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Thursday, 11 December 2014

Moe Norman

My Shot: Moe Norman Magazines: Golfdigest.com

I may be a bit biased, given that Moe Norman was a Canadian.  But I don't think so.  He was a unique character who is well known in Canadian golf circles, but not necessarily as well known as he deserved to be.  Suspected, but I don't believe ever formally diagnosed as being autistic, Moe was certainly a savant, a golfing genius. He was considered by many, including Lee Trevino, to be one of the greatest ball strikers of all time.  He could definitely play a little as well, establishing numerous course records, and shooting 59 three times, the last time in his sixties.

His strange behaviour prevented him from being able to adapt to playing on the PGA tour.  His failure to show appropriate decorum; dressing rather outrageously, playing quickly, and becoming openly annoyed at the slow play of other pros, resulted in him eventually being driven off the tour and home to Canada where he became a legendary character.

There is a story that Moe, prior to being run off the tour, actually putted through a playing partners legs as he was picking his ball out of the hole.  This was apparently one of the last straws, resulting in him receiving a chewing out that made him pack up and return to Canada where his eccentricities were accepted.

I have a friend who was lucky enough to be paired with Moe in a tournament in Belleville, Ontario. It was a shotgun start and my friend and two others were waiting to start the round on a par three on the Bay of Quinte course.  Moe was conspicuous by his absence until a cart suddenly appeared going as fast as the governor would permit, with Moe being chauffeured to the tee.

Moe jumped out of the cart and called over to his playing companions, asking what the yardage was. They gave him the number and watched, somewhat dumbfounded, as he grabbed a club, rushed to the tee box, dropped a ball on the ground, and proceeded without further ado to knock it straight in the hole.

Moe announced that this was his eighteenth hole in one. I'm pretty sure eighteen was the number my friend mentioned, but it could definitely have been more. Knowing Moe's legendary iron game, eighteen sounds a little low. 

I found this Golf Digest article which includes numerous statements by Moe.  I believe, if you haven't heard of Moe, you will find some interesting ideas and insights.  Enjoy.