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ME AND SAM AND THE "DUDE"
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  ~Sam Snead

Encarta Encyclopedia...
Snead, Sam (1912- ), American professional golfer, who won a record 84 Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) tour events.

He was born in Ashwood, Virginia. In the 1940s and early 1950s Snead won the PGA championship, the Masters tournament, and the British Open championship. He won the United States Professional Golfers' Association (USPGA) Seniors Championship six times in the 1960s and 1970s. Also known as Slammin' Sammy.

Snead was recognized for his sidewinder putting technique, in which he faced the hole and struck the ball with his hand low on the club shaft.

"IT'S NOT HOW...BUT HOW MANY"...Sam Snead

It's now the early sixties and my game is starting to come around and there is quite a few guys around putting "croquet style" I don't feel so foolish.

Sam Snead is having all kinds of problems with the "yips" and yes, resorts to a homemade croquet style putter. He starts winning big again. (WINS PGA BY 16 STROKES PUTTING THIS WAY.)  I feel pretty smart.

Bob Duden, a relatively unknown pro, picked up on the idea and patented the "DUDE". He starts winning. I feel like a genius.

The "DUDE" was a croquet style putter with a shaft that curved slightly back toward you. It was "deadly". They were everywhere. A putter revolution had begun. I am convinced that it would be the conventional way of putting today if a certain traditionalist hadn't cried foul.

Sam tells it this way: The great Bobby Jones was riding around in a cart one day during a PGA tournament with the Commissioner of Golf. Jones saw Sam putting croquet style and exclaimed to the Commissioner... "That has got to go!". And go it went. The USGA promptly ruled it to be unfair in that (while on the green) you could not stand "astride" or "directly behind" your line of putt, and the shaft had to have at least a 1O% angle in relation to the head.
Sam never missed a beat.

He still faced the hole with a regulation blade putter. He put both feet on the left of the line. While holding the top of the grip with the left hand, he held the right hand down the shaft with the palm facing forward. (Called "sidesaddle" today.)

Bob lost his business but continued to putt croquet style when off the green. (Where it is still legal.)

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I was devastated...! I quickly found out what the fuss was all about when I had to start putting like everyone else!

Bitmap ImageHOLE #14 But Everybody Putts This Way