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Moe Norman


jbishop15

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Norman goes crazy about how the golfing world is only teaching "mechanics" when he was the dude who hit a minimum of five hundred balls a day and talked about his swing was the best one on the planet. He also didn't pick up this psychological stuff until he was well into his career, maybe even after it was over. It just reinforces the idea of Tour players as Stupid Monkeys. 

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I have always dismissed Moe Norman.  He may have had the best swing or been the most accurate ball striker of all time.  Ultimately, he is a footnote to golfing history because he was an unstable person.

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39 minutes ago, bkuehn1952 said:

I have always dismissed Moe Norman.  He may have had the best swing or been the most accurate ball striker of all time.  Ultimately, he is a footnote to golfing history because he was an unstable person.

Personally, I wouldn't go that far. For me it's just the hypocrisy of the thing. Like, I'm sure he is super-confident standing over a golf ball, because he's hit thousands of them. It's real easy to believe that every shot will go straight when, you know, you've hit thousands of balls that way. 

Kuykendall is the worst of all in this video, though. Dude is 100% about teaching mechanics, just the mechanics that he can make money of off. 

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40 minutes ago, jbishop15 said:

It's real easy to believe that every shot will go straight when, you know, you've hit thousands of balls that way. 

I agree with this.

In Rotella's book Golf is Not a Game of Perfect, he talks about how important it is to be confident. I understand that if we're down or P.O.'d, we're not going to play as well. Just as being focused and having less swing thoughts is beneficial. But it's not a "mind over matter" thing either.

You either have a good swing or you don't.

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14 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

I agree with this.

In Rotella's book Golf is Not a Game of Perfect, he talks about how important it is to be confident. I understand that if we're down or P.O.'d, we're not going to play as well. Just as being focused and having less swing thoughts is beneficial. But it's not a "mind over matter" thing either.

You either have a good swing or you don't.

Exactly. People like to point to players like Bubba Watson and Jim Furyk of examples of not needing a "good" swing to win tournaments; but the fact of the matter is, they do have good swings, because they hit all five keys. 

Tiger, too; they claim that Tiger was at his best because of his mental game. But that totally leaves out the fact that nobody has ever outworked him. Dude would practice from 6 AM to 8 PM. He worked his ass off and was in both peak physical and game-play form every single time. Him being mentally strong was as much about him knowing that he had worked the hardest than it was about some mystical mental strength. 

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What I find funny about the whole Moe Norman phenomena is that he's the epitome of "stupid monkey" yet he attracts some of the worst amateur over analyzers and swing tinkers around. Them and the contrarians who seek the unconventional for sake of being unconventional.

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I don't model my swing on Moe, but you can't dismiss that tour pros found his consistency impressive. He was eccentric rather than unstable - possibly on the autistic spectrum.

His massive body of experience hitting balls taught him some ways to be most efficient and repeatable with his swing and his body. He wasn't only a stupid monkey - he evolved to that point. He played around with what was considered 'orthodox' and found ideas or approaches that worked for him and then built a swing (and heavy clubs) that worked like clockwork around those intents.

Edited by natureboy
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9 minutes ago, natureboy said:

I don't model my swing on Moe, but you can't dismiss that tour pros found his consistency impressive. He was eccentric rather than unstable - possibly on the autistic spectrum.

His massive body of experience hitting balls taught him some ways to be most efficient and repeatable with his swing and his body. He wasn't only a stupid monkey - he evolved to that point. He played around with what was considered 'orthodox' and found ideas or approaches that worked for him and then built a swing (and heavy clubs) that worked like clockwork around those intents.

I agree. I don't want this to come off as a dismissive towards his skills or golf career; dude was an incredible ball striker, and one of the under appreciated players of the last 100 years. 

My complaints lie more with this idea that "mechanics" are bad. Hitting a minimum of 500 balls a day, experimenting with grip & clubhead placement in the setup, and passing a clubhead over a quarter to get the feeling of dragging the club away; all of those things are mechanics. 

Golf has a large mental component, but the snake oil that people like Kuykendall sells upsets me. 

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Sometimes we just need to accept that something is naturally good and simply can't be replicated or taught. Cindy Crawford has great genetics. All that garbage about "how she stays beautiful" is just that, garbage. Super star body builders work very hard but it doesn't mean "you too can be ripped." Some people just have a gift and it becomes a marketing bonanza for others to think they can achieve this gift that is innate for those people and unattainable to the others. Moe Norman is in this category. He held no secret, no magic moves, nothing. He could just strike the ball very pure almost every swing. Enjoy it, take wonder....and leave it at that.

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14 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Sometimes we just need to accept that something is naturally good and simply can't be replicated or taught. Cindy Crawford has great genetics. All that garbage about "how she stays beautiful" is just that, garbage. Super star body builders work very hard but it doesn't mean "you too can be ripped." Some people just have a gift and it becomes a marketing bonanza for others to think they can achieve this gift that is innate for those people and unattainable to the others. Moe Norman is in this category. He held no secret, no magic moves, nothing. He could just strike the ball very pure almost every swing. Enjoy it, take wonder....and leave it at that.

I agree that Moe had innate talent (possibly one of the most significant was detailed focus related to his autistic makeup). Even though his approach is unlikely to be 'magical', that doesn't mean his mechanics and approach are meaningless either. His approach created a pretty simple swing mechanically (and possibly on 'feels') that may have been essential to its repeating consistency.

This series of videos from a PGA summit presentation is a bit more balanced in looking at his approach to the golf swing:

 

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People don't seem to get that Moe's swing was pretty darn normal for the bulk of his life up until he was getting pretty old. He was talked into the thicker grips, and the more palmy grip, for example. Later in life. His swing when he was trying to play the PGA Tour (a little) was pretty typical of everyone else's swing.

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19 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Sometimes we just need to accept that something is naturally good and simply can't be replicated or taught. Cindy Crawford has great genetics. All that garbage about "how she stays beautiful" is just that, garbage. Super star body builders work very hard but it doesn't mean "you too can be ripped." Some people just have a gift and it becomes a marketing bonanza for others to think they can achieve this gift that is innate for those people and unattainable to the others. Moe Norman is in this category. He held no secret, no magic moves, nothing. He could just strike the ball very pure almost every swing. Enjoy it, take wonder....and leave it at that.

I agree that some people have more effective genetics, but I don't agree that it's innate. I don't believe in the concept of talent, or that someone was born to do something. I fall into the camp of 'anything is possible'. 

There's too many variables that go into being good at something for me to believe in talent. 

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24 minutes ago, jbishop15 said:

There's too many variables that go into being good at something for me to believe in talent. 

This isn't the thread for it, but… you're dead freaking wrong. Some people are more athletically inclined than others.

There are many topics available on this.

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7 minutes ago, iacas said:

This isn't the thread for it, but… you're dead freaking wrong. Some people are more athletically inclined than others.

There are many topics available on this.

I don't call natural athleticism 'talent', though. I'm talking about the innate stuff that people call talent. 

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15 minutes ago, jbishop15 said:

I don't call natural athleticism 'talent', though. I'm talking about the innate stuff that people call talent. 

Post in one of the topics on this if you'd like, because I still disagree.

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22 hours ago, iacas said:

People don't seem to get that Moe's swing was pretty darn normal for the bulk of his life up until he was getting pretty old. He was talked into the thicker grips, and the more palmy grip, for example. Later in life. His swing when he was trying to play the PGA Tour (a little) was pretty typical of everyone else's swing.

I partly agree that he made changes. But his basic setup and swing were pretty different from what was and still is 'orthodox'. Early footage is grainy, but I still see a palmier right hand than a 'typical' fingers grip and this impact pic clearly shows he had the high hands and extended arms (shaft pointing to chest) at address / through impact early on.

 

moe10.gif

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I don't think so. I'm basing this off:

This doesn't look like a palmy right-hand grip to me:

Moe.thumb.jpg.53ba4a17f37da08636185b67aa

There's still a pretty good angle between the shaft and his forearm, and his left hand isn't palmy. The right frame just shows how typical his follow-through looked. You can see a little bit of the "Natural Swing Moe" in that one, but it's closer to a "conventional" swing for the time.

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