Moe Norman's Consistency On & Off the Golf Course
Updated: Jan 10, 2022
Moe Norman drinks a can of soda after a ball-striking clinic
It's a new year, and that normally comes with resolutions to "kick a habit" or "get the ball rolling" on creating better habits.
But that's not something you would've heard from Moe Norman every January. The Canadian golf legend did things his way for decades. He didn't conform to convention, and he stayed true to his ways. On the golf course it was owning his unique Single Plane Swing method and playing a particular golf ball. Away from the course, it was driving the same model of car for decades and reaching for his go-to beverage every chance he got.
But all of Moe's habits crossed over with his golf game. As much as Moe loved golf, he loved Titleist, Coke, and Cadillacs. The executive producer of this feature-length documentary—Todd Graves, a close friend of Moe's—wrote the following article about how all of these habits were rolled up to make Moe a one-of-a-kind individual with a fascinating story.
On the morning that Canadian golf legend Moe Norman died, Gus Maue was asked to go through his good friend’s belongings.
In the pants pockets of the 75-year-old Norman, Maue found a couple of Titleist golf balls, three or four tees and a watch. In the trunk of his car, he discovered more than 1,000 golf balls, most of them Titleist Pro V1s, rolling around loosely, 10 pairs of Footjoy golf shoes, two to three sets of irons and $20,000 in cash hidden throughout the Cadillac.
Norman hated banks, but he loved Titleist, Coke, and Cadillacs.
Moe Norman drives his Cadillac by his childhood home in Kitchener, Ontario during an interview with Lorne Rubenstein.
After watching Moe hit balls at the Canadian Open in 1995 and recognizing Moe’s talents, Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein said, “We’re missing out on something here.”
Titleist began paying Moe a “no-strings-attached” salary of $5,000 per month until his death in 2004. This and a contract with Natural Golf, a company that promoted his golf swing, largely supported Moe in his later years before his death.
Max Oxford, Titleist Sales Manager, said they did it to recognize a man they believed to be a legend. When asked why he played Titleist, Moe said, “It’s the best ball in golf for the best ball-striker in golf.”
Larry Olson, the president of Natural Golf, met Moe Norman when his company—who’s methodology was the based on a scientific Single Plane golf swing—was asked if he knew of Moe Norman in 1993.
“What’s a Moe Norman?” Larry asked.
Once Olson met Moe and discovered that his incredible golf swing validated the company teaching methodology, Natural Golf began promoting and supporting Moe financially.
Moe was known to drink a few dozen Cokes per day and would often anger tournament officials and entertain crowds by hitting balls off of the mouth of Coke bottles during tournaments. Moe said he did it because he wanted to entertain the crowds and have fun. He eventually switched to Diet Coke later in his life.
Moe poses with a Titleist golf ball teed up on a Coke bottle next to his Cadillac.
Moe enjoyed driving Cadillacs too. Coming from a poor family, a Cadillac was a symbol of success and acceptance, something Moe longed for. When he was younger, he would make his friends drive him around so he could save his money, hoarding his small change until it would be enough to trade for a hundred-dollar bill. He often pardoned himself from picking up the tab by making the excuse he didn’t want to break the hundred dollar bills that filled his front pocket. Eventually, he took the wad of cash and purchased his first Cadillac. Every six months Moe would trade in his Cadillac for a newer model.
Moe was golf’s greatest underdog. Help me tell his story, one of the most fascinating in the history of the sport, by donating to his documentary. Click the link to help tell Moe's story DONATE HERE