When Todd Graves invited me to contribute to this collection of Moe Norman memories, stories and recollections the invitation triggered a dusty trip through my personal Moe archives that gives me almost as much joy as a dead solid perfect “Moe-gave-me-that!” tee ball.
I saw Moe, but didn’t meet him, one day in 1994 in Florida as he was playing with Todd and some other early single plane players. It was at Grenelefe Golf & Tennis Resort and I was there to pitch North Florida PGA executives a magazine concept. Moe and his Natural Golf entourage were there to pitch PGA on the benefits of playing Moe’s way and offering to share it with PGA members.
Mostly we were cooling our heels on the practice area while others made their pitches, too. That’s when a Natural Golf zealot, Dave Woods, a salesman who’d make Willy Loman blush, nabbed me and was unrelenting in his enthusiasm.
I tried to brush Dave off with an offer to write about it in my GOLFEST magazine if he would just send me some literature I could read. In that moment my harmonic convergence with Moe Norman began, as Dave handed me pieces of paper that were-to be kind-a promotional abomination.
When I sassed and trashed the alleged brochure, Dave’s retort was: “Can you do better?” Essentially I said yes, but not quite that succinctly. That’s when Dave introduced me to Larry Olson and my bromance with the enigma who is Moe Norman began. Larry invited me to meet and discuss Natural Golf’s communication needs, a few weeks later and I was hooked forever and still am.
What ensued inspired and entertained me. As I share some of the fun and folly tracing the wonderful morphing of Natural Golf into Graves Golf I hope to inspire and entertain you, too.
So, in coming contributions there will be some yet untold anecdotal recounting of the trip Todd and I took to get here—where the single plane community of golfers has transcended from cult to mainstream, thanks to Moe and a supporting cast we remember well.
Among them are the artists who depicted Moe in various interpretations, including Leroy Neiman, Ron Hicinbothem and Todd himself. (I’ll be most of you don’t know Todd’s pretty good with a brush and palette in hand)
Even today artists in other media have gathered around the story of Moe to produce a cinema quality documentary, The Feeling of Greatness. Production is underway and The Feeling of Greatness team is led by Rainman winner Barry Morrow and Moe biographer Tim O’Connor. You can be involved, too, click here to support and know more.
Up next: Meeting Moe.