Learning From Lefty

Strengthen your left side for better contact and bigger distance

This Article Features Photo Zoom

I might be a left-handed lad from Leicestershire, England, but I know what it’s like to swing from the right side. After all, most of my students are right-handed, so I often have to explain things the opposite way from what I know.

Of course, it’s a right-handed world. Only 11% of all people are southpaws like myself, and for us, life can sometimes be like living in the reflection of a mirror. Think about all the things that we have to adapt to because they’re made for righties: writing in a spiral notebook, reeling in a fish and using particular brands of computer mice are just a few of the examples. If you’re a southpaw, you know that even getting your preferred set of golf clubs can be a real chore. But the upside is that this “bass-ackwardness” forces us lefties to be more ambidextrous. We can’t rely on our dominant hand for everything, so by default, we strengthen our weaker side. The side benefit for those of us who play golf is that our weaker side is stronger, which helps improve consistency, ballstriking, contact and power. If you swing from the right and want to improve those four facets of your game, consider the following tips and drills.

My left wrist is flat, and that helps me get the club and clubface on plane.

Here my left wrist is cupped, and the clubface opens dramatically. If I hit the shot with this face, it’d be U-G-L-Y.


If you’re a right-handed golfer, it’s important to remember that it’s your left hand that controls the clubface. In particular, it’s responsible for the rotational movement of the golf club. In these pictures, where my left hand is open, take note that so too is the clubface. (And of course, an open clubface leads to sliced shots.)

This likely happens because one’s dominant side is trying to oversteer the shot. Instead, let your left hand rotate naturally from open to square to closed.

By practicing with just your left hand, you’ll develop the correct sensation of opening, squaring and then closing the clubface through the entire swing. If you practice just hitting balls with your left hand, you’ll start to not only strengthen your left side, but also make better, truer, consistent strikes.

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