Originally Posted by mmoan2
I thought I got this posted last night, but I guess not. After two years of golf, I've inevitably come across the "Legend of Moe Norman," the "Greatest Ball Striker Who Ever Lived." I've seen his swing on YouTube in its current incarnation, so it's one of a 60+ year-old man, but I heard that in his heyday he was the most consistent ball striker ever. What's his secret, anyone who knows, and is his swing one worth emulating? His swing now looks bereft of power, but I saw on some infomercial that even as a youth he would "drive one ball after another 250 down the middle of the fairway..." I would love to be 250 in the dead center of every fairway as much as anyone else, but I also want to be able to go at par 5's in 2 once in a while. I think I'd sacrifice 250 95% of the time for 290+ 65% of the time. I also haven't seen any mention of his short game, or even full wedge swings. I'm sure I could form my own conclusions after looking at some film, but I was wondering if any of you experts out there have some thoughts. Thanks.
Here's my take:
Secret? He started with the club shaft on the same plane that he finished at impact. Everything he did was to make this happen as simply as he could. That setup looks funny to many people and is not taught as a conventional swing where the plane of the shaft is lower at setup than it will be at impact.
Power? I'm much longer than I was before Moe and my clubhead speed is faster than my old "conventional" swing. And I'm longer than many 53 year olds. Moe was long as a young man. Not OMG long, but long. This may be as much from hitting the ball pure as it is from clubhead speed. Power comes from clubhead speed delivered at the right place at the right time. I think Moe did this well and even did it as an old man.
Full wedge shots? Even as an older man, he could hit buckets of wedge shots into a tiny space. There is lots of video of his wedge swing. In many respects it is a baby version of the full swing.
Short game? He had very natural abilities and great hand eye coordination. One of his issues was that he was very visual. He would see his target and hit the ball to it -- much like throwing a ball to a basket. If he had a blind shot, he struggled. I think this was part of his Asperger Syndrome (never officially diagnosed). Short game bottom line is although he hit a lot of greens, he could get up and down well when he missed a green. He had a sand wedge with a huge bottom. This was a time of slower greens and this odd wedge allowed him to get out and get the ball rolling. (An idea for a different time.) In his younger days, he did not like to practice putting and would often play without putting (just played counting fairways, GIR and flags hit). But he could putt well enough to set a lot of course records. As he got older, he came to embrace the idea of putting. Even so, his gift to the game is off the green.
Quirks? He had many quirks that his swing better than his game. He played very very fast and could not tolerate slow play that was part of tournament golf even in his day. He had his own sense of justice and fairness which led him to sell his prizes from amateur competitions (watches, radios, and the like.) He was easily distracted into playing to and for the crowd including hitting tee shots off a Coke bottle. In an era when elite and pro golf was more of a club than a profession, Moe did not fit into the club.
Learn to swing like Moe? I recommend it. My friends have seen the results in my game. Still, the pull toward convention has not allowed a single friend switch. This, even as I have passed them all in lowering my handicap to the lowest in my extended group. My son says the setup looks too weird for him to consider it. To me, it looks and feels normal after so many years. If your game is good now, this is a big switch and you are unlikely to embrace any huge swing change to shave one of two strokes off your game or hit one more fairway per round. If your current swing is worthy of a complete do-over, then I recommend starting over with Moe.