Moe, Eric, Paul, Todd & Donald Pinehurst Stories

Cropped Todd and DR

Coming soon to a screen near you will be a compilation of stories about Moe Norman and his legacy to golf.

It’s the documentary, Feeling of Greatness being produced by a team of Moe admirers and professionals. I am honored to be a teammate.

Two days ago, as I write this, Todd Graves and I traveled to Pinehurst to meet at the St. Andrews-of-the-Americas’ golf mecca.

Pinehurst’s #2 golf course is the Mona Lisa of the revered golf architect Donald Ross who spirit pervades Pinehurst ubiquitously.

Being there, again, reminded me of the evening we recorded the Golf Digest fireside chat with Moe in the Ross room with the great Scot’s portrait ever present over Moe’s shoulder.

This trip Todd and I went there to meet with Eric Alpenfels another friend of Moe’s who plays a significant role in the preservation of Moe Norman’s legacy.

Some background: Eric since 1985 has been important to Pinehurst, today as Director of Instruction. He was also important to Moe, hosting him semi-annually as Moe migrated between Canada and Florida.

One day Moe and Eric were talking about new video techniques for teaching, and Moe opined that he’d like to make one of his swings. At that moment, the original commercial video of Moe was born. It became Moe Norman: Golf’s Journeyman now in the collectors’ item category.

I was witness to a quick bonding between Todd and Eric as their conversation about Feeling of Greatness and Golf’s Journeyman begat an agreement to resurrect original footage and outtakes from the early 90’s shoot Eric produced.

Todd’s first look at raw footage Eric provided for consideration evoked these responses:

“The footage is fantastic.” And, “I love the dialogue Moe has with Eric.”

No doubt it will take Feeling of Greatness to an even greater level than envisioned, but equally interesting was eavesdropping on the conversation between this pair of renowned instructors, smiling about the relationship Moe had with another Pinehurst legend, Paul Bertholy.

As both Moe and Paul are no longer around to elaborate, the Todd/Eric eye-rolls and twinkles about the Moe/Paul combine were knowingly subtle, but a sure tipoff to the odd pairing of odd fellows.

Moe told Todd that if he wanted to learn with him, Todd would have to know Paul Bertholy first, so Todd visited, and came away shaking his head as their lesson involved sitting at Paul’s kitchen table and hearing what he called odd forms of life advice.

When Todd told Moe he had been with Paul, Moe said, “OK, we can start now.” Which is a good place for me to stop, by encouraging you to visit Feeling of Greatness and joining the team.

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