Todd believes everyone can swing like Moe and benefit from learning his golf swing. It is with this understanding that we are delighted to point his way for those who “want to swing like Moe”.
-Natural Golf Corporation 2008
|Golf Swing Differences between GGA and NG
|Natural Golf teaches a single plane golf swing based on a the machine "Iron Byron".
The Graves Golf Academy teaches the single plane golf swing based on a human machine, Moe Norman.
This philosophical difference is also rooted in bio-mechanics. The Iron Byron machine Natural Golf uses as their swing model, has very little, if any resemblance to the anatomy of the human body. I consider Moe Norman the swing model, a human ball striking machine with the same anatomy as every student we teach.
Examples of the Instructional Differences between GGA and NG
Graves Golf Academy: GGA is founded on the principle that Moe Norman intuitively discovered the single plane golf swing. His golf swing is biomechanically pure and everyone can benefit from learning how he became the best ball striker to ever play the game. By modeling his swing mechanics using his techniques as a model, every golfer can and will improve their ball striking.
Natural Golf: NG states, "Moe Norman, to date, came closest to emulating this ideal mechanical advantage of a machine". They claim that Moe Norman's single plane golf swing was idiosyncratic and unique to their version of a true single plane golf swing. The NG version of a single plane golf swing involves a non human machine, larger grips, holding the club in the palm and clubs that are more upright which brings about technical swing issues that make it anatomically difficult if not impossible to swing like Moe Norman. Natural Golf admittedly does not Teach Moe Norman's golf swing.
Grip Differences between GGA and NG
To swing like Moe, GGA promotes a Moe Norman overlapping (unification) of the hands and a lead thumb tucked deeply into the trail hand so the wrist joints can work together to move the club with maximum speed and angles. A correctly sized grip allows the hands to work as speed producers. A grip that is too large places the club deeply into the palm of the hands thus reducing the hands and wrists ability to produce speed.
Drawings of GGA Hand Position Pressure Points
Is it possible to use a 10 finger grip position and Swing Like Moe™?
You can swing like Moe Norman with a 10 finger position however, it is important to understand that the hands are a major speed producer in the golf swing. When you incorrectly alter their position, you can greatly affect the amount of speed you are able to produce. Here are some facts and evidence regarding Moe Norman's grip.
Moe Norman used an overlapping grip position throughout his professional career. Every tournament win and course record was accomplished using the overlapping grip. Upon his agreement and sponsorship with Natural Golf in 1994, Moe changed his grip to a 10 finger position. When Moe changed his grip to a 10 finger position, he was influenced to promote the NG equipment with larger grips. In my video evidence, Moe Norman lost leverage angle in his golf swing. Here are pictures that show the loss of leverage.
Some of this loss of leverage angle could possibly be due to aging however, the 1995 picture where Moe is older shows the same amount of shoulder and hip turn. The major difference is mostly noted in the angle and amount the hands have leveraged. GGA calls this leverage "hand action".
GGA promotes the Moe Norman overlapping hand position to ensure proper unified hand action and club head speed. You can unify the hands correctly using a 10 finger grip position however, even slight separations in the hands can cause improper hand use and club head-speed can suffer. When golfers use an improper or separated 10-finger position, numerous problems can occur. These problems include:
- Improper lead hand / trail hand rotations where he separated hand position as well as the over rotated "palm" orientation
- a shortening the angle between the lower hand wrist and the golf club and promote a closed or hooked club face.
- A weak lead hand causing an open face making it difficult to square the club face causing a slice.
Other problems with a 10 finger hold include:
Improper use of pressure in the the hands
Improper placement of the club into the "palm" of either hand causing loss of angle and speed
You can find more information about Moe Norman's grip here.
When Moe was in his prime, he commented about his hand position. Here is a quote from Moe Norman in a 1963 radio interview:
The fastest way to lose speed is to hold the club deeply into the palm of the lead hand and trail hand. When you place the club into the palm of the lead hand, you inhibit the necessary leverage angle formed by the lead arm and club shaft. When you place the club into the palm of the lower hand, you reduce the distance and angle between the arm and shaft. Similar to using a shorter wrench to turn a bolt, When you reduce this distance, you lessen the ability to produce leverage and speed. If you have lost speed in your golf swing, you must reconsider how you are using your hands during the swing.
Many people claim to enjoy the feel of a larger grip however, feelings can be deceiving. Often larger grips move the club into the palm of the lead and trail hand. The feeling is more control however, controlling the golf club often inhibits hand action thus losing club head speed.
As you can see in these photographs, Moe Norman's grip is tapered and just slightly larger than standard grip and smaller than the non-tapered Natural Golf grips.
The Moe Norman Mid-Spine Intersect™ Point
An important point of impact (dynamic) and address (static) is the where, at impact and address, the club shaft intersects Moe's spine. This Mid-Spine Intersect™ is a dynamic position of the clubshaft resulting from the correct position of the grip in the lead and trail hands. Often, if your grips are too large and you hold them incorrectly in the palms of your hands, you will lift the club into a plane that is too upright for the Moe Norman Mid-Spine Intersect™ point.
Furthermore, clubs that are too long or too upright can also force the club incorrectly in to a plane much too steep to Swing Like Moe™.
The Mid-Spine Intersect™ allows the spine to maintain it's position, the right shoulder to move correctly "underneath", the feet to remain on the ground and the club to move correctly on plane. This Mid-Spine Intersect™ is impossible to achieve if you hold the club too high into the lead hand often caused by grips that are too large.
Golf Equipment Differences between GGA and NG
Moe Norman, as seen on the GRIP pages of this site, did not use Natural Golf's oversized, non-tapered grips on his golf cubs throughout his remarkable playing career. The golf clubs he played with were not long or upright as evident by pictures and his equipment measured by Todd Graves and the GGA.
"As with all golf swing methods, you must have properly fitted equipment to achieve optimum results.
Our experience with Natural Golf equipment has been golf clubs that are historically too long and too upright for most
individuals thus making it technically and physically difficult if not impossible to swing like Moe Norman. As a matter of fact,
what we have found that the average golfer needs clubs that fit the Moe Norman mechanics to swing like Moe.
- Todd Graves
The Graves Golf Academy: GGA believes that there was nothing significant about Moe Norman's golf equipment and that Moe Norman's single plane golf swing, not the equipment, is the answer to achieving great ball striking.
Natural Golf: NG makes golf equipment an important part of their version of their single plane golf swing.
To swing like Moe Norman, golf clubs must fit the dynamics of his single plane golf swing. Video shows how, at address and impact, the single plane of Moe Norman's clubshaft intersect what GGA calls the Mid-Spine Intersect™. You can see the Mid-Spine Intersect™ with every club. Pictured below is Driver and a 6 Iron, both intersecting at the Mid-Spine Intersect™.
If clubs are not properly fit or the clubs are manufactured too long and upright it will be impossible to match the golf club with the Mid-Spine Impact™ point. You will also have problems if the club is too flat. The goal of properly fit clubs is to match the golf club with the Mid-Spine Intersect™and Mid-Spine Impact™ point.
Club Fitting as it Relates to The Mid-Spine Intersect™
Club fitting is an important part of ideal Moe Norman swing mechanics. Attempting to address correctly with golf clubs that are too long or too upright will force the club higher than the Mid-Spine Intersect™ at address. Clubs that are too flat will force the club below the Mid-Spine Intersect™.
Swing Problems with Improperly fit Golf Clubs
Throughout the pages of this website and www.swinglikemoe.com, you will find Moe Norman Single Plane™ golf instruction.
The Graves Golf Academy mission is to uphold the integrity of Moe Norman and his single plane golf swing so that everyone can know what Moe knew, become a better golfer and enjoy the game as Moe did.
We believe whole-heartedly that Moe Norman and his intuitively learned single plane golf swing is biomechanically perfect and the easiest way to strike a golf ball for all golfers. Everyone can benefit from learning Moe Norman's golf swing.
The Feeling of Greatness™, Mid-Spine Intersect™, Pivot Point™, Moe Norman Single Plane™ and Swing Like Moe™ are all trademarks of the Graves Golf Academy.
*Natural Golf is a registered Trademark of Easy Swing Instruction, L.L.C.