If there is one question that I get asked more than any other question, it’s If Moe’s swing is so good, why isn’t it on the PGA Tour?”. I have various ways I usually answer this question but for the sake of this blog – let me start by answering this with a quote:
Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear.
– Mahatma Gandhi
The truth is that Moe’s played 25 events on the PGA Tour. He had one top 10 finish in 1959 and seven top 25 finishes. He made 23 out of 25 cuts (only missed 2). He also played 5 events on the PGA Champions tour with a top 3 finish in 1982.
When people ask why nobody on the PGA tour swings like Moe, what they are really saying subconsciously is “If Moe’s swing is so great todays players would use it”. In other words, “I will only copy what I see the swing validated on the PGA Tour today because those guys are the best in the world”. Most amateur golfers today need PGA Tour validation.
While I understand this logic, it is impractical. I would argue using the same logic “Why aren’t more people trying to copy Jim Furyk who’s swing David Feherty described as an “octopus falling out of a tree”, has won 17 times on the PGA Tour.
Furthermore, there are no statistics that show a direct relationship between “good golf swings” and money won. The best golf swings don’t always win or even hit more fairways and greens which don’t equate into wins either. The game is determined by variety of factors and skills including short game and putting – both playing a major role in total scoring.
So, lets break it down a bit further possibly rethink the question.
The average PGA Tour player is 28 years old. They are seasoned athletes who train regularly. I would even consider the guys today great athletes. They all swing differently and there is little consistency in technique. Speed and distance plays much larger factor today than it did 60 years ago. The balls material and ability to spin has a major effect on spin where players can control the ball even from heavy rough making fairways less of an advantage giving long crooked players a greater advantage over short and straight players.
In summary the game has dramatically changed at the upper echelon of skill. Interestingly – most of these factors don’t apply to a majority of golfers in the universe. In the same sense that I want to be in shape but I don’t to be a body builder. It might make you ask – why would we even try to model the tour players?
So do I think Moe Norman’s swing would benefit the players on the tour?
If you remember in the late 90’s Sandy Lisle changed his mechanics to swing like Moe. I stood on the range and watched as Moe taught Sandy giving him tips and instruction. Tony Sills (winner of the Houston Open) and Craig Bowden all changed their swings to the Moe Norman Single Plane as well. Yes, Moe’s swing has benefits. It can increase the number of fairways and greens hit. The players can become more consistent and strike the ball better every day but it doesn’t mean that improving these factors would win. Winning on the PGA Tour is more than just ball-striking. Also remember, Moe did win. As a matter of fact he won at the same rate last Tiger Woods in his prime winning one of every three tournaments he played in the 50’s and 60’s.
Instead of using the PGA Tour and the numerous variables to winning tournament. To validate the effectiveness of Moe Norman’s swing, I take another approach. I no longer look at the PGA Tour players for swing techniques – I ask a much less biased question.
“What is the EASIEST way to accomplish what EVERY player in golf has always tried to accomplish – achieve a perfect moment of impact position” using less movement, less effort and less stress on the body?”
Moe’s swing, as an easier way to play golf, has become self-evident in my life but it took some difficult and interesting life experiences to remove the cobwebs. That is why I am so committed to teaching his swing today. I’m not trying to create tour players. I am trying to help people simply their golf swings to help them love the game – just as I do.
I was reminded of these experiences recently.
(continued on Next Blog)