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WSJ: Moe Norman: Golf's Greatest Ball Striker?

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He won the 1955 Canadian Amateur championship, and earned an invitation to the Masters the following spring. Norman upset some club members there by hitting iron shots off the practice green. After the second round—there was no 36-hole cut yet—Moe was hitting balls on the range when Sam Snead offered some swing advice. Moe spent hours trying to incorporate Snead's suggestions, a marathon practice session that left his hands bloody and so raw that he could only complete nine holes the next day before withdrawing from the tournament. He got a second chance at Augusta the following year after winning another Canadian Amateur (he won 17 of 21 amateur tournaments that summer), but missed the newly installed cut by a stroke.

That's Crenshaw, Couples, Nick Price and Faldo looking on:


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My swing is similar to Mo Norman's, and he inspired me to change everything. Before I had a very "wrist-rotaty" swing, and I felt like I was trying to flip the clubhead through the ball and time it perfectly.

About 2 months ago I switched to the "Mo Norman grip" with your back hand under the club holding it in the lifeline. I like it for a few reasons. 1For one, I am able to eliminate all the wrist rotation movement. That was really causing me to spray the ball all over, and even my good shots were a few feet left or right at best. With this grip it's much easier to have the clubface square at impact, hence straight shots for me - not just straighter in general, but way fewer "really bad misses".

Another reason I like it is because of how it affects the way your wrists bend. Many vardon grip players have a real scoopy motion at the bottom of the swing. Among other things, this can really increase the chance of hitting thin.With the Mo grip I find it really hard to "over release" the hinge on the downswing so my hand never fall into the bad behind-the-ball position.

Another thing that has helped me is swinging "at the target". In Mo's videos he makes fun of other golfers, "When they are swinging where to their clubs end up? Around their backs. I want the ball to go to the target,I swing at the target. They swing around the golf course. Their club swing points right into the trees. So where does their ball go? Rightinto the trees!" When my follow through is finished I try to have my chest hands and clubhead all in a line pointing at the target, and well, a whole lot of the time it goes to the target!

I do feel like sometimes on my driver I come through on an out-to-in path that puts sort of an unwanted fade on the ball, but it's nowhere near as bad as when I wasn't using this grip.


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Jack says he was the best. That's good enough for me.

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