By Dr. Ron Cruickshank, Golf Mind Coach & GGA Director, Canada

Technique:  Know Thyself

What in common did Moe Norman have with Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle? A bit of a stretch you might say, yet with reflection, I believe there is a lot of commonality in their perspectives and approaches to life. Further, I think we can all benefit by emulating those perspectives.  Tell me more you say.

Socrates (and later his student Plato and his student Aristotle) was credited with promoting the concept that to achieve and be happy in life “one must know thy self”. To live the “unexplored life” was to accept the status quo as “truth”, and therefore to run your life on unchallenged assumptions.  The path to greater things was therefore found in constantly exploring and challenging the accepted.

This is what Moe did. He constantly challenged the accepted and found his own path to getting the job done. Moe’s move would have never been developed had he followed the PGA teaching manual. He went his own way regardless of what others had to say, and because of his steadfast resolve he became the greatest ball striker of all time.

Socrates advocated refusing to accept the existing social order in favor of his version of democracy. Eventually, because of his beliefs, he was forced to accept a choice between banishment and death by drinking the infamous poison hemlock. While not wanting to be overly dramatic about it, I would suggest to you that Moe got banishment. He was in effect banished from the PGA Tour, the competition, the money, the lifestyle, the fame and the Championships, because of his refusal to conform to the status quo.

In Moe’s case, the banishment was probably more a reaction to his personality than his swing, but the example still holds up. Moe was a complete package of idiosyncratic aberration to the accepted norms of golf’s elite society. I personally suspect had he been more socially compliant his swing would have been accepted because the results were irrefutable. He would have been comfortable with old Socrates I suspect.

This is not to imply that by following Moe’s model of swing efficiency you will be banished. After all, Socrates’ ideas led to the foundation of modern democracy and Moe’s single plane swing is the underpinning for a whole new generation of golfers.

What I am suggesting is that you drop away from the curtain of the status quo and look at what really works. Unlimber your imagination, examine the facts and the methods of the single plane swing and be willing to make mistakes, hit poor shots and look unwieldy for a while as you develop a swing that will produce consistent and reliable results for the rest of your golfing life.

When you watch the Golf Channel or read various golfing magazines somebody is always asking. “What is your dream foursome?” Well, after thinking about this I’ve decided my dream round would be a ‘five some’ with Moe, Socrates, Todd Graves and my son Blade. Not sure any rules would be followed, but boy what an afternoon that would be!