Moe’s Swing Thoughts

The Feeling of Greatness™ of Moe Norman

by Todd Graves

With years of conventional golf instruction in my background, when I met Moe, during the many hours I spent with him hitting golf balls, I found myself asking him technical questions about his golf swing. Moe always called his incredible single plane golf swing “The Feeling of Greatness”.

It took time for me to understand that Moe describing his swing was similar to an artist describing a masterpiece.  In Moe’s way, he found a way to patiently paint for me, with words, an understanding of his golf swing.  Over the years, I have “bridged the gap” between the artist and the art.

I am excited to present to you a few of Moe’s feelings of greatness.

The Rod and the Claw™Moe Norman Vertical Drop - Golf Swing Instruction

Terms often used by Moe’s friend, mentor and teacher Paul Bertholy, the rod and claw refer to the left arm and right arm respectively.  The left arm Rod and right arm Claw, are descriptive comparisons differentiating the functions of each arm and hand.

The Left Arm (Rod)

During the golf swing, the left arm remains in a straight position while the hand hinges.  The lead arm forms a straight line with the clubshaft at impact.  The Lead hand is flat at the top of the back-swing from both down the line and face on views.

The Right Arm (Claw)

During the golf swing, the right arm folds and the trail hand hinges when the arm folds.  This folding of trail arm as the hands hinge is the major speed producer in the golf swing.

Vertical Drop™

One of my favorite descriptions is when Moe talked about his downswing transition.  He called the movement of the club from the back-swing to the downswing, the vertical drop.  This vertical drop is Moe’s feeling of how the club moves from an on plane position to the flattening of the plane in the downswing.

Here is a picture of Moe Norman demonstrating his “vertical drop”.


Moe often talked about the sequence of the golf swing calling the movement to deliver the club a Buckle-Sit-Slide and Bump.

Buckle (knees)

Sit (Body Lowers)

Slide (Weight moves forward)

Bump (Strike Golf Ball)


Moe’s Thoughts on Performing Well

written by Nick Weslock

Much of Moe’s advice to me about playing golf focused on the mental game.  Nick Weslock, one of Moe’s best friends, asked Moe to write these things down.  Nick then typed them out and handed me a copy.
Moe Norman Thoughts - Instructions on performing the single plane golf swing

“Full extension back and through”

When Moe talked about extension, he often demonstrated by using coins placing the coins behind the ball, 32 inches and 27 inches in front of the ball.  He would talk about how his swing felt as though there was so much extension in his swing that he could hit the coins both on the back-swing and the through swing.

Moe Norman Golf Swing - Natural Single Plane“My club must never “Twist” or “Turn” in my swing.

One feeling that Moe often talked about was how the club never turned during his golf swing.  This picture demonstrates him relating this feeling of what his swing felt like after impact.

“I play into my legs”Moe Norman Impact - Single Plane Golf Swing Instructions

Purely a function of the Moe Norman Single Plane™ golf swing, “playing into the legs” is a result of Moe’s ability to move into his legs as opposed to the back and upward movement of traditional golf swings.  By Starting the club on plane, the Moe Norman Single Plane Golf Swing™ impacts on the same plane allowing the body to stabilize thus the upward and backward movement of the traditional swing is no longer necessary.