The first time I went to the Masters, my father told me, “Sit in the bleachers behind the practice area and watch Sam Snead swing.” It was great advice. Sam influenced my swing tremendously over the years, and I would always make it a point to watch him practice when I had the chance. 

One of the best tips I overheard Sam give was to keep the left arm close to the chest during the swing. Don’t let the arm move away from the body. 

Sam always wanted to control his swing with his left side. He believed that pushing the clubhead away from the ball with the left hand and arm—without them “disconnecting” from the body—led to his big turn and silky tempo. 

A favorite key of mine to slow down my swing is to visualize Sam’s swing. He wanted it to feel “oily.” As he got older he worked hard to keep his swing long so his tempo wouldn’t get rushed. His gorgeous swing lasted a long time at a high level. 

I’ve said before that I think every golfer’s television room should include a video of Sam Snead swinging a club. Just watching it will improve your tempo. 

Sam Snead always said: Keep the left arm close to the chest during the swing.