Moe Norman

Bacon Strips not Pork Chops

I recently posted a video on youtube discussing Moe’s address position and the importance of Shaft lean into impact.  I mentioned the importance of taking a divot and one of the comments on the post mentioned the following:

“But MOE never took a divet, or very rarely did he. He even said it himself”.

I replied: “Moe took divots albeit shallow. As Moe said “Bacon strips, not pork chops”.

Todd Graves – maybe sometimes but I can show you a video where he said he doesn’t take divots and that he could , “ put your Casio watch on the ground and I could hit off of it and not break the grass.” Also, I have seen many of his hitting clinics on video and he rarely ever takes a divot. He said he would sweep the grass.


Let’s set the record straight.

DSC0000a.JPGMoe Norman 1974 Quebec Open (Royal Quebec Golf Club).jpgMoe-12.jpg

Moe’s divots were shallow and yes, they “bacon strips”.  Of course it depends on the lie of the golf ball but from most well manicured fairways, you must take a slight divot with an iron to strike the ball solidly.



7 comments on “Bacon Strips not Pork Chops”
  1. Alan says:

    Agree with Todd. When Moe talks about divots, I just took it that he could take a divot if he needed to… or not. He had enough control to do what he wanted. The pros descend through the ball, hitting the ball first, then bottoming out with a divot beyond where the ball rested at impact. Moe obviously did this in competition and practice as seen in so many videos. The “never take a divot” talk seemed to be playful talk during exhibitions. What I’m interested in is if Moe’s divots were very much in front of the ball as todays pros do. They seem to get so much backspin on the ball today, and I know Moe talked against backspin and seemed to not be into it. I know that using Moe’s swing, as taught by Todd, I don’t get backspin, which I’m fine with.


    1. Todd Graves says:

      Alan, Great comment thank you. As far as producing spin, I produce quite a bit of spin and, while I take Moe-like divots, the reason I produce quite a bit of spin it because I have ample speed. A divot is a result of proper shaft angle at impact where the club approaches in a downward angle. The Amount of Spin is a function of the club SPEED / LOFT and the resulting effect being SPIN. Take for example hitting a 3 iron. May players simply can’t get a 3 iron into the air. They take a Moe-like divot and have perfect mechanics however, the result is a Low golf shot that doesn’t lift and fly into the air. They will hit a 5 iron (in the air) farther than a 3 iron. The reason the 3 iron shot doesn’t lift is because the ball doesn’t have enough spin for the effective loft of the club. In conclusion if you want to product more spin, improve your mechanics, improve your speed and take the ideal divot and you will get spin.


  2. Alan says:

    That makes a lot of sense. Spin is such a big part of ball flight. Do you feel like your mechanics naturally result in a divot beyond the ball or is there an additional issue to be mindful of? it seems that the downward angle has to occur slightly more forward than what i’ve been able to achieve…maybe better execution of moving the lower body forward (lead knee bend) through the swing. I would love to get that type of divot. (ball first strike followed by divot)


    1. Todd Graves says:

      Alan, one of the reasons I dig into the biomechanics of the Single Plane swing is because with data, you can easily show “causes and effects”. One example relates to the conditions of the body to achieve a divot. You must have adequate torso rotation if you are to lead with the hands into impact. When the torso stops too soon (under rotates) the hands release early. Often the pelvis causes the torso to under rotate. My studies show that you can not lead with the hands unless the pelvis and torso are sufficiently rotated. By what you are saying I can quite accurately assume that your pelvis and torso are not rotated enough at impact.


  3. Alan says:

    Great information… thank you. Haha… you are correct. At my last camp, you guys hooked me up to the cables and it showed that things were out of sequence clearly…very obvious. I played 18 holes last Sunday and my main 2 thoughts were to “swing within yourself” and to “rotate naturally thru the ball”. (trying not to spin the hips uncontrollably) I played the first 5 holes better than I ever have (+1). Great shot after great shot and it felt like the sequence was right on. It was extremely fun!


    1. Joe says:

      One of the 5 times I saw Moe hit balls was 9 holes in Woodstock Ontario, par 3 about 160 yds, Moe hit 7iron off the tee(“ you only get 18 perfect lies you better take advantage”) I couldn’t believe how far past the tee the divot was, and on line. He ended up only ten feet and made birdie. I was hooked in 1993. Keep the stories going Todd.


  4. Brian says:

    Great information! I have used this information when I go to the driving range. I have been hitting with more consistency.


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