For those of you reading the newsletter, I pass on to you that Moe Norman is really a genius (I have his personal papers which he gave me on that first day), who deserves the respect and noteriety he is now getting at age 72. I shall always regard him as the "most unforgettable character I ever met."
I never heard Norman speak about autism, but I know that he understood its cruelties. In his car, which was filled with old newspaper clippings and the motivational tapes that helped rescue his life, he once had a well-worn article about autism sitting on the front seat. In the article the outdated term "idiot savant" was discussed at length. Norman had crossed out the word idiot.
"People laugh at me, but that's OK," Norman once declared. "They also reviled another reformer." The reformer in question? "Jesus Christ."
In 1963, he had a stroke average of just above 68. Unfortunately, his shyness and discomfort with being outside Canada kept him off the American PGA Tour. As a result, he is not well known to amateur golfers in America.
Norman's cut from a different cloth when it comes to talent and personality. Anyone who has seen him hit a golf ball, from golfing professionals to weekend hackers, considers Norman one of the best ball-strikers in the history of the game.
As his standoffish behavior at clinics suggests, Moe is still painfully uncomfortable interacting with strangers. But his golf game has not deteriorated; he claims to be hitting the ball better than ever.
At the age of 74, Norman is the eccentric genius of his sport, the ''Glenn Gould of golf.' The man with the perfect swing, 'repeatable,' as the commentators say, under any amount of pressure...
The method of striking a golf ball pioneered by Moe Norman, Natural Golf has evolved into a simple method that uses a single plane axis for swinging a golf club.
With all due respect to the touring pros assembled at Angus Glen for this week's Canadian Open, Moe Norman, even at the age of 73, is The Man.