I remember 2 videos that really affected me early in my golfing life. It was the spring & summer of 1998 & I was working at the Driving Range & Instruction Academy at Royal Woodbine Golf Club.
It was my second season taking golf seriously – in the spring ’97, I got very enthused about golf after Tiger Woods’ ’97 Masters win (I went out and bought a season membership at my local range, got some lessons and shot 80 that summer).
The next summer saw me working at Royal Woodbine where my 2nd & last instructor was the head of the Academy there, and when not working or playing on the course, I was usually to be found hanging out in the trailer which was his office and where he kept a TV & VCR on which to show students video of their swings.
He had played for a brief period on the Canadian Tour in the ’70s before going into instruction and had even bunked a couple of times with Moe in motels during events, because no one else wanted to share a room with Moe for various reasons well known to those who know anything about Moe.
Among the golf videos lying around were two very rare ones, one of which was the Masters Ben Hogan tape where someone had shot video of him in one of his last times there, and the other was the 1994 Moe Norman PGA Conference video.
This video for years was available or purchase only by PGA teaching professionals (how my instructor had gotten his), so I thought about this video for years afterward, especially when I began my own research on the swing.
I don’t know how many times I watched both videos, but I was obsessed with Hogan & Moe because of their legendary ball-striking abilities, and that’s what I wanted, because I could already drive the ball well over 300 yards but never knew where it was going to go.
So, I spent countless hours in that trailer, watching the videos, absorbing what Moe had to say about his swing and playing Hogan’s swings over and over in freeze-frame. That’s where & when I developed my affinity for looking at swings on video.
Of course, as the story goes, I walked away from golf at the end of that summer out of frustration with being unable to groove a repeatable modern swing, (I came back to begin my golf swing research in the summer of 2005 out of stubborn determination to figure it out for myself), but here is a swing of mine taken from that same summer, hitting a Callaway Big Bertha War Bird 3-metal (I could send it 300-325 yards when I caught it flush, but usually got 275-290 on it most times off the tee):
I did manage to find a copy of “Pipeline Moe” that summer:
… which I still have (along with the book “The Feeling of Greatness”), and I probably watched that thing a million times when I restarted my golf life in 2005, but I lamented not being able to get my hands on the PGA Conference video.
If you haven’t seen it, I came across it on Youtube and I would recommend having a watch before it goes away as these things always do!