The Legend of ‘Snead’s Crotch’ in Kane County, IL
- Editor’s Note: The renowned “Snead’s Crotch” tree at the Rich Harvest Farms golf course in Sugar Grove had to be removed, but its legend lives on. This is a re-post of an article by Rich Harvest Farms owner Jerry Rich in his “Jerry’s Drive” e-newsletter. Click this link to subscribe to “Jerry’s Drive.”
Ask me who the greatest golfer who ever lived was, and I will tell you without any hesitation: Sam Snead. He has records I don’t believe will ever be broken, from having the most PGA Tour victories to being the youngest golfer to shoot his age (or below) at an official PGA Tour event.
But beyond admiring him for his great golfing acumen, I also had the honor and privilege of calling him friend.
I met Sam at Pine Tree Golf Club down in Florida in the winter of 1983, right after my wife, Betty, and I became members. He asked me to be a part of his foursome, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Over the next two decades, I played hundreds of rounds of golf with Sam, including some at Rich Harvest Farms. Sam considered Rich Harvest Farms to be one of his favorite courses, right behind Pinehurst No. 2, and played it a week straight every year for 12 years.
It was always a delight to have Sam out to Rich Harvest Farms and he quickly became a member. Even after his passing in 2002, his fingerprints can still be seen all over, from the cottage in the Harvest Lodge that bears his name to the name I settled on for #3 Gold: Snead’s Crotch.
It’s a funny name for a hole, but one of my favorite memories of Sam. We were playing #3 Gold, back before it had a name, and Sam was getting ready to drive the ball.
“Where should I hit this, Jerry?” he asked me.
Thinking I would be funny, I pointed to a large white oak in the middle of the fairway. “Right at the base of that tree!” I said.
Sam proceeded to hit the ball right into the crotch of the tree, backhanded it out, and made par on the hole.
To this day, I have never seen anything like it. I even made a plaque to commemorate the feat and placed it at the bottom of the tree, which you can see in the picture above.
The tree, sadly, had to be removed, but the wood has been used to make a bench that’s been placed by the #3 Gold tee box. I invite you to take a seat on it and remember Sam, both as an amazing golfer, and a friend of Rich Harvest Farms!
If you want to know more about Sam, I highly recommend Al Barkow’s biography of him, “Sam: The One and Only Sam Snead.”
- FEATURE PHOTO CAPTION: The “Snead’s Crotch” tree is at right in the feature photo. (CREDIT: Rich Harvest Farms)
About Rich Harvest Farms
Consistently ranked in Golf Digest’s America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses, Rich Harvest Farms is an ultra-private, members-only club located in Sugar Grove, IL. Owned and built by Jerry Rich, the course consists of 18 holes and is a 1,820-acre showcase of nature and agriculture. Rich Harvest Farms hosted the prestigious 2009 LPGA Solheim Cup, 2015 Palmer Cup, and the 2015 Western Amateur and the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships.
For more information visit www.richharvestfarms.com and follow Rich Harvest Farms on Twitter, @RHFTournaments.