Todd Graves and Moe Norman

Achieving a Golf Swing

“A great golf swing is a fine achievement” – Moe Norman

“A great golf swing is a fine achievement” – Moe Norman

If you and I met in person, there is one thing that I am sure you would immediately recognize – I am passionate about the golf swing. Nothing gets me more excited than what Moe called “the purity of technique.”

Moe did his best to describe the swing: “In and Up,” “It’s like a pendulum” and “My arms move underneath me.”

As difficult as it may seem to many, I continue to believe that the golf swing is pure. The body is connected as you rotate in the backswing as your arms move back and up. Then, you stabilize into your lead leg and rotate through as your arms follow through impact. The golf swing is a rotational movement as the arms move around the body. The club supports this movement and gains speed as you continue to rotate.

Moe would often hit 800 balls per day

The golf swing is only Simple if you build it correctly. 

I don’t believe that learning body movement is smooth, however. This is because a golf swing is like a house. It’s a skill that you construct. It’s an art form that you practice and refine. Moe considered a great golf swing a “fine achievement.” I agree. A golf swing is an achievement because you have to earn it by moving your body.

Most students ignore this essential fact and make a mistake in the first moment they touch the grip of a golf club. They start learning to swing (move their bodies) by swinging at a ball. They want to live in the house before its built.

Teaching the body to move is an integral part of building your swing.

One thing I teach my students to help build their great swings to find ways to show themselves the movements that they are practicing. I often recommend rehearsing the move to get the feel of the motion.

If you were a good carpenter, you would most likely learn from the mistake that most aspiring carpenters make. They measure and cut just fraction short – a costly mistake especially if they are using expensive lumber. They soon learn to measure twice and only cut once.

Rehearsing the golf swing is the golf student’s way of measuring. However, rehearsal goes beyond just measuring.  It involves the bodies nervous system triggering new neuro-pathways in the same way that a child learns to walk.  The key to rehearsal is to ensure that you are rehearsing the correct movement so that you can learn to feel what to do. In this way, you are using motion to program the body connection to the brain.

But what exactly is feel?

I have yet to find anyone who can define feel or locate it in the body – yet everyone feels their body movements. Think is based on the point of reference.  For example, if something “feels different” you are making a comparison to what “feels normal.” Normal is the neuro-program in your brain that already exists. When you change your movement – it feels different because you are engaging “new” parts of your body sending signals to your brain that are outside of your familiar programmed network.

Feel is when you move beyond your usual.

Making new movements is the key to change. This is why changing your golf swing is uncomfortable and usually leads to regression in your ball-striking. Keep in mind that I use the term regression only to describe ball-striking results. When you change, you are improving your movement. This alters the sequencing of your body too. When you turn the sequencing of your body, it affects your timing into impact – thus making it difficult to hit the ball well. You will overcome this short-term regression through practice and repetition where you create a newly learned sequence that produces better results.

This takes time.

If I ever experience any frustration with students, it shows in the form of impatience. Students want results, but they haven’t completed the building process. They expect results when they haven’t finished the construction. When students get too frustrated my brother Tim always says:

“You haven’t earned the right to get frustrated” – Tim Graves






3 comments on “Achieving a Golf Swing”
  1. Hi Tim.
    I whish that you also look at the people in Canada that would like to change their golf game. Its not easy for some of us to fly and rent a hotel in the US ($). So please have a look at setting up a 3 or 5 day premier school in the Toronto area. Thanks for your effort, yours truly René Bertschi


    1. Todd Graves says:


      Of Course I would love to come to Canada. I understand the expenses – yet for us to make it feasible we must also make enough $ to make it worthwhile. If you get 12 people that are interested in two days of instruction to save travel expenses, send me an email and I will set up a school. my email address is


  2. Christopher P Johnson says:

    Great article Todd, but I especially liked Tim’s quote!!! It made me LOL! Just put in the work fellers…


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