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Moe Norman: Golf´s
Greatest Ball Striker?

Wall Street Journal, by Jeff Neuman

Original Article

Posted By:Hazymac, 7/26/2014 8:53:04 AM

It is not unusual to see a photograph of a professional golfer hitting balls on the range in front of a group of interested spectators. But it is unusual when the golfer is a pudgy man in his mid-sixties, and the onlookers include Fred Couples, Ben Crenshaw, Nick Price, and Nick Faldo. The photograph, taken before the 1995 TELUS World Skins Game at the National Golf Club of Canada, captures the fascination even the world´s best players had with the legendary Moe Norman, perhaps the greatest ball striker the game has ever known. Tiger Woods told golf writer Jaime Diaz in 2004, "Only two players have ever truly owned their swings:

Comments:
Moe Norman would draw a crowd wherever he appeared to demonstrate his amazing abilities to influence the flight of a golf ball. Some twenty-five years ago he drove from his motel room (where he lived) up to Wekiva Golf Club where the Florida Tour pros were finishing a competitive round. Instead of driving home, the guys lingered to watch Moe on the practice tee.

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: Scrubber, 7/26/2014 9:11:21 AM     (No. 9940801)

The most odd swing ever, but could land 10 balls in a 30" circle with a 5 iron. Pathological shyness kept him away from most tour events; what a shame.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: Hazymac, 7/26/2014 9:17:29 AM     (No. 9940819)

Moe also carried around a thick stack of papers that comprised the manuscript of his unpublished book on the golf swing. I spent an hour at his car leafing through the pages and asking him questions. If I hadn´t had a 150 mile trip back to the Bay, I´d have stayed hours more. The man knew just about everything about golf. There were three swings he admired: his own, Hogan´s, and Trevino´s. On the practice tee, he could hit any shot you wanted to see. Dead accurately.

A stranger meeting him for the first time might have been somewhat taken aback. This intense man did appear to be in the throes of madness, although golf guru status doesn´t lend itself to normality, whatever that might be. I remember his blue eyes, his staccato voice, his bad teeth, and his body odor. You were more than willing to put up with that just to listen to him for a while. A most unusual man he was.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: nhsailmaker, 7/26/2014 9:25:21 AM     (No. 9940832)

I changed to the Mo Norman swing this year. New grip, new swing and new clubs. Hitting them farther and straight. Around greens is now consistently easy. You got to try his swing - The swing simply makes sense - God Bless Mo Norman

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Reply 4 - Posted by: biggun, 7/26/2014 12:27:44 PM     (No. 9941095)

My thanks to the above posters and their personal anecdotes about the great Moe Norman.


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Reply 5 - Posted by: Newtsche, 7/26/2014 12:30:29 PM     (No. 9941100)

It´s guys like this who show the vast untapped possibilities of human potential. Mo Norman was....the most interesting golfer in the world.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: flybynight, 7/26/2014 12:34:30 PM     (No. 9941103)

Sounds like Mo had a touch of autism, with his inattention to personal grooming, his social awkwardness, his tendency to repeat phrases in a singsong or monotone, and his ability to concentrate on analyzing and perfecting a single skill.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: Hazymac, 7/26/2014 2:08:29 PM     (No. 9941212)

Moe Norman was a golfing savant, albeit one who could actually do what he espoused, every day of the year. #6 is right.

Moe was always welcome when he appeared at various winter professional golf tournaments in Central Florida during the 1980s and the 1990s. His younger professional colleagues more than respected him. Some of them hoped that maybe he´d do the Miyagi-with-Daniel-san-routine with a promising apprentice, but that never happened. As originally planned, the book never happened, but one wonders what the Estate holders might have.

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