One of Our Heros
“Only two players have ever truly owned their swings: Moe Norman and Ben Hogan.”
- Tiger Woods
Who Was Moe?
Murray Irwin "Moe" Norman (July 10, 1929 – September 4, 2004) was born in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. He was widely considered by golf pros to be the best ball striker ever to play golf. His accuracy and ability to hit shot after shot perfectly straight, gave him the nickname "Pipeline Moe".
An early childhood motor vehicle accident left Moe permanently disabled with neurological damage resulting in a condition similar to autism. This later affected his ability to play in tournaments.
Moe developed what has been termed the "Natural Golf Swing" - rigid arms extended far from his body, a very wide stance with minimal knee bend, shorter-than-usual backswing and extended follow-through with minimal hand action, which produced amazingly accurate shots. The "Natural Golf Swing" is heralded by many as the “Secret to Golf”. This swing is widely taught by VDGA volunteer instructors as it is most suitable for persons with various types of disabilities due to it's simplicity.
Some of the worlds best known golfers including Tiger Woods, Sam Snead, Lee Trevino and countless others have publicly endorsed Moe’s abilities as possibly the most accurate player to have ever held a club.
In recognition of Moe's talent and the fact that his disability hindered him as a professional, Mr. Wally Uihlen, CEO, Titleist Corporation provided Moe with financial security in his later years. There was no requirement to promote Titleist products, just a simple thank you from an admiring golf world.
Moe passed away in 2004, but continues to inspire us all.
What others have said about Moe Norman
"I don't know of any player, ever, who could strike a golf ball like Moe Norman, as far as hitting it solid, knowing where it is going and knowing what he wants to do with the ball. Moe Norman is a genius when it comes to playing the game of golf."
"The VDGA are honoring a great golfer, Moe Norman, who I knew personally and considered him to be one of the greatest ball strikers in the game. In fact, I learned much from him and his style.”
- Lee Trevino
"Who's the best golfer I've ever seen? Moe Norman. I've hit balls with him lots of times. He was incredible. Whatever he said he could do, he could do. If you talk to Lee Trevino and the other greats of the game, they'll tell you how good he was. He could talk it, and he could do it. God gives people little gifts, and Moe had a gift for golf."
- Vijay Singh
"Moe Norman was an accomplished player. He was a two-time Canadian Amateur Champion, a member of the 1954 Amateur Cup Team, a 13-time winner on the Canadian PGA tour, and a multiple winner of the CPGA Senior’s Championship.
He held countless course records. But his on-course success and the subsequent icon status as the world's best striker of the golf ball is all the more remarkable given the circumstances that he endured and the path that he was forced to walk. Suffering from a form of autism, golf allowed Moe to be fulfilled while providing him refuge and protection a threatening outside world. He was also a teacher of the game to the end, and would be proud of the work that the Victoria Disabled Golfers Association is doing to assist disabled golfers on how to play and enjoy the game as part of their rehabilitation process."
– Wally Uihlein, CEO Titleist & Pinnacle Corps.
"I was fortunate enough to know Moe for more than 40 years. He was shy and gentle and he lived life and played golf his way. Golf provided Moe a way to express himself. He knew how to control the flight of the golf ball, and was unique in the way he did it. I applaud The Victoria Disabled Golfers Association for providing opportunities for people to express themselves. Moe did that, in a private and individual game that he played in professional tournaments--the most public of arenas."
– Lorne Rubenstein, Writer & Golf Journalist, Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.
- Canadian Amateur Championship winner (1955, 1956);
- 55 career Canadian Tour and other Canadian event victories;
- Canadian PGA Championship winner (1966, 1974);
- Canadian PGA Seniors' Championship winner (1979–1985, 1987);
- 33 course records;
- 17 holes-in-one;
- Several exhibition rounds under 60 (perfect round);
- Inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1995;
- Inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 2006;
- Two appearances (amateur) in the Masters Tournament (1956, 1957)