Panning for Moe Gold

Todd Graves and I have been friends for nearly 25 years.

Now, he’s asked me to step in again and search for hidden Moe Norman images to embellish The Feeling of Greatness  documentary his Straight Line Films LLC is producing.

You know what’s not cool about that? Dealing with corporate entities which epitomize avarice, some releasing footage if we’ll pony up more than $5,000 a minute to include in the documentary honoring Moe’s legacy.

I say that because, in glaring contrast, we’re so grateful to the individuals who’ve freely offered snaps and snips of Moe they’ve had in their files for years. Many are wonderfully revealing of the man that Moe Norman was and became as his often tumultuous life unfolded.

Equally impressive in the gathering of Moe stories is the generosity of celebrity and regular folks who knew and admired Moe. Several super interviews are already in-the-can and the unselfish time commitment of folks who freely spoke to our cameras will further the greatness of The Feeling of Greatness.

While I continue this Moe Norman archival scavenger hunt, I’m having fun uncovering things about him that are so unique they’ll insure The Feeling of Greatness will intimately take the viewer along the emotional hills and valleys of his legendary life.

While I continue this Moe Norman archival scavenger hunt, I’m having fun uncovering things about him that are so unique they’ll ensure The Feeling of Greatness will intimately take the viewer along the emotional hills and valleys of his legendary life.

One glimpse surely will be from footage given by Pinehurst’s Eric Alpenfels, who produced an original swing video of Moe early in the heyday of video instruction. Of course, in it, Moe’s greatest-ball-striker-in-the-game-swing is front and center.

But the golden find is the humming and actual sotto voice singing while the camera rolls and body-mic are on during Eric’s video shoot downtimes. It’s a charming side of Moe which surprises and pleases.

Though tedious at times, this segment of documentary development can have exciting discovery moments, sort of like panning for gold.  So, like a prospector headed to Klondike, I’m headed to Canada soon to pan for more Moe golden moments in the archives of Canada’s Professional Golf Association.

In addition to boxes of clippings and photos and 16 and 8-millimeter films at CPGA’s headquarters which promise to hold Moe gold, CPGA will ask it’s 3600 Canadian golf professional members to search their closets and drawers to find personal Moe images they’d be willing to share with The Feeling of Greatness. I’ve got a feeling there are some real golden nuggets coming our way from them.

So, as you read this and you have or know someone who has original footage of Moe Norman and would like to share it with The Feeling of Greatness production team, please contact me at  Thanks in advance.


2 comments on “Panning for Moe Gold”
  1. Jim Markle says:

    Good Luck with your film about Moe. You will need it!
    Moe was great in his own way but not how you think. I predict your film will be a flop. If you remember the Ben Hogan story done by Hollywood it didn’t do very well. That was surprising because Mr. Hogan was MAJOR CHAMPION on the PGA tour. A person with class who won many tournaments even after a major vehicle accident that almost killed him. As a matter of fact he won the majority of his majors after his accident. It was a remarkable story about a true champion with true grit. On the other hand we have Moe Norman who literally ran away from the tour because he was afraid and didn’t get treated as he wanted to be treated. He ran away from the tour with ZERO wins. When you don’t follow the PGA rules and don’t use a caddy obviously he was told. When you hit balls off Coke bottles during the tournament obviously he was told. The PGA tour was a place to be serious not horsing around. His antics were not tolerated and he was told. He didn’t want to obey so he ran home. When you talk about these two players the comparisons stop. You have a major champion (Mr. Hogan) who won multiple times on the big stage on the PGA tour including the British open and other majors. On the other hand you have Moe who didn’t win anything on the tour only in his own country. After winning the Canadian Amateur twice he was invited to the Masters. He embarrassed his country and the Canadian Golf Association by walking off the course after 9 holes. There is no excuse for his actions no matter what his excuse was.. swelled thumb etc. As he said “like a dummy he took a lesson from Sam Snead the night before and hit 800 balls that night”. Not smart. Because of his actions that was one of the major reasons Canadian golfers to this day are NOT invited to the Masters. Because of his antics he ruined it for every golfer in Canada. Canadian golfers are forced to play outside their country and win in the hope of getting an invite to the Masters. You want to make a film about this person who was a known quitter. Not good!
    Let’s not forget him throwing at least 4 tournament`s because he didn`t want to make a speech because he was afraid. One notable reference was the Canadian Open. He had the chance to show the world he could win on the elite stage and chose not to. Very sad! So it turns out you want to make a film about Moe. Well guess what if Mr. Hogan’s story didn`t get attention and he was a Major Champion, do you actually think Moe`s story is more compelling than Mr. Hogan’s? Remember, Mr. Hogan was almost killed. When Moe’s face was hit by the car’s tire during that sleigh riding incident at 5 years old he wasn’t hospitalized and ran home. There is no difference in this regard to their stories.
    What it comes down to is Moe was certainly good in his own comfort zone. When he got on the big stage he couldn’t take the heat and ran. That’s what people remember. They don’t want to hear anything but the bottom line. People don’t want to hear stories about people who don’t win. In a way there is a similar comparison why a film is being made in that Todd and Moe are comparable. Todd never won any tournaments as a pro when he played on the Canadian Tour and Moe didn’t win any tournaments as a pro on the PGA tour.
    Again, chances are people don’t want to hear about excuses. They only remember who won tournaments. Not who hit the ball straight and didn’t win.


  2. Peter Fox says:

    Somehow, I am reminded of the echoes of 1978 when I frequently heard “all sports television will never work.”


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