Moe Norman & Peter Fox
Royal Oaks Golf Club
Q: Moe, you have been known to recite some great golf poems. Do you feel like giving us a couple?
Moe: Well, not at first I don’t. I should talk about the game of golf first of all. How it’s such a mind game. And what a sad thing in the world that we’re not taught the main thing in this game.
Moe: We’re taught too much mechanics and not about motor skills and manual dexterity. And imagination and orientation. Administration. Enthusiasm. Alert attitude of indifference. A strong visual response of progression of power. Expansion of the circle. Deltoid muscle of your left shoulder. The torsion of your leg. The elasticity of your body. The axis of your spine. Your left brain. Your right brain. Your kinesthetic mind. Your body mind. All this has to do with golf.
Moe: I like talking about how we think as winners. We see what we want to happen. Losers see what they don’t want. We know how to dress ourselves up. When we go from the practice tee to the first tee, winners take their swing with them. Losers don’t. They can’t take their practice tee to the first tee.
Moe: What’s the longest walk in golf? It’s from the practice tee to the first tee. I don’t care if it’s only 10 yards. It’s the longest walk in golf.
Q: Everyone gets nervous then?
Moe: Yes, but we ‘can do’ when the bell rings. They can’t produce when the bell rings. At anything.
Q: How did you overcome that?
Moe: By not putting so much value into everything. Every time I teed up the ball I thought, what have I got to lose? A lousy golf ball? What else? If I lose it, I just get another one and hit it.
Moe: This is what the game lacks today: the inward part. How to win. How to be yourself. How to believe in yourself.
Moe: It’s all this gosh dang hope and hears. Hope and fear. And it just drives me nuts. That’s all people live with it.
Moe: What a terrible thing to waste—that 5 1/2 inches between your ears. That’s what you win with it. Your dumb muscles can’t make half a million dollars a year. This can make more than that because your mind is a generator. Your body is a motor. Your golf ball is a bullet. Now aim and fire. Loser’s goal, but don’t shoot they direct.
Moe: Losers address their emotions. Losers live that way every day in a life. They’re directing themselves down the highway. Wherever they’re going, in stores, in this, in that, they’re directing themselves. They’re stumbling over their own emotions. Their minds are in their way. They don’t know how to get out of their way because they don’t understand their self.
Moe: People are a mystery to themselves and always will be. You are what you think you are. If you think you beat. You are. I believe you are not; you don’t. If you want to win but think you can’t, it is almost certain that you won’t. If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost.
Moe: Growth is where you find it. Success begins with a fellow will. It’s all in the state of mind. You’ve got to think high to rise. You’ve got to feel sure of yourself before you win a prize. The man who wins is the man who thinks he can. We’ve all got them in our club. They’ve got no business playing as good as they do. They’ve got no business winning as much as they do. But, they do, because they think they can.
Moe: The only way you’re going to play golf up to your true potential is by playing subconscious golf. I just can’t believe why the mind is not being used more in life.
Q: One of the last time we talked you spoke about four or five things you felt you needed and knowledge was the top one. What are the other things on your list you think people need to understand?
Moe: Sure. How to get along with yourself. Stop being afraid of yourself. Don’t say I’ve got to do anything in life. There’s nothing in this world you’ve got to do. You don’t have to go to bed at night. You don’t have to go out that door tonight. But, I want to.
Moe: Tomorrow I want to shoot 65. I don’t have to. Tomorrow I want to hit the ball well. I don’t have to. I’ll play the next day if I don’t. But, I want to do things.
Moe: Everybody who’s got a hundred dollars in their pocket, what are they thinking? Hope it doesn’t go to 99. What’s a smart person thinking? 102, 104, 106, how to make it more. Winners look up; losers look down.
Q: What went through your mind when you shot a 59?
Moe: Everything felt comfortable. Everything was jelly. I could see from the tee to the green. I could see my ball in the hole before I even got there. I could see my birdie or my eagle before I even played the hole.
Moe: I just flowed with nature. I went and did it.
Moe: There’re no secrets. Only hard work. But get that mind right. Even in life. Get that mind right.
Moe: If you got leadership. If you got poise, mentality, oh man, what big things instead of hope and fear. People are afraid of themselves. They’re afraid of success. What a sad world when people are afraid of success and afraid to win.
Q: You weren’t afraid to win. Didn’t you say you liked to ‘clean their clocks…go out and shoot 61 and go home’?
Moe: And I did. Fifty-five times in my life I did it in tournaments over two days or more. Every time I teed up I wanted to shoot another course record. I shot 41 of them.
Moe: I gave myself a chance. I gave myself a chance. I was the happiest winner in Canada. I got along with myself good. I believed in Moe Norman.
Moe: I didn’t listen to every Tom, Dick, and Harry. And I still don’t today.
Moe: Vanity is the luxury of fools. How true. It’s the best statement I’ve heard in my life. How true.
Moe: If people only knew what happiness is. What is happiness? Happiness is an achievement. What’s the father of success? Motivation. What’s the mother? Encouragement. An excellent golf swing is an actual achievement.
Moe: Man may lie, steal and cheat for gain, but that will never learn a golf swing. To learn a golf swing, you must work. It works without toil. It’s intoxication without the hangover. It’s stimulation without the pills. It is humbling. It enriches the spirit. It is dignity. It rejects heroics. Its price is high. Its reward is richer. It’s a buffer for the stresses of today’s living. It cleanses the mind and rejuvenates the body.
Moe: It is these things and more. For those of us who learn to love it, golf is true happiness.
Moe: And golf is sure better than being in jail, but some of us put ourselves in jail by throwing clubs and calling ourselves dumb. When we miss a putt and call ourselves dumb, instead of patting ourselves on the back we kick ourselves in the ass.
Q: What happens when you make a good shot? What do you say?
Moe: I did it before. I did it again. And better.
Q: Once you told me you feel like you have a claw in your hand? What’s that?
Moe: Left hand is a rod. The right hand is a claw. At impact.
Moe: Every time I hit the shot, I feel like I’m shaking hands with the flagstick. Whether it’s 500 yards away or 5 feet, I feel like I’m going to grab it and the ball goes there every time.
Moe: Now here’s a lovely poem:
I have a little robot that goes around with me.
I tell it what I’m thinking; I tell it what I’ve seen.
It listens and remembers everything it hears.
At first, my little robot followed my commands,
But after years of dreams, it has gotten out of hand.
It doesn’t care what’s right or wrong or what is false or true
But no matter what I try now, it tells me what to do.
(Continued on Next Blog)