The best ball hitter ever lived should not be forgotten! In the week of the return to the calendar after two years of the Canadian Open, that incredible character who used to go by the name of Moe Norman comes back to memory.
As a matter of fact, everything about Moe Norman was unusual. His swing, his clothing, his demeanor, his voice, his life choices, his signature (M-O-E, all capitalized). At a time when golf legends such as Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Lee Trevino regularly won major titles, his accuracy of shots nevertheless attracted the respect of many of his fellow players, creating the "cult" of this character.
Moe Normar, history
Born in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada in 1929, as a child Norman enjoyed spending days with friends or playing hockey. However, once he discovered golf, his life began to change, but at a significant price.
When Norman's interest in golf blossomed, his working-class family questioned why he had chosen to play a sport often associated with the elite. Despite Norman's ever-growing passion for the game, his family "completely pushed him away," so much so that Norman refused their later support during tournaments.
During his late teens and early twenties, Norman devoted himself to perfecting his "single plane swing" so that he could regularly hit the ball where he wanted with remarkable precision. The "single plane swing" was Norman's attempt to improve shooting efficiency and remove the number of variables involved.
In position on the ball, Norman wanted to make sure the shaft position of the club was maintained on impact and he managed to achieve it with a wide stance, arms straight and hands aligned.
It was a swing that required a lot of connection between the hips, shoulders, arms and hands. Such was his dedication to perfecting his swing, that Norman is said to spend so much time on the driving range at the end of the day, his palms were bleeding.
Later in his career, Norman would also conduct demonstration days for his fans and attract the attention of fellow professionals, such was the accuracy of his shots. Yet, for Norman, winning tournaments was not the ultimate goal.
The process of hitting the clean ball was more "spiritual" to him - something he described to some reporters as "the feeling of greatness" Many knowledgeable people believe that Norman lived within the autism spectrum.
However, there is another possible theory to explain Norman's personality traits. It seems that at the age of only 5, playing with a friend on a sled, he was hit in the forehead by the wheel of a reversing car. Since there were no broken bones, his family did not take him to the hospital and some neurologists theorized that Norman's different personality could be due to a brain injury in the frontal lobe.
“He knew what was important in life. He just wasn't able to express it in the ways that many people would. Only on the golf course was Norman in the element of him.
He chatted with spectators during the laps of a tournament and even took bets from spectators that he could bounce a ball on his driver more than 100 times or slip a ball into his shirt pocket with one swipe.
Although he had been very successful in his native Canada, Norman had a harder life on the PGA Tour in the United States. He collected over 60 victories on the Canadian Tour, but only one top 10 on the Pga Tour in 15 years, earning $ 7,139.
He has also played in five Senior PGA Tour tournaments, in which he earned $ 22,900 in prize money. He only appeared twice in the four majors, playing in the 1956 and 1957 Masters. He also had to endure bullying from professional colleagues, but it never came under the scrutiny of the PGA of America.
After the retirement, money was also a problem for Norman. In 1995, the player lived in a $ 400-a-month motel room and kept his clothes in his car. Titleist later stepped in and gave Norman $ 5,000 a month for the rest of his life to reward him for his service to the sport.
Just a few years later, in 2004, Moe Norman died at the age of 75. Although he did not achieve the success of his contemporaries, the legacy of this true golf pioneer self-proclaimed "best ball hitter ever" should not be forgotten.