Moe Norman’s “Master Move” = The MCS “Drop & Pop”

I got a request from a Wax Nation reader to talk about Moe Norman’s so-called “Master Move,” which he explains, albeit in a tortured way, at the beginning of the video clip below.

He calls it his “vertical drop and horizontal tug,” and while the first part of that description is very, very correct, I would not suggest paying any attention to the second part about “horizontal tug.”

Before I continue, I had a brief exchange with Brandel Chamblee privately the day before yesterday, when I told him the people who are trying to help him push the concept of a return to the mechanically-correct Classic Golf Swing simply aren’t getting any oxygen in the golf media.

It was nice, of course, to get the shout-out from Frank Nobilo during the Sony Open broadcast last January, but most people trying to effect a change just don’t have the public forum that these former Tour winners and now golf analysts have.

When I Tweeted yesterday’s posting on this, with a recommendation to to read his GolfWRX piece on Jack Nicklaus, he gave the site a little boost by liking it and responding:


So, thanks to B.C. for that little nod – and here’s to hoping things are going turn around with regards to Classic vs the terrible Modern Golf Swing industry, because as I responded to him, it’s not just a matter of style, but the physical health of many golfers depends on it.

OK, let’s get to the Moe Norman “Master Move.”

It’s actually not Moe’s move alone, just what he happens to call it.

Moe’s “Master Move”


I explained the same concept in “Kinesiology of the MCS Golf Swing,” calling the move the “drop and pop,” and it has to do with the first move of the down swing transition.

This is something that most swingers either get naturally or struggle with, and if you struggle with it, the term “horizontal tug” is something you need to hear Moe say, and then forget about it, because that visual is exactly the opposite of what he’s doing with the “Master Move.”

If you know anything about Moe, then you’ll know that he was very sought after in the 90’s, and a lot of people put words in his mouth that weren’t necessarily his.

There’s no way you can combine his “Vertical Drop” with “horizontal tug” without turning early and coming across the line (and very likely over the top).

So, the “horizontal tug” was either some crazy visual of his that isn’t “real to the feel,” or someone suggested that term to him – forget that term… write it down and burn it if you must, but the true concept of his Master Move was what I’ve been calling the “drop and pop.”

I’ve also called it the “gravity drop” at times, and it’s possible that Mike Austin said something about that, as I recall his discussion on gravity and the down swing and my mentioning it in the 2013 “New MCS” video series.

I returned to the “drop and pop” concept in the “MCS – Dropping The Hammer” video in describing Mike Dunaway’s down swing move, and everyone who has a proper down swing sequence does it.


Moe talked about how he and Ben Hogan were the only ones who had the move, which is incorrect – not that Ben Hogan had it, which he did – but anyone who properly sequences the down swing will be able to do it, and a good many people do it without ever thinking about it:


But I will agree with him that it is indeed the Master Move to the down swing, and I will warn that, whatever he meant by “horizontal tug,” I will advise – no, plead with you all, don’t try to visualize or do whatever the concept was about, because again, that’s the opposite of the vertical drop, by its very definition.

In fact, the very nature of a proper release action means there is no horizontal anything… but Moe was bang-on with the vertical drop!

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8 thoughts on “Moe Norman’s “Master Move” = The MCS “Drop & Pop”

  1. peterallenby2013

    Harvey Penick’s “Magic Move” : From the top of the backswing, weight shifts to the left and left heel is down while the right elbow returns to the golfer’s side – Done together, not separately. ..

    The variety of great golfers and instructors incorporating this and other classic swing moves is the membership of the golf Hall of Fame.(certain advocates not there yet, but that is just a matter of time!.

    You have to love Moe ..” that’s the feeling of greatness..I’m the only golfer in the world with the feeling of greatness…” Whatever else one might say about Moe, the man did not lack confidence…

    1. D Watts Post author

      Moe certainly was a character – when he won his 1st Canadian Amateur title, he was nowhere to be found at ceremony time. Someone tracked him down – he was sitting on the bank of a stream, drinking a Coke with his bare feet in the water, somewhere on the course… but there was one man who could get into his head, and that was George Knudson.

      Knudson got him every time they played – there is a story I should dig up about Moe being paired with the young and brash, unknown-at-the-time Knudson, who was fresh out of junior golf. If I remember it correctly, it goes:

      Knudson, after Moe had hit a short drive to the corner of the dogleg off the 1st tee, was said to have proclaimed, “OK, I’ll show you guys how to play this hole,” at which point he blasted a drive over the dogleg into the fairway beyond, and Moe’s face just went blank, his mouth turned into a little “O.”

      Knudson beat him that day, and every time they went head to head after that.

      Now, that’s the feeling of greatness! 😉

  2. Laser

    “whatever he meant by “horizontal tug”

    –He’s talking about a move on the lower left side of his body connected to the upper right side of his body. Look at the .gifs of you and Hogan, and see what the lower left side of your body is doing. That’s the “horizontal” tug. The .gif of of Hogan seems pretty clear to me: upper right is not separated from lower left. (We always see face-on views because that’s the most convenient place to put the camera. I don’t think that tells the whole story.)

    Moe wasn’t talking about a horizontal upper-body turn. In another video, Moe says, “Don’t turn. Tilt.” Or, as you would say, “Drop.” Maybe the upper body didn’t cause the tilt all by itself.

    (This is one place where Moe explains it. Sure, it’s got some feel-is-not-real there too.)

    (1:32) Moe

    1. D Watts Post author

      I have that video, it’s called “Pipeline Moe,” an hour of him hitting balls and talking to a group of people who are watching him. I bought it in the summer of ’98 and used to know every minute of it inside out.

      I will stand by my caveat to not try to think or do anything that has the word “horizontal” in it however. I don’t like that word, and I am sure many people have been messed up trying to emulate Moe exactly.

      1. Laser

        That’s what Moe said in another video: “Don’t copy me; you’ll be sorry.”

        One guy tried, apparently with some success: Greg Lavern. He even wrote a book about Moe (but he probably got it wrong). He wrote, “Moe taught me his golf swing for years in Canada and the United States. He could explain the swing and told me everything he knows. I was very close to him.” His videos are no longer available on Youtube, except at his home page, which he calls trueswinggolf. I haven’t looked at it and am not recommending it.

        1. D Watts Post author

          Well, all I can say is that I wanted to learn Moe’s swing model at one time as well – but the principles that made it work are what I wanted, not the actual motion.

          There was only one Moe Norman, and I don’t see anyone else swinging like him today.

          The MCS model, on the other hand, is simply a model on how to swing optimally, not like any one swinger (though many classic swinging greats used most of the principles in the MCS model, and while Nicklaus was pretty close, I’m not saying it’s “Jack’s” swing…).

          So, I know which one I’ll be using 😉

  3. targettom

    allegedly Moe swung pretty heavy sticks, E8. I haven’t experimented with swing weights, has anyone here found success going with heavier clubs?

    1. D Watts Post author

      I used to have my Tommy Armour Silver Scot 745’s weighted with lead tape behind the sweet spot, and with 3/4″ extra length S100 shafts, they were nice and heavy. Nothing feels better than puring the ball with heavy irons. They swing themselves!

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