Born in Santa Barbara, CA, he worked and learned to play at La Cumbre Country Club where his father was the Head Golf Professional for 38 years. He played college golf at the University of Southern California (USC) from 1983-1986. Sam was a four year All-American, winning 12 collegiate events and the U.S. Amateur in 1985. He turned pro the Summer of 1986 and qualified for the PGA tour that Fall. Sam played the PGA Tour and Nationwide Tour for 16 years, winning once at the Bank of Boston Classic in 1987. He was inducted into the USC Hall of Fame in 2005. Sam has been a member of the PGA Tour since 1987 and a PGA of America member since 1991.