Dustin Johnson tomorrow. To quote Keith Jackson, “Whoa Nellie!!!!”
I want to warn all of you. This article is going to sound like a scathing criticism of Moe Norman’s golf swing and his ability to play golf. Not true. Moe’s swing worked for him and he is possibly the straightest hitter ever to play the game. My scathing tone is directed at the marketing of systems and copying other people’s golf swings.
A few anecdotes about Moe Norman. In case some of you don’t know some of the legends, here are a few. First, he often ends sentences by saying things twice. “Perfect shot every time, every time.”
He once walked off the course at Augusta during the Masters because the play was too slow.
During an exhibition with Sam Snead, they came to a hole with a creek at 235. Snead layed up with an iron and told Moe he should do the same when Moe had pulled out his driver.
“Bridge is bigger than the ball, bigger then the ball.”
Moe then proceeded to drive the ball across the bridge. I played with a guy once who claimed to have been there when it happened.
I heard the same day he played the second 9 backwards and shot par. In other words, hit wedge off the tee and driver to the green. 5 iron off the tee and driver to the green…and so on.
Please post any more stories you have heard, as there are so many.
Anyway, on his swing. Moe was a great ball striker, maybe the straightest of all time, if you believe the legends. I will be the first one to say. Moe’s golf swing is terrible. I will repeat my mantra for this run of videos.
Golf swings don’t make great players. My comments about all of these swings have nothing to do with any of these players’ ability to be among the best in the world.
I will say it again, because it goes to my entire point about the golf media and the selling of systems, books and DVD’s. Moe’s golf swing is terrible…for anyone but Moe to use. For Moe, it was poetry in motion. Everyone I have seen try to copy Moe’s swing as a disciple of natural golf is poultry in motion.
I know, I am nuts, we have already established that and it’s ironic that Moe was a little nuts himself. Actually, since we are being brutally honest, Moe was crazy by all accounts and so is anyone who teaches people to swing like this.
Unless you are a short squatty guy who plans on hitting literally millions of balls on the range, this swing is not something you want to copy. Did Moe hit the ball straighter than me? Yes. Did he hit it straighter than anyone who every played? Possibly, but not because his swing was some revelation what we should all copy.
Moe is proof positive that “feel is not real.” He himself talks about how there is no hand rotation in his swing, but there is massive hand rotation at the bottom and after impact. More than any great player who ever played the game. Why? Because Moe has little to no lower body rotation, which is what almost every great player has used to square the club.
Moe basically takes it away and just throws his hands at it and the evidence is that his club is over rotated after impact. His lower body is in the same place as it was at address which is why he has to use only his hands to square it. Your hands and forearms do rotate to square the club, but in sync with your turn.
His entire setup of wide stance, straight knees and ball far enough away so his arms can make a straight line with the shaft, is all directed at limiting his body’s ability to turn so he can just throw his hands at it and square the club.
Standing that far away, all you can do is whip it too far inside like he does. Then to get the club back on plane, he reroutes his hands over the top and holds the angle which gets the club back underneath the plane and he massively rotates the face with his hands just before impact to square it. So he goes from inside, to over the top, to underneath, to square. That is a lot of manipulation and timing required. Thus the 4 million balls he hit. 🙂
There is so much late club rotation with the hands, he can’t possibly keep his hands in front of his chest and that is why they exit so high.
I am really tired of people inventing teaching systems based on a unique move that is the exception. Hogan is another example of this. There is a reason why Hogan and Norman were so great. It wasn’t because of any of the false feels that either of them had, spoke about at length and people designed swing systems around. They were great because they practiced their butts off and learned to time a move that felt good to them.
Trevino bowed his left wrist and played a controlled slice and was the only great to do that. I know no one wants to play a slice. Nicklaus had a flying right elbow and Gary Player often stepped his right foot over his left after impact. They were the only all time greats who did those things. So I guess we should all bow our left wrists, fly our right elbows and after impact, step our right foot over our left and start walking down the fairway all in one motion. Since Tiger dives his head at it, maybe we should do that too. Doesn’t sound right? Here is why.
Moe was a singular talent who probably hit more more golf balls in his lifetime than any 10 great players put together. That is why he was a straight hitter and to be redundant for affect again, not because his swing was some secret move of perfection handed down from the same God that struck the priest in Caddyshack with lightning. After hitting balls till his hands bled, it was the move he got to work for him.
We shouldn’t be searching for the unique qualities of great players and copy that. We should be finding what all the great players have in common and that is what we should be looking to.
Rant over for now, but will continue on a regular basis.