In 1993, Todd Graves was a mini tour player living in Dallas, Texas after returning from the Asian tour. His experience had told him that in order to compete with the best, he needed to improve his game by working with the best, so he had returned to the U.S. to work with some of the most regarded conventional golf instructors in the country. After endless hours and dollars spent working on his game with no improvement, Todd quit the game and took a job in Dallas. His roommate came back from the Canadian PGA Tour with a video and told Todd he had to watch this guy, he was “amazing”. This video was a clinic of Moe Norman, and Todd’s love for the game was rejuvenated. With his knowledge of the golf swing obtained through years of his own trial and error, Todd could plainly see the simplicity and genius in Moe’s golf swing.
Todd got the clubs back out and began modeling what he saw on that video. Although he didn’t fully understand what he was practicing, he simply modeled what he saw on the video. After a year of working on modeling Moe’s swing, in 1994 Todd drove to Chicago to watch Moe perform a clinic in person. With over 17 years of competitive golf experience at the time, Todd had never seen such an amazing demonstration of ball striking as he did that day in Chicago. Todd’s beliefs about Moe’s golf genius became realities that day and at the end of the clinic, Todd introduced himself to Moe and asked to hit a few balls with Moe’s clubs. Moe agreed and watched Todd hit balls and commented “That’s me without the belly – That’s me without the belly.” Todd was instantly coined; “Little Moe” and a master–apprentice relationship began that day that lasted for the last 11 years of Moe’s life. Moe taught Todd his legendary single-axis swing he called “The Feeling of Greatness” and through those 11 years, a kinship developed as Moe passed his knowledge and feelings of the golf swing to Todd. Within a short period of time, Todd too had experienced Moe’s “Feeling of Greatness”.
In an April 1996 interview in Titusville, Florida Moe was asked, “…someday many years from now when you’re not around do you think Todd could teach people your way?” Moe’s reply; “Certainly. He’s the only one who knows it. Really knows it. Other guys just think they do.”
With the weight of Moe’s legacy firmly planted on his shoulders, Todd shared Moe’s “Feeling of Greatness” with his older brother, Tim Graves, PGA. Also a touring professional, Tim too found the simplicity of Moe’s swing a huge benefit on his game. As Todd and Tim continued to travel the mini tour circuit in the U.S., the requests for lessons became too great to handle while trying to make a living playing, so in 2000, Todd and Tim formed the Graves Golf Academy and held their first schools in Albuquerque, NM. Today, the Academy operates Academies in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Orlando, Florida, as well as school around the nation throughout the year.