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Death of Moe Norman

Bravo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
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Moe Norman died recently.

Although I am not a student of his game - I have read several feature length articles on this facinating man in golf magazines.

What a story - an autistic savant who was one of the most brilliant ball strikers in the history of the game.

A Canadian legend who (under slightly different circumstances) may have become an international star....
 

IrishGolfer

Fac ut gaudeam
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Sep 1, 2004
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Showing my ignorance...

Who is this guy Moe Norman? He's looks like an interesting character alright. Any links to sites for more info? I can see the Hollywood Blockbuster now (no, hold on a sec, he's Canadian, right!!! :p Only kidding....)
 

bdcrowe

ST Homeland Security
Aug 30, 2004
2,207
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There was a cool story about him on TGC last night. The man was in a coma in the hospital. When he came to, the attendee asked him if he knew where he was. He answered, "The 5th green. 5th green. yes. The 5th green." The attendee reported his delirium to the physician, and that there were apparently still problems with him. The physician answered that the hospital was built on a golf course. Moe's room was built on what was formerly the 5th green.
 

IrishGolfer

Fac ut gaudeam
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Sep 1, 2004
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Are you sure this dude was not Bagger Vance?

I've often woken up in a cold sweat screaming "Use the Lob wedge" or "Grow teeth ball" or "Hook, baby, hook". I wonder if I qualify for legend status?
 

bdcrowe

ST Homeland Security
Aug 30, 2004
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IrishGolfer said:
Are you sure this dude was not Bagger Vance?

I've often woken up in a cold sweat screaming "Use the Lob wedge" or "Grow teeth ball" or "Hook, baby, hook". I wonder if I qualify for legend status?
You had me @ "So I've got that goin' for me, which is nice."

You are a legend, amigo.
 

Rockford35

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Aug 30, 2004
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Moe was a freak. The guy literally and figuratively made no sense, but emphasised two key points in golf.

1)The golf swing is the contact between the face and the ball, that's it.

2)Having fun with golf is the only way to play.

He had some Howard Hughes issues being a recluse, and never wanting to play golf for money. But he was arguably the best ball striker of all time. He had an intimate knowledge of the game that only a few could decipher from his teachings.

I saw him once on TV hit a 3 wood from a half buried lie in a fairway bunker. Pured it. His response? "You just have to know your own swing, and no one can teach you that."

His lessons were weird, but i sure can relate to them.

R35
 
OP
Bravo

Bravo

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Aug 27, 2004
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IrishGolfer said:
Are you sure this dude was not Bagger Vance?

I've often woken up in a cold sweat screaming "Use the Lob wedge" or "Grow teeth ball" or "Hook, baby, hook". I wonder if I qualify for legend status?

I am crying here......this is good.

Looking forward to this in person.
 
OP
Bravo

Bravo

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Aug 27, 2004
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rockford35 said:
Moe was a freak. The guy literally and figuratively made no sense, but emphasised two key points in golf.

1)The golf swing is the contact between the face and the ball, that's it.

2)Having fun with golf is the only way to play.

He had some Howard Hughes issues being a recluse, and never wanting to play golf for money. But he was arguably the best ball striker of all time. He had an intimate knowledge of the game that only a few could decipher from his teachings.

I saw him once on TV hit a 3 wood from a half buried lie in a fairway bunker. Pured it. His response? "You just have to know your own swing, and no one can teach you that."

His lessons were weird, but i sure can relate to them.

R35


Among the other facinating things about him is that Natural Golf is based around the way he played.

About two years ago, an older retired gentleman started playing with us. He's in the late 60's..

After 3-4 holes I am thinking, "hits it good for a man his age - straight and consistent".

Then I saw that strange wide stance - upright and the arms - both straight as a rod...

Told me he HAD to switch after his lower back would ache after playing golf like we play it. Switched to Natural Golf and can play all day...

This was patterned after Moe Norman.

The Moe Norman stories apparently are stuff of legend. Able to stand up and hit 20 balls 250 yards with a variance from a straight line of no more than 5 yards either side...

There must have been something to it bc Natural Golf works undeniably for so many people.

I'll be going there when the back goes out.

anything to stay in the game.
 

bdcrowe

ST Homeland Security
Aug 30, 2004
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Couple of other interesting things about him on TGC:

TM brought him in all the time to their launch monitor. He is the only person to EVER repeatedly register 0% sidespin on the monitor.

A story about one hole he played. Everyone either tried to carry a creek with their driver or lay up behind it. He hit driver and rolled the ball over the 3 ft-wide bridge that crossed it. When asked about it, his enigmatic response was, "Ball fit, ball fit. Yes, ball fit on bridge."

One persona mentioned that one of the major companies (Titelist? Footjoy? One of the 2) kept him on payroll of $5000 yr just for being Moe Norman.
 
OP
Bravo

Bravo

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Aug 27, 2004
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Wow - I remember the bridge story now from the GD article.

Amazing....

On a personal note - as a parent of an Autistic child, I know firsthand how people with this affliction can appear to normal people. Their ways of communicating and relating to others are strange. I am fortunate that my daughter is very "social" and relates very well to others. (Her big issue is simple - low intelligence.) However, I am exposed to autistic and retarded people of all ages now and many do not communicate or relate well to others. They are in their "own world".

This is the sad part of the Moe Norman story. If his social skills had been better - he could have competed and won big on the US Tour....
 

DaveE

The golfer fka ST Champ
Aug 31, 2004
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Nothing to add. Just wanted to say how much I am enjoying this thread. Great stuff! :D
 

TourCraft

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Aug 26, 2004
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it was titleist that paid him $5000 a month for life, for letting them video tape his swing so they could study it. actually it was a suprise to moe, they actually just "obtained" the footage and approched him later with with the news that they were going to pay him. moe was nearly broke at the time, he didnt make much from natural golf.
 
OP
Bravo

Bravo

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TourCraft said:
it was titleist that paid him $5000 a month for life, for letting them video tape his swing so they could study it. actually it was a suprise to moe, they actually just "obtained" the footage and approched him later with with the news that they were going to pay him. moe was nearly broke at the time, he didnt make much from natural golf.

The fact that he struggled to make a living is a sad fact of those who are mentally handicapped. Those who have not had an opportunity to understand his affliction are ignorant of this.

I DID enjoy your anecdote as it is an example of Corporate Ethics at its best.
 

Rockford35

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TourCraft said:
it was titleist that paid him $5000 a month for life, for letting them video tape his swing so they could study it. QUOTE]


Geeze. Sure paid off. Lost Tiger and now Phil. :rolleyes:

(Couldn't let that slide as i'm not the biggest fan of Titleist equipment, save their Vokey's)

R35
 

IrishGolfer

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Sep 1, 2004
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The new Dude of the Fairways

Thanks Bravo

I've spent a bit of time reading about this Dude, Moe Norman. It does seems that he could have been a major champion, but for personal reasons, which is a pity, but I would have loved to have seen this guy hit shots. He sounds like a fascinating guy.

I found a good article. Here's a few snippits that I liked...

Moe's words...
"Be your own best friend -- have a good attitude,"
"Golf isn't supposed to be work. It's to have fun. So have fun!" ;)

On the course, Moe was certainly a sight to see. With a limited and mismatched wardrobe, he often played with his pants up over his ankles and a stained shirt hanging out of his trousers.
GOD, I'LL BET HE WOULD HAVE SIGNED TO THE GOLF SANDALS PEOPLE!!

http://www.failuremag.com/arch_sports_moenorman.html
 

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