Jokingly I asked Moe if he would sell me his swing. He said “Sure, for ten thousand dollars but you can’t buy talent” he said. If I could have purchased Moe’s golf swing without having to work at it I would have happily paid him. I don’t like to reinvent the wheel. That’s why the next best thing to buying Moe’s swing was to match him.
I have one word that describes how I learned Moe’s swing: Modeling. I don’t know what that word means to you but it means “copy”. Yes, I admit it. I copied Moe’s swing. He was the notes scribbled on my hand during a test – my cheat sheet.
To be more exact, I picked out various aspects of Moe’s swing positions and movements and I mimicked them, starting at the address position. Once I understood the positions of the swing I put them together and using video and pictures, I mirrored his movements. Eventually, through repetition, I could feel what he felt. Practice wasn’t about hitting balls, it was about learning how to move like Moe.
EVENTUALLY, I starting hitting the ball with pinpoint accuracy. My misses became great!
Moe Norman Said, “You’re only as good as your misses”.
A good on-plane golf swing that can repeat impact consistently is what simplifies the game because the bad shots it produces are still pretty good. That’s the point of putting in the effort to build a solid Single Plane Swing. It breeds consistency, repeatability and the ability to be good when you are average.
I matched Moe’s swing by observing his movements and then matching what I saw. By matching his movements, I began to feel how he achieved his golf swing. Then I developed training tools that helped me feel it so I could eliminate mistakes when I practiced because I quickly learned that what you feel you do and what you actually do are very different.
Here his a word of caution: If you think you are matching Moe – you probably aren’t unless you have video proof or a coach to watch your movements. Personal feelings are unreliable. The goal is to match your movement exactly to Moe’s movement making sure you hit all of Moe’s positions.
“Hit your positions, always hit your positions” – Moe Norman
Moe had a Club to Body Relationship
I always have difficulty describing what I mean by “club to body” (C2B) relationship. I’ll give it another try here. At impact there is an ideal position of the club shaft as it relates to the rotation of the body. Think of it as a single spoke of a bicycle wheel. When you turn the wheel in one direction, the spoke maintains its relationship to the hub or center of the wheel. When you turn the wheel back, the spoke returns back to the exact position it started.
Moe Norman had the same sort of “hub and spoke” relationship with the golf club.
If Moe didn’t hinge the hands, the lead arm and club would act exactly like the hub and spoke of the wheel. The only difference is that he had a hinge where his hands meet the club. The center of Moe’s “wheel” was what I call the “pivot point”, a point above the lead hip. When Moe moved into the backswing and then into the downswing, the club always had a reference to the pivot point allowing him to return the club to the same relative spot – producing a consistent impact point.
Swing Plane is a product of the C2B relationship
One way that I practice Moe’s club-to-body relationship is by practicing with the Single Plane Trainer. The Single Plane Trainer (SPT) aligns the club and lead arm forming a relationship to the lead side of the body. As you take the club into the backswing, the extended SPT maintains this relationship (staying against the body).
Midway back the hands hinge and the SPT comes away from the body moving up to the swing plane. Then in the downswing the hands move down the plane and unhinge allowing the hands to return to the lead side of the body at impact.
The hub of the wheel, Moe’s pivot point, is NOT the center of the body. It is forward on the lead side above the lead hip joint. The Since the body is more forward at impact that at address, the pivot point has moved forward but throughout the entire swing the C2B relationship has remained.
To maintain the C2B relationship, you must maintain the tilt of your back throughout the golf swing. Think of the wheel and the spoke analogy. You must keep the wheel rotating on the same angle. If you altered the tilt of the wheel, by standing up lifting your back, you would change the plane of the golf club. Maintaining your tilt keeps the club moving around the pivot point on plane.
The GGA SPT
Notice in the photographs that the spine tilt is maintained from address to impact. The GGA SPT has a Feeling of Greatness Single Plane training grip installed to perfect your hand position. With the hands correctly placed on the trainer, it is designed to help you monitor the “connection” of the club to the pivot point throughout the swing motion.
You can find out more about the GGA SPT here: GGA Single Plane Trainer.