My #3 golf swing of all time belongs to the golfer that I believe was the greatest pure ballstriker ever, Moe Norman.
Many misintrepret my statement and then throw up the question of 'if Moe was such a great ballstriker, then why did he never make it on the PGA Tour?'
The main reason being was that Moe had a severe anxiety about being in public at the time. Furthermore, he was a horrendous putter. In fact, he was a golfer who didn't read the green and look at his putts. He just got up there and hit the putt as he liked to say 'miss 'em quick.' In fact, in a Golf Magazine article Moe stated that he and George Knudson would often play rounds of golf for money where no putting was involved. They'd give out say $20 for a fairway, $20 for a green then $100 for a 'poley' and then they would pick the ball up off the green and go to the next hole.
Tough to make it on the PGA Tour in any era when your putting is like that.
Also, people don't realize that back before the Nationwide Tour and the Hooters Tour (and the Hooters Tour is not a way to make money as a touring professional), golfers either had to be beyond phenomenal with shooting low scores or they had to be really good, but get some good financial backing. Otherwise, they would find themselves on the Canadian Tour.
But as far as ballstriking goes, Moe's ballstriking in his prime was ever bit as good as Hogan's and Snead's and Trevino's, but I don't think anybody could ever hit it as dead straight on command as often as Moe could. Moe could also work the ball on command and when he wasn't an overweight golfer in his 60's, he hit the ball quite far, particularly for his age.
So, what can we learn from Moe?
Certainly there are many things, but for starters it's amazing to think how many people view Moe's swing as 'unorthodox', but outside of the setup the swing looks pretty much normal. So just a look at a swing in normal motion really doesn't show what the swing is actually made of.
But another thing we can learn from is something we had discussed on the message board. There's been a bit of discussion on my thoughts of the backswing and working on the backswing in practice. I actually don't have a problem with working on the backswing if it calls for it, but I think most golfers almost exclusively work on the backswing and neglect the downswing when they are on the range.
However, if you're going to work on the backswing, most golfers are more concerned about the swing plane on the backswing and not the clubface. I also find that most golfers, outside of beginners, struggle with a very closed clubface in the backswing. But in Moe's swing at P4, it's dead square.
I still believe that the game is mostly about who can consistently control the clubface the best at impact and Moe had that in spades.