Moe Norman is arguably Canada's greatest golfer along with arguably being the greatest ballstriker of all time. His feats include 55 Canadian Tour victories, 33 course records, and 17 hole-in-ones. Even more astonishing is Moe was a terrible putter, in large part because he eschewed reading putts and liked to 'miss 'em quick.'
He woke up every day knowing he was going to hit it well. He just knew he was going to hit it well. Every day. It's frightening how straight he hits it. It's like Iron Byron, the ball doesn't move. - Tiger Woods
Moe's unorthodox *looking* golf swing drew the ire of some, but also drew the praise of many others. Moe stood quite aways from the ball at address with his clubhead about a good foot behind the ball.
Eventually in the 90's a golf group that promoted Moe's swing stated that Moe used a 'single axis' swing plane, but from this swing photo sequence, Moe was clearly using a double plane shift approach.
While unorthodox, it's clear to see why Moe's swing works. He is consistently perfectly on plane throughout the golf swing. He also perfectly maintains his spine angle and axis tilt time and time again and obviously has great control of the clubface.
His ballstriking has led to some legendary stories like a time playing with Snead, Sam had just carried the creek that cross the fairway of this one golf hole. Then Moe got up there with a driver and Snead told him 'you won't be able to get it over that creek' which Moe replied 'I'll be over that creek.' And then Moe aimed at a bridge crossing the creek, hit it and it bounced over to the other side.
Or the story about Moe playing in a tournament on a course he had never played before and asking 'how does this hole play?' and one of the golfer's in the group says 'it's a driver and a 9-iron' and Moe proceeds to hit a 9-iron and a driver into the green.
One of the commonly held misconceptions of Moe is that he didn't have a lot of distance. In a video I had from an old college teammate that taped one of his clinics, a 66 year old Moe was hitting his 5-wood about 225-235 yards (back in '95 when the equipment wasn't as *hot* as it is today).
A number of things stand out from that day in contrast to what people think. First, was that Moe hit it pretty far. Everyone says he couldn’t hit it very far, just straight. But he was over 60 and he hit it far - several drives of 280 yards or more. That’s long for a 60+ year old. I can’t imagine how he hit it when he was 30. - The Secret Is In The Dirt by Mike Maves
Unfortunately, most golfers who saw Moe hit the ball saw it when he was in his 60's and usually in clinics where he was trying to dazzle the crowd with his surreal accuracy. Snead, Lee Trevino and Paul Azinger have called Moe the greatest ballstriker they had ever seen.
He certainly was one of a kind.
"Golf is happiness
It's intoxication without the hangover
It's stimulation without the pills
It's price is high
It's rewards are richer
Some say it's a boys pastime
Yet it builds men
It cleanses the mind
Rejuvinates the body
It is these things and many more
For those of us who know and love it
Golf is truly happiness" - Moe Norman