What if I told you that one of the best “conventional” golf teachers in the world today said this: “Modern golf instruction has a long way to go”, “Moe Norman had as perfect mechanics as any person who has ever played and more players, even tour players, should swing like him”. Does this catch your attention?
When I say that Moe’s swing is easier, has less moving parts and all golfers can learn from him, my perspective is biased. I believe everyone should swing like Moe. But then again, I am “Little Moe” and why would I say anything other than Moe’s single plane, the way I play, is the best way?. However, when Jim Suttie, a top 100 instructor who might be the only PGA Professional instructor with a PHD in Biomechanics says it, I think its time for all golfers, of all levels, to listen.
I recently had the pleasure of spending the day with Jim Suttie, who everyone calls “Doc”. Doc has forgotten more about golf than I have ever learned. He’s been teaching for almost 40 years and coached some great players including Paul Azinger, Fred Funk, Mike Small, Chip Beck, Kevin Streeleman, Jeff Sluman and dozens of other players have taken instruction from Doc.
It is no surprise that Doc and Moe were good friends. Every winter as Moe migrated south to Florida, he would travel through Pine Needles, and stop by the academy where Doc would watch him hit balls. As Doc put it, “there was nothing more fun than to just sit back and watch, Moe was a great showman”. In 1992, Doc shot a video with Moe hitting and answering questions about his swing. In one part of the video, Doc tells Moe that he swings on a Single Plane. I would credit Doc for recognizing Moe’s Single Plane setup before any other teacher. With his background in Biomechanics this makes sense – Doc has a great sense of the mechanics of the golf swing – even with Moe who was considered awkward and unconventional.
I find it more than a coincidence that Moe was awkward and unconventional yet is considered biomechancally perfect by a Doctor of Biomechanics.
So where does this leave you – the aspiring golfer who is sifting for and easier way to get better at golf? There is no doubt that golf instruction, in its current state is confusing. Even Doc thinks so. He will agree that most people are watching television – learning the “swing of the week” from the latest PGA Tour winner. “The answers aren’t out there. Moe was the closest to perfection of anyone I have ever seen” says Doc. He would agree that many people don’t want to look different but to get Moe like results, you need to take the unconventional leap. Here are some of the main differences between conventional golf and Moe’s Single Plane Swing:
Conventional golf teaches a narrow stance with rotation / Single Plane Golf teaches wide stance with less rotation
Conventional golf teaches a upper body speed with a rotational lower body / Single Plane Golf is upper body speed with a stable lower body.
Conventional golf teaches a straight lead leg at impact causing stress on the back / Single Plane Golf Teaches a flexed lead leg taking stress off of the back
Of course, the key is what Doc refers to as the biomechanics of getting to impact – the most important part of the swing. Doc says that the key to future instruction must be about getting to impact, and finding the easiest way to get there. This is the key to great ballstriking. And by the results that Moe produced, it is evident to one of the best teachers in the world that Moe was the best.