jack on two pages of his father's letterhead, a list that begins even before (and includes) his first PGA Tour victory at the 1936 West Virginia Closed Professional and carries on through every event until its 1953 retirement. It bears mentioning that PGA players in the modern game are contracted to utilize the newest model of their equipment sponsors every season, so the tournament victories record set by this Snead driver over the better part of two decades will stand through eternity. Letter of provenance from Sam Snead. Letter of provenance from Jack Snead.
Guide Value or Estimate: $1,000,000 - up.
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