Saturday, March 14, 2009

Right Forearm, Moe and TGM

I've been exploring more into the 'Right Forearm' on plane at address technique along with trying to understand Moe Norman's swing a little better with my newfound knowledge of 'The Golfing Machine.'

Obviously, the biggest proponent of the Right Forearm on Plane on the PGA Tour is Brian Gay.

But another golfer who used the 'Right Forearm on Plane' at address was Moe Norman himself.

Kind of odd that Brian Gay is probably the most accurate golfer on the Tour right now and uses the Right Forearm on plane and Moe Norman is the most accurate golfer of all time and uses the right forearm on plane.

Gay is one of the shortest hitters on tour and Moe had the reputation for being short, but according to a few people I've talked to, most notably Mike Maves (aka Sevam1), Moe was pretty long but when he was putting on clinics he changed his swing so he could entertain the crowd with his dazzling accuracy.

So, is right forearm on plane at address = short, but accurate golfer?

I don't think so. Here's a guy that sometimes has the right forearm on plane:

Yep, that's Sergio Garcia working on having his right forearm on plane at address. Of course, I've also seen Sergio have his right forearm above the plane at address. I'm guessing part of it is like Brian Manzella said, he may want to work the ball from left-to-right and he may just be experimenting with his setup at address.

Anyway, here's a pic from David Orr's Web site ( on Moe.

Moe and Gay are definitely 'hitters' in my book. Thrusting (or 'punching') the right arm at the ball instead of pulling the left arm and side.

And perhaps I do not fully understand 'Natural Golf' or Jim Hardy's 'One Plane Swing', but I do not see Moe as a 'single plane' golfer.

By 'The Golfing Machine' definition Moe does a 'Double Shift.' Meaning that he gets on the elbow plane in the third frame, then shifts to the 'turned shoulder plane' in the fourth frame and then returns back to the elbow plane on the downswing. To me, that's not a 'one plane' swing. A one plane swing, IMO, would find a plane and stay on that plane throughout the entire swing. In 'The Golfing Machine' terms that's called a 'zero shift.'

Ben Hogan is usually the example I have seen use as a 'one plane swing' and he was a true 'zero shift' swing. Hogan stayed on his 'elbow' plane despite showing in '5 Lessons' the plane that went up to his collar. Nicklaus used Hogan's plane in '5 Lessons.' The plane Hogan describes is often called the 'Squared Shoulder Plane' which is different from the 'Turned Shoulder Plane.' But I'll get into that later.

Still, I wanted to take a look at Moe's swing from the Face On view, particularly the release. I finally found something I liked (Moe is the guy in the top frames, Ben Doyle is in the bottom frames).

That's a swivel release, pretty much dead on to what Ben Doyle employs in his own golf swing.

So here's what I've got on Moe from my understanding of 'The Golfing Machine.'

1. He was NOT a 'one plane swing.' By TGM terms he had a 'double shift' which he beautifully executed time and time again.

2. Moe used the Elbow Plane and the Turned Shoulder Plane in his swing (as part of the double shift)

3. He was definitely a 'hitter' using his right side and arm to 'push' the club to the ball.

4. He definitely used 'drive loading' which I will explain in a future post.

5. He had a swivel release.

There's other parts of Moe's swing that I haven't gone into with TGM because I'm still learning. But there are a few similarities of Moe's swing and Brian Gay's swing and it's easy to see why Moe was so darn accurate with his ballstriking because he followed the rules of Homer Kelley's 'The Golfing Machine' to a tee, time and time again.



philthevet said...

Very good post Rich. Some points I am really intersted for a while
I posted the slides of Moe and Ben a few years ago on LBG to ask Lynn B his opinion about so much similarities.
I have bought Ben Doyle's videos and he is teaching a swinging procedure
I have some clinics videos of Moe and many papers where he is describing his pulling sensation.
Maybe it is difficult to apperciate a pattern just with pictures. Or maybe even the greatst players are doig something different from their feelings.
Your blog is always my daily first Internet click!!

Rich H. said...

Well, Sevam1 talked about the 'horizontal tug' and vertical drop which sounds initially like a swinger method, but then he talks about the 'tug' as a right side move which indicates a hitter method. As Homer Kelley said, you can do either or both depending on the golfer. Sevam1 got a lot of the stuff from learning from Moe. And I believe that according to Dr. Aaron Zick, a physicist who has done some TGM Summits, I believe he's saying there's no such thing as a 'pure hitter' as there's some 'swinging' involved even with a hitters pattern.

The more I read and study, the more I believe that a general rule of thumb is hitters are usually less flexible and swingers are usually more flexible. Moe just looks like a definite hitter to me.

Either way, he's a fascinating person and has a fascinating golf swing to talk about.

philthevet said...

Have you seen this video ?
Moe On Range Hitting Balls 1992
(the last one , down on the right)
A new one, for me , and Moe semmed so happy to share .

Rich H. said...

The video is great and this is my first time seeing it, but Moe tends to contradict himself or not do exactly what he's feeling like he's doing. For instance, he says that everybody should have the club way behind the ball, but on a Golfing Channel video he said other golfers shouldn't try it. He says that he doesn't have the right hand over the left on the release, but the pics show a different story. Also, Hogan did have a closed stance, but with the driver and 3-wood. Get a shorter iron and he was open. Perhaps Moe changed his mind on some things and then what he was feeling was different from what he was doing. But boy did he hit it pure.

DriMax said...

Very good analyse about Moe's swing.I agree with you. In Moe swing,the head club is not onto the swing plan during the swing.
It is almost onto the swing plan !

finster869 said...

Love your blog. Only exception I take with your comments is that Brian Gay is definitely a swinger, not a hitter. In the Lynn Blake Brian Gay Fundamentals video, Lynn specifically says that Brian is a swinger, and they make multiple comments about how awkward it is for Brian to try hitting (even from acquired motion).

Hogansquest said...

Have you seen the pipeline Moe video?

In this he says you pull the heck out of it with the left arm! Especially if you want to hit it a long way.

Moe used to do 1000 consecutive deltoid lifts with his left arm per day with a 10 lb weight! As it states in Paul Bertholy's book.

Food for thought!

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!