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About the Author

Al Barkow is a veteran golf reporter and recipient of the 2005 PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism. He lives in Albany, California.


Sam Snead was a much more complicated personality than he was often portrayed during his lifetime, and Al Barkow digs deep in an attempt to reveal the true man. -- Bill Fields, Senior Editor, Golf World Magazine, golf journalist and editor for Golf World Magazine
This book provides considerable insight into the many sides of one of the greatest golfers in history. Barkow does a fine job writing about Sam Snead the golfer. But he does an even better one writing about Sam Snead the person. -- Dr. John Wagner, President, Pacific Coast Golf Association
Sam Snead had character, and was a character, and this book allows you to see both. And there are a fair number of great golf tips and tournament and exhibition stories sprinkled throughout. * Armchair Interviews *
Only a legend could capture the legendary Samuel Jackson Snead, and Al Barkow did it. Snead caught fish with his hands, Barkow caught Snead with his fingertips. An absolute keeper. -- Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated, author of To the Linksland
I've been a fan of Al Barkow since reading Golf's Golden Grind in college 35 years ago. He's one of the game's best story tellers and historians....Snead and Barkow are two of the greats. -- Jerry Tarde, editor-in-chief, Golf Digest
In this insightful biography of a legend and one of golf's true characters, Al Barkow brings Sam Snead to life in a way only someone who knows the game and is fascinated by human nature can do. He hits a Grand Slam in this look at Slammin' Sammy Snead. -- Lorne Rubenstein, author, A Season in Dornoch * The Globe and Mail, (Canada) *
I was always a great admirer of Sam Snead's game. The first time I played with this golf legend I spent days trying to emulate his simple, silky-smooth, almost-effortless swing. But I think you will find in this biography by Al Barkow that the man behind the simple swing was more complex than most of the public knew. -- Jack Nicklaus
Al Barkow is golf's greatest historian. He proves it once again with this wonderful read about Sam Snead, a complex and fascinating character. Barkow gets it right: Sam was larger than life and a common man wrapped up in one compelling package. -- Peter Kessler, Making the Turn, Sirius XM Satellite Radio
From his definitive book on the golden era of golf, Gettin' to the Dance Floor, Al Barkow has taken his Snead chapter and layered the story of this American folk hero with reporting and perspective that no golf writer of this generation possibly can. -- Tim Rosaforte, Golf World, NBC, Golf Channel
Sam Snead is golf's folk hero, ethereal and earthy all at once. Al Barkow understands both aspects and brings humanity to the most misunderstood of the great champions. -- Jaime Diaz, senior writer, Golf Digest
Few people have seen, heard, spoken and written as much about golf and golfers as Al Barkow, and no one is better-suited to the task of presenting such a thoroughly humanizing treatment of the incomparable Sam Snead. With a keen eye for detail and first-hand acquaintance with his subject, Barkow brings the real Snead to life by revealing the character behind the caricatures. -- Larry Dorman * The New York Times *
...[C]ould be the best golf star biography ever. Tremendously well researched, beautifully written, amazingly complete, superbly organized, honest as necessary in the tough parts but always with an underlying warmth for the man. -- Ken Bowden
Some years ago, the one and only Barkow, a grand continuing presence among golfing scribes, filtered the Snead myth and caricature through his experienced typewriter and out of it came a rich illustrated biography smart and thorough enough to let Snead stand on his own two limber legs. Scrape the facade from the Slammer and there's real gold underneath in the wealth of human nature that Barkow reveals through new reporting and his own long memory and insight. Sadly, Sam disappeared shortly after publication, a calamity happily rectified with a new edition designed more to be read than looked at. --
Looking behind the exterior of the hall of famer, Al Barkow tells his story like never before. Sam is a fine addition to any golf history collection.

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