The Address Concept Solves the Moe Norman/Byron Nelson Riddle

There is something that Moe Norman used to do in his setup that fascinated many people – the way he’d get behind the ball, then set up seemingly half-way into his back swing.

“I have to be here,” he’d say, setting the club down about a foot or 30 cm behind the ball, “I want a low takeaway, so I might as well start from here, and I’ll have the perfect takeaway every time…”

He used to say it jokingly, but that’s exactly what he was doing – taking the first part of the take-away (or “back swing,” if that other phrase makes you want to yank the club away from the ball), and implementing it into the back swing, so that if he set up properly (which he did nearly 100%), the first part of the takeaway was perfect as he’d already taken care of it.

Now, I’m not telling people to set up this way, but what Moe did was just a variation of what I developed for the MCS setup for basically the same reason – the address position is not the impact position, although they are very similar.

It is the difference between the two that flummoxes many.

If the address position is not the impact position, how do you perform a back swing then down swing to get the ball in the optimal impact position, with consistency, even while swinging at 120+ mph through the ball (or 100 mph, for the higher hdcp players)?

Byron Nelson had another solution to the problem, one that you see in the swing models of Mike Austin and Mike Dunaway – they set up over the ball and then moved away from it, with a visible head shift to the right, and Nelson was so accurate that the eventual ball-striking robot that was developed was nicknamed the “Iron Byron.”

Tom Watson once said that he never saw Byron play a round of golf without hitting at least two flagsticks… think about how accurate you have to be do do that.

Further proof was Nelson’s superiority over the rest of the golfers, including Ben Hogan – in the 2nd last season in which he played full-time on Tour, Nelson won 18 events, including 11 straight, two records that have survived even Tiger Woods’ dominant years.

There was one thing about Moe Norman and Byron Nelson however – while they were straight as arrows, they weren’t very long hitters.

And while Mikes Austin and Dunaway were legendary long ball hitters – they obviously never won anything of note on either the regular or senior PGA Tour, which made Byron Nelson one of the few swingers I’ve seen with a lateral head move and consistency and accuracy.

In this clip, you’ll hear Byron talking about the various things he did to improve his golf swing, and one of them was to shorten his back swing.

What’s interesting though is his talk about the use of the hips and legs.

And really – if you take into account the shorter back swing and if you can’t see the head shift – how close to the MCS model was Byron’s swing?

Byron Nelson Swings Persimmon Driver

DJ Swings The Momentus Heavy Driver

The point of this posting – both Moe Norman and Byron Nelson solved the riddle of how to match the address position to the impact position in different ways.

Therefore, they were able to do what very few people can do – simply swing back and then down and through, letting the ball get in the way of the club, just as the Iron Byron machine would.

There were…machine-like, if you will…

Both of them however decided for some reason that a full back swing was not conducive to accurate ball-striking, and here’s where MCS comes in, because I disagree with that premise.

My premise is that, if you set up properly, you can swing as hard as you please (within control, of course, because MCS is about optimal action and not sacrificing power for accuracy or accuracy for power), and still have a stable model that allows you to swing back and then down and through, with consistency and accuracy.

So, I am excited about the upcoming “E = MCS” video because, as I wrote a little while back, I discovered that I was doing the same thing as Moe and Byron in my setup procedure with the new concept that combines the original MCS “measuring oneself to the ball concept with the last big concept, “dropping the hammer.”

That new concept is the one that has allowed me to build a golf swing where I can make a full back swing and yet still swing down and through with confidence that I’m not sacrificing consistency for power, or vice versa:

Both the power and the consistency are rooted, when it comes to MCS, in that pure rotation of the body beneath the stable swing point (the C7 or the “back of the neck,” if you will), which gives you both leverage and that machine-like consistency, once you master the concept.

Next Posting:

One other thing you’ll notice, if you watch Byron Nelson’s swing from the proper angle is that it’s nearly exactly like the MCS setup, though the MCS has a stable head and doesn’t shift:

Nelson Set-Up



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