More Modern Swing Stuff… The “Snead Squat”

I have been hearing for years upon years that to swing with power, you want to “emulate Sam Snead’ssquat,'” whatever that is supposed to mean.

I still hear it on TV and read it online.

I can show you below that the the half-way down position in just about any swing, good or bad, has the “squat” aspect to it, and it has nothing to do with Sam Snead.

By the way, Sam Snead was a Classic Golf Swing player from a bygone era, the only one with more credited wins on the PGA Tour than Tiger Woods, is the oldest ever to have won a Tour event, and was called “Slammin’ Sammy” because he could smash over 300 yard drives with persimmon and balata.

So, I don’t know what the Modern Golf Swing obsession with Snead is about, because the Modern swing is nothing like Snead’s swing, as he swung with free hip rotation and a free lifting leading heel to get his power, the polar opposite of Modern convention:

So, if you’re not going to tell people to emulate the most effective part of Snead’s swing, which was the full and free hip pivot… it doesn’t matter what you’re telling anyone about his swing.

Now, look below at two different “bad” swingers, by which I mean from swings I found on Youtube that would not be playing professional golf anytime soon, and tell me they don’t both have “squat” positions halfway down:

In fact, other than difference in dress, not much to differentiate the two, is there?

Down to the direction of the “lean” with the legs, the flared feet and the knees point slightly outward… pretty much the same, in fact it could be the same person on different days wearing different clothes, right?

But guess what?

The first frame is actually of Sam Snead’s half-way down “squat,” as he swings like this:

And you’ll notice that even Snead had a swing flaw (at least at this point in his life), where he didn’t release the right foot and so had to let his leading foot twist on the heel on the finish.

But let’s look at the other swinger whose “squat” looks identical to Snead’s:

To be honest, I have yet to see a golf swing that didn’t have the “squat” in it on the down swing, because all it is, is the point at which you are transferring weight from the trailing to the leading leg.

That doesn’t mean you’re going to swing with power, or precision, or anything other than that you’re transferring your weight from the top of the back swing into the down… no more, no less.

I wrote about this years ago, even posting a pic of my own “squat” back in 2012 on the DJWattsGolf blog:

Here’s what I had to say, taken from the archived posting back in May of 2012 even back then, and I’ve bolded the parts that I’m repeating today, really:

There is a move in the golf swing that instructors talk about a lot in some legendary players, the “squat” into the transition from the top of the back swing to the down swing weight shift.

Sam Snead is often pointed to as an example of how that squat made his swing so powerful.

It’s not so much a squat, really, as much as it is simply the left side of the body moving toward the target to establish the base for the shifting weight to the left side, and anyone who has a powerful swing is sure to have this action in his/her swing, whatever style they swing…

…The key to the squat move is that it doesn’t cause the weight shift, rather it shows the weight transfer is occurring, and this gives one a solid base upon which to plant that weight to the left leg and really leverage the down swing swing to go after the ball.

I did say that it was present in “powerful swings,” whereas today I’d say it is in virtually every swing with a weight shift to the leading foot (whether proper or incomplete as seen below).

So, this whole business of talking about Sam Snead’s “squat” has no value in describing or teaching anything about the swing.  Everyone does it, bad or good, and as you can see above, you can have identical squat positions in two completely different skill levels and power levels of a golf swing.

But you’ll hear all manner of people talking about it, and some will even say that the “squat” is a method of “using the ground” so that the swinger can “jump” back up through impact “using the ground” to do so.

As you can see above, Slammin’ Sammy did no such thing, but he still had the squat.

This just another example (like the “using the ground” babble you get when analysts are looking at swings and seeing this below and have to justify why one of the world’s top players isn’t getting onto his leading foot properly), of Modern Golf Swing convention having to have something about which to talk to sound like it’s a proper method of swinging:

So once again, everyone “uses the ground” if they’re standing on it to swing, and the squat has nothing to do with anything other than a transfer of weight from the trailing to the leading foot, and so all of the “squat” drills and training that one may suggest are not going to make you swing any better.


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2 thoughts on “More Modern Swing Stuff… The “Snead Squat”

    1. D Watts Post author

      I guess that would work… I must be extremely fortunate in never having had that particular “necessity” arise during a round 😉

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