Very few people have spent more time with Moe Norman to understand his golf swing than me. But my story of meeting Moe starts where many of students start. I was at a point in my golf game that I was about to quit. I had been working with some high-profile golf instructors taking lessons continually for three years. I found myself frustrated and confused. My game had deteriorated to the point where golf was no longer fun, and I was losing hope. No matter what I tried, I would get worse.
Practice sessions were fraught with confusion. On the course, my game had deteriorated so badly that I no longer wanted to play. I was losing my support too. My sponsors, a few local businessmen in Dallas, had pulled their financing. It was looking like it was time to hang it up and do something else other than play golf.
I wasn’t ready to completely give up. I decided to take a bartending job in Dallas. By working at night, it would leave my days open to practice. The hours were terrible. I would close down a bar at 3:00 am and get up to practice again at 10 am only to be back at the bar at 4:30 that afternoon. I knew there was an easier way to play golf; I just hadn’t found it yet.
In 1993 Matthew Lane, a college teammate, was traveling to Dallas after a stint on the Canadian PGA Tour. Matthew was a student of the game. We had spent many hours on the range discussing the golf swing. He was a great golfer, and I respected his knowledge of the golf swing. He had met Moe in Canada and taken some video of his swing. He came to my apartment to show it to me.
“Moe is fantastic, hits it dead straight. I’ve never seen anything like it” he said.
Matthew and I watched the videotape of Moe as he told stories of what he witnessed. What I saw was a simple golf swing, one that started and impacted on the same plane.
You can see the video here:
After seeing this video, I realized that there was a relationship between Moe’s unique setup and his ball-striking ability. I was determined to understand his swing, so I started practicing and copying what I saw on the video. It was great to have a Model mostly because it eliminated any guesswork. I stopped practicing hitting balls and started modeling Moe’s swing positions and mechanics.
I would spend a year copying his swing before actually meeting Moe in person.