Canada's Sports Hall of Fame Canadian History and Society: Through the Lens of Sport Virtual Museum of Canada


Single plane swing. Innovation is often the natural born enemy of the way things were before and by definition takes courage for the innovator to have conviction, faith and determination in their chosen path.

The Canadian golfer, Moe Norman was to become one of the world's greatest ever golfers by displaying these progressive virtues in the face of all manner of obstacles. Golf, by its nature, is a sport with long standing traditions and conventions. To be different in golf is to stand out, and Moe Norman stood out.

There are only a few iconic golfers in the world, and two of them, Sam Snead and Tiger Woods both recognized Moe Norman as the greatest ball striker of all time because of his distinctive golf swing - the single plane swing. 'Pipeline Moe' - so-called because of his ability to straight shot after straight shot - was so good at ball striking that in one event, rather than hit short of a river, Norman hit his ball across a footbridge a few yards wide even though it was over 250 yards away.

Today the Moe Norman method of swinging the golf club is part of a unique school of golf that has helped in excess of 1 million golfers.

Pioneering golf. The Canadian golfer Albert Murray was a true pioneer. Murray innovated in almost every aspect of the game. At the age of 13, determined to play golf, he fashioned a club out of a tree branch. Just two years later, in 1902, he became Canada's youngest professional golfer. At the age of 20 he became the youngest victor of the Canadian Open Golf Championship - a record he holds to this day. And in 1911, he was one of the founders of the Canadian Professional Golfers Association.

In other words, Murray was a constant vanguard of golf in Canada. Determined to make the game accessible to as many people as possible, Murray designed over 50 courses in Canada and in 1916 opened Canada's first indoor golf school in the basement at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montreal. He also designed the games' first tee boxes, a piece of equipment that became standard throughout the world.

Oil on wood painting of Moe Norman swinging a golf club
Moe Norman was known for his golf swing that was unique, and like the man, unconventional. He knew exactly where the ball was going to go when he hit it. This oil on canvas painting by William Featherston shows Moe Norman's swing.
Collection: Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

photograph of Albert Murray swinging golf club
Albert Murray was one of the top Canadian golfers of his era and with his brother Charlie dominated the professional championships.
Collection: Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

four laser sailboats in competition
The laser sailboat was created to fill a perceived need to have a dinghy-sized boat that could be carried on the roof-top of a car. It was designed by Bruce Kirby, Ian Bruce and Hans Fogh. It quickly became a popular recreational boat due to its simplicity in the sail rigging. As a racing dinghy it is a challenging boat that requires athleticism by its sailor.
Collection: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

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