The Real Moe Norman

So what do we think about this picture of Moe? What is he trying to convey to his audience?

One element that confuses me slightly here is how we square this extreme open intention with the idea of Moe having an automatic release? Surely you would have to have a non automatic release to square the clubface which would put you in hitter territory. Or was Moe’s pivot so strong that it could carry the burden of squaring the face alone without the wrists acting as motors?

Any thoughts?

Cheers, Arnie

I’m sure the picture is a demonstration of a “feel”. See 34 secs into this vid: … nV3d2kbLSE

Yes no doubts that it is a feel, 100 % agree. But even as an intention or feel its interesting to debate how Moe could intend to square an open clubface with passive hinges rather than using the wrists as motors.

Cheers, Arnie

That’s a great pic AddArnie…I have the matching one from down the line for more consideration about your question…


It is great to look at these slightly older pics of Moe (when he was younger) before he got tortured into doing all the Natural Golf promotion… that was an older Moe we saw in all that natural Golf stuff…and whilst still very good it wasn’t as poetic as his younger swing
His older swing was very much more straight armed at impact- which interests me because his younger swings and pics are more in tune with the photos shown on this page
Obviously sometimes ‘feel’ isn’t ‘real’…as Moe states “I never roll the club over”…but the pics show he did…and even looking at these photos…he is trying to feel ‘THAT’ position but didn’t really achieve it when you look at still shots

In 5 Lessons, Hogan says something to the effect of the palm of the left hand should be facing the ground prior to impact and should by trying to face the sky after impact and beyond(or the back of the hand should be trying to face the ground, either/or) He had a pretty ‘weak’ left hand, so that’s not a terrible post impact intention- that image with a strong grip could be messy. Depending on which hand you feel things with, these photos could be seen as a literal interpretation of the pre impact thought by Hogan. I also remember reading somewhere how Moe said one of the most important things in the swing, something that you can’t function without doing, was getting the right elbow in front of the right hip coming into the zone. You could make a case for both of these things happening here.
Then there’s the legs, and Moe also talked about hitting ‘into’ his legs, which is an interesting thought I think, and puts a lot of emphasis then on upper body acceleration, I would imagine. I wonder was his hitting into his legs more of a into impact, or downswing feeling, that then turned to more of a thrusting action or a rebound of sorts? I also wonder was he trying to hold this ‘position’ into impact or just to before impact, or all the way through? Any thoughts on that, anyone? Clearly these photos are to pre impact, but you never know.
From my own perspective, this position is a surprisingly natural one to get into if you try to tap something with the club without moving your hands back in space from set up. It’s similar to Hogan’s thoughts on the waggle, and his description of how it should be performed. It’s like a little hand tapping action, and really shows you how far forward the right hand(both hands) has to be in order to strike the ball.
Great photos, nonetheless.

Yep…these photos are Moe stopping during a practice swing and showing what he is feeling when he swings… obviously it would be nigh impossible to rotate the club that quickly into impact to hit the ball whatsoever.
It’s all great imagery…I think you summarized pretty well Bom

I put these together for ease of viewing…

I was listening to an interview with Kris Tschetter the other day, the LPGA pro who wrote the book, “Ben Hogan: The Man I Knew.” One interesting comment she made was that her husband (and coach) witnessed both Hogan and Norman striking up close and said they had a very similar noise at impact, that no-one else he’s ever witnessed came close to.

Those are some good position pictures for sure. I believe they may be more pass through dynamics, but he is demonstrating what it felt like…a bit more pronounced however. I do think, however, that proper rotation of the hands and shaft can occur from that position…causing things to feel like automatic release. I think from that position if he turns hard left to capture low point in order to get to what I call the “PV5 launch point”, the hands and club have no choice but to follow with a nice angled hinge. That’s all I’ve been thinking about and doing lately…getting to the launch point…which is so far left is seems unusual, but very complimentary to accelerating up the other side, as the R arm is saved big time just by turning hard left.

I don’t think he is trying to hold this postion into impact…I think it is a result of a post impact intention from the moment the club first starts back from address.

like how Moe set the clubhead well back and inside the ball at address finding his 4.30 line early on in the piece…good work RR

It’s actually amazing how fast the clubface will release or close with passive hands… especially if you enter impact on a shoulder plane like Moe. These photos make perfect sense to me.

Ben Doyle had me feeling this as a kid but from an elbow plane, then going off plane post impact because the shaft wants to do what Moe’s does… moving more inline with the shoulders.

Moe impacts on the shoulder plane, and this is why it works. The way Doyle was teaching me locked me into having to try and time this stuff daily by hitting thousands of golf balls. It never stuck.

I think Moe felt the no release of the hands post impact because his pivot worked so well… in other words he didn’t have to try to close the face actively.

Hit or swing… either way you want to take advantage of full clubface rotation. Moe was an obsessive ball beater. It would have been interesting to see how he struck it if he took off 6 months… but there is no doubt he had a great feel for this action… so he might have been fine.

I do not know the date of this photo. It is said that some point Moe would take lessons twice a year from Paul Bertholy, who was located in Foxfire NC, near Pinehurst. The story goes Moe would stop by twice a year on the way to and from Florida/ Canada. It is probably certain Moe was great prior to Bertholy.

At any rate, this pose is very similar to one of Bertholy’s basic positions that he taught. Bertholy taught first with static poses, then with motion. This one shows his "Keystone " position…with the right elbow seeking the naval, the left arm straight( “rod”), and includes other ingredients…left knee buckled towards the target, and head back. The shaft angling down is different however, maybe he was exaggerating for a reason,to promote the wrist rotation.

I don’t think there are any photos of him in this position during a real swing, so this must have been an image or feeling he used. Sure seemed to work!

Hello Gentlemen:

These pictures are obviously possed to convey a feel or concept. The shots we use in the book are from 8mm film shot in 1961. They are therefore dynamic in nature. We fully explain Moe’s verticle drop and how he released and what he meant by passive hands. Moe’s swing was based on fluid motion and ballance. He hit his positions because he made the right motion in sequence he did not make his motion because he hit his positions. He visited Bertholy ever winter. He took one of the co-authors of the book with him on one of these visits and it is in the book. From 1961 to 1974 he spent most of his time in Flordia playing and working on his game with Lawson Mitchell. From 1974 on after Lawson introduced Greg to Moe, Greg would hit balls all day with Moe and then play 9 holes of practice golf (four balls per hole) and then hit some more. Greg was able to then follow Moe back to Canada in the spring and see Moe since they both played and in Greg’s case worked in the golfing industry in Southern Ontario. Bottom line is fellas, these two don’t have to guess about Moe’s swing - he told them what he did and taught one how to do it. They are talking about the swing that Moe used to win all his tourneys and set all his records - when he was at his best. This is not the swing you see on youtube or at Natural Golf or others after 1995.As a matter of fact it is The Real Moe Norman’s swing from before these pictures above were taken. Lawson is quick to point out that Moe never stopped talking about what he did and how he did it IN THE SAME TERMS right up to 2002. To top it off Lawson has the movies that back it up. Now that I have had the privledge to write about it I don’t have to guess. You too have that choice.

Funny. Lot’s of questions about “Who are these guys”, and “Do we know these guys?” yet here I am and noone wants to talk. :confused:

Plenty of questions about Moe’s release, his approach path into the ball, his setup, his feelings as per the photos…just on the past 2 pages for starters if you want to try answer some


What were Moe’s favorite swing drills?
What was the evolution of Moe’s grip?
Moe said “I strike from the chest and the legs” care to discuss this?
What were Moe’s thoughts on offset?
How heavy were Moe’s clubs?

just to get started…



Do you know what happend to the book Moe was writing on the psychology of golf?


As far as hitting a golfball, we could say Moe was in “the zone”, or he could get there with each swing. Did he know, and do you know how he did that?

Long time lurker here, Hello all; great forum

Chipper 222,

My question is in regards to reading about a younger Moe and how he is The Real Moe Norman.

I’ve been a fan of Moe’s and have watched many online youtube clips that obviously are later in his life, BUT he still hit the ball straight everytime with a tremendous crisp “wallup” on the ball. He even shot a 59 later in life at the age of 62, I believe; is this true??? And I’m sure that we have all seen 6 part series on Youtube with him being interviewed by Craig Shankland; to me he is still The Real Moe Norman just older. On those clips he just comes through the ball so effortlessly, no matter his age. What does your book tell us about his swing that we don’t already know? The vertical drop in nothing new.

Thanks for your time, Chipper, I’m enjoying the read.