As the story goes, I was playing the Canadian tour – and we had reached Toronto, the East Canada swing. I usually only hung out with Moe on the East side of Canada because he was there in the summer. This particular time I was playing the tournament at the Royal Woodbine Golf Club, a golf course very near the Toronto Airport.
Moe showed up the day of the practice round as I was warming up on the driving range. I asked him to hit a few balls as all of the players on the tour gathered around to watch. After he hit balls for about an hour with a crowd of 25 CPGA tour players, we decided to have lunch in the clubhouse.
At the time in my career, I was struggling with-Moe’s swing – my clubface was closed at the top of the backswing and, as a result, I often hooked the ball. Moe seemed to know what I was going through and as we were eating our sandwiches he said, “You won’t believe your eyes when you get it – you won’t believe your eyes”.
At the time, I really didn’t understand fully what he meant. I obviously knew that he saw a problem in my swing and I understood the “It” part but but I didn’t comprehend what he meant by “won’t believe my eyes”.
Many years later, after a bit of frustration of still hooking the golf ball that I changed my lead-hand grip to a fully neutral position (I struggled with this for a long time). Of course it felt horrible and I hit the ball terribly for a month or so. My swing, however, looked very good on video but because of the grip change the clubface was in a perfect position at the top of the backswing, however, I struggled with squaring the face at impact and fully releasing the club. (This is very common if you have a strong lead-hand grip).
After taking some time to practice, fighting through the frustration, and working on the feeling of the lead hand position for a few months, (and to be truthful I really can’t even understand how exactly), one day the ball began to sound different than any time I had practiced before.
What was even more exciting was that my shots began to have the most incredible flight. I was hitting a 5 iron and I can honestly say I had never seen my ball fly so high, pure and straight. Since then, I have never had a problem with my grip and I have never lost it. Later that year, when Moe he saw me hit the ball he said ‘I told you so, you can’t believe your eyes- can you?” – He remembered our lunch in Toronto.
So what was “It” that Moe was referring to?
The “it” Moe talked about was simply the feeling of great swing mechanics, which resulted in great ball flight. More specifically the perfect movement of the golf club AND the movement of the body that created it.
If you had the privilege to see Moe strike a golf ball in person, you would have immediately noticed the sound and flight of the golf ball. Moe often described it as “pure”. This pure sound and flight was the result of great swing mechanics. Moe had “It”. “It” is similar to making an apple pie. You have all of the ingredients but it only tastes like apple pie when all of the ingredients are correctly mixed and properly baked.
“It” is when a child learns to ride a bike. At first riding requires training wheels then, eventually he feels how to balance, pedal and steer. Suddenly, when the training wheels are removed, he is riding the bike. He gets “it”.
“It” is the result of having all of the right ingredients in all of the right places, at the right time resulting in perfect result.
In my case, “It” was years of hard work, trial and error, studying Moe’s move, talking with Moe, making changes, plenty of frustration and hours and hours of practice. These were my ingredients.
“It” happens when you, at the subconscious level, are able to perform the given task without thinking about it. It just happens because at a very deep subconscious level, that can only be reached through practice and repetition, “It” is the only way you know how to do it.
So, what are your “It” ingredients and how do YOU get it.
Well, this is what we (the Graves Golf Academy) are all about. Helping you get the ingredients you need to get “It”. The ingredients might vary for some however, there are definitely certain things that are the same for everyone.
One thing that I recommend is to do your best to “shortcut” this process – one way to do this is to use video analysis and get consistent and frequent instruction in the process while you are developing and changing your swing. If you do this, you can speed up the process and with a little hard work and practice, you won’t believe your eyes either.