The annual Sam Snead Festival will be held at The Greenbrier on May 20-22, 2012. This popular event honors the memory, achievements. and sportsmanship of golfing legend and professional Sam Snead who called The Greenbrier home for more than 60 years, acting as the resort’s golf professional emeritus up until his death in 2002.
The event originated in 1948 and has featured such golf greats as Ben Hogan, Bob Hope, Arnold Palmer, and Gary Player. Originally called The Greenbrier Open, it became known as the Sam Snead Festival in 1957 after Sam won the open three years in a row. Events include a welcome reception, practice rounds, players’ reception, awards luncheon, and a gala to celebrate Sam’s 100th birthday.
The 36-hole, Pro-Am tournament will be played on two of The Greenbrier’s championship courses, The Greenbrier and The Old White TPC. Teams consist of a PGA or LPGA club or touring professional and four amateur players. The Greenbrier course was originally designed by Seth Raynor in 1924. In 1977, it was redesigned by Jack Nicklaus. Charles Blair Macdonald designed The Old White TPC course, which opened in 1914. President Woodrow Wilson was one of the first to play its large fairways and challenging greens.
Sam Snead was born in Ashwood, Virginia in 1912. Nicknamed “Slammin’ Sammy” because of his strong, lengthy drives, he was admired by many for his smooth swing. He and his trademark straw hat have graced several covers of Sports Illustrated and Time magazine.
The top golf player in the world for nearly four decades, Sam won a record 82 PGA Tour events and 70 others worldwide. His wins include three Masters, three PGA championships and one British Open. Sam is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Playing golf on The Snead Course is an exclusive benefit to members of The Greenbrier Sporting Club. Designed by Tom Fazio, this par 71 course opened in 2004. It features five sets of tees and a practice range that allows up to 30 golfers at a time. The course has target greens, simulated holes and a short game section with a fairway, green, and bunker shots.