Moe Norman Swing Analysis – What does Moe Norman have in common with Tiger Woods?

by Max on Monday, June 9th, 2008

If you have been a golf fanatic like me for almost 20 years, you will know that one of the best ball strikers next to Ben Hogan in history of golf was Moe Norman.

Moe Norman is a Canadian golfer who didn’t play as many US tour events as he should have but he’s regarded as the best ball striker by many people.

Another great Canadian golfer is George Knudson, a golfer Jack Nicklaus said that had one of the best swings in golf.

Anyways, let’s look at the one-swing plane Moe Norman teaches and I can tell you that it’s not that much different from Tiger’s swing except the setup.

As you can see, Moe Norman “says” he teaches 1-plane swing, but he actually is a little bit under the plane. In that regards, Tiger’s swing is more on-plane.

Mind you, Moe Norman is a great golfer and teacher but do as he says not as he does. (His swing is off-plane here as evidenced on the screenshot)

At the top of Moe Norman’s swing, you can see that Moe is perfectly on-plane. Now, Tiger swing way past 3/4 so we can compare Tiger’s 3/4 position to Moe Norman.

As you can see, there’s no difference between the two great golfers. Their start setup might be different but MOST pro tour players do end up in the similar top of backswing positions, impact, and followthrough.

Now, half-way downswing, you can see that both players are slightly under the plane, both of which are fine for crisp inside-out strike.

There are a lot of “myths” out on the internet that Moe Norman’s swing is a unique swing. The setup is unique but the other parts are the same.

So which setup is better for striking the ball?

I think that either setup is great. Moe Norman prefers to setup so his arms and hands are on-plane at address. This isn’t something natural for most golfers and I like to take the regular “hang the arms” style setup.

The fact is that at impact, your arms and hands straighten out anyways, so I don’t feel the need to setup like that unless you are a hardcore fan of Moe Norman.

At impact, notice that both golfers are pretty much identical except Tiger’s taller so he seems to be coming at a more vertical angle but in reality, both players are achieving the same thing.

The point of this post?

Well, there are a lot of instructors out there that “claim” they can teach you the 1-swing plane.

Well, folks, the truth is that the 1-swing plane is something that Tiger and many other tour players implement.

The only thing Moe Norman does differently is his setup and if you want to learn that and pay some golf schmuck couple hundred bucks, go ahead but golf in essence is same whether you learn Moe’s method or anyone elses.

My 1-swing Plane Theory

My 1-swing plane theory is not something I learned from another teacher. It has come from analyzing and studying the best players in slow-motion, at tournaments, and playing high-pressure tournaments myself to see what worked or not.

If you look at any of my video swing analysis, you will see the plane line I set from the ball through the middle of right shoulder socket. This is the plane that Tiger Woods and Moe Norman uses. It’s a great plane to follow because it allows the golfer to get back to the golf ball from the top of the backswing with minimal manipulation such as “arms dropping” and etc…etc…

I’ve also noticed that more and more players are adopting the 1-swing plane on tour. It’s simply a better way to hit the ball and puts less stress on your back when done right.

So how to achieve this 1-swing plane?

Well, I can’t tell you all the secrets but yes, I am working on an e-book that will show you some simple drills that help you achieve this goal.

Here’s Moe Norman’s swing in action for your reference but don’t go buy some stupid instructions on the web:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode


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7 Responses to “Moe Norman Swing Analysis – What does Moe Norman have in common with Tiger Woods?”

  1. [...] you want to swing on 1-plane swing like Tiger or Moe Norman, you will need to concentrate on getting your clubhead on one plane only. 10 years, clubhead, david [...]

  2. Steve Finch says:

    The other key, which is rarely mentioned, is Moe’s grip. He has a baseball grip. None of his fingers interlock or overlap. Why is that important? Because you will have significant pain in your wrists if you try Moe’s address set up (trust me, I have tried) and use a “normal” grip. However, you will lose all feel for chips and pitchs with this grip..

  3. ChiChi says:

    True, but Moe had an overlap or interlock grip through most of his great ball striking. I think he changed after meeting Jack Kuykendall and joining Natural Golf.

  4. Jason says:

    I’m a beginner and have also tried Moe’s grip. It is impossible for me to play like that. I hope I will get to that level of play one day.

  5. sleight says:

    I also try and swing like moe and I do agree about the “Natural golf lessons” really do not teach Moe's techniques as Moe did it. Moes unique set up allows a much simpler swing, when he grounds the club far behind the ball before every shot. If you leave this part out, it is like Moe said him self, “I can not hit the ball if I put it there” – in other words if you ground the club beside the ball it is almost impossible to execute the same movements as Moe had. I do ground it as much like Moe as I can and it is very hard to hit the ball offline. Not to brag but I hit the flagstick twice this week in the air from 160 yards, and most other balls go very straight aswell. So obviously noobs like myself and others can gain a lot from switching to Moes swing. The only bad thing is no one teaches Moes swing like HE did it. That's why I had to learn it myself by buying all of Moes videos. Anyways long live Moe and he was the greatest ballstriker EVER!

  6. Dr Jaan says:

    THE SWING PLANE SHIFT OF MOE IS AN ILLUSION

    Take a look at the second row of pictures at mid-backswing. Tiger is far more up than Moe – hands almost level with his right shoulder, while Moe is well below. If the Tiger photo had been from the same position of the club it might well have appeared to be “below plane” as well.

    This is because, if the swing plane is a little tilted towards the camera, the club appears to be lower than the plane marked with red. If the axis of the plane shifts to more vertical it will appear, from the video point of view, as if the plane had shifted more in line with the red line. But in reality – relative to the body, the club has moved along exactly the same plane both up and down. And that is what counts.

    This is not a just comparison.

    Finally, Ben Hogan never came close to the level of Moe even if he won many more big tours just because Moe was too shy stand the attention. When it came to ball-striking precision and consistency, Moe was definitely superior to Hogan. Noone has a similar official track record.

    Also the writer greatly underestimates the importance of Moe’s unique setup. It is a most important factor in enabling his great consistency. Thousands of people who have been able to improve their golf when switching to his swing can certify that.

    However, the swing of Moe demands that one lets go of trying to hit or control the movement of the body in great detail. One has so to say hand it over to the laws of nature (inertial and centrifugal forces) to take care of the club movement. If one cannot let go of conscious control one will never be able to learn the real Moe Norman swing nor, i believe become really successful with any other method either.

    This principle of letting the natural laws pirmarily govern the swing, while the body follows it, actually was already discovered by the great Ernest Jones and has been successfully taught for decades by the legendary Manuel de la Torre. Moe perfected this principle in an ingenious way by adding his revolutionary setup and some other things.

  7. Bob Fisk says:

    I have admired Moe’s swing for years. Some say I have some of the attributes in my swing, a swing that I developed before I knew of the master. The key attribute that none of the video commentators seem to have picked up is the plane of the hands on the downswing. Moe takes back the club with his hands below the swing plane until he reaches the top where he raises his hands to the plane. The majority of downswing has his hands perfectly on this plane all the way through impact. This, I believe, focuses the power in one direction (at the target), allows the clubface to become square easier and remain square longer, and the timing is therefore less critical than other mult plane swings.

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