Learning From Lefty

Strengthen your left side for better contact and bigger distance

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Here’s an easy four-step process to help you swing on plane. Perfect this and you’ll generate greater power and consistency from your left side.

First grip the club in your left hand and hold it directly out in front of you so the club is perpendicular to the ground. From there, rotate your wrist to the right so the club is now parallel to the ground. Next, bend over slightly, keeping the club parallel to the ground as you do so. Finally, rotate back and retain your spine angle. Notice how the butt end of the shaft is pointing toward where the ball is? By using only my left side, I’ve swung the club back perfectly on plane.

From here, if you’d like to, continue to swing through the ball. See how far you can hit it and how solid your contact is. Once you’ve done all that, place your right hand on the club but retain the feeling you had with just your left hand. Don’t let your right hand get too overactive. Remember, as I wrote in the first tip, it’s your left hand that controls the clubface.


Here’s a drill that exemplifies the adage, “No pain, no gain.” Much like the last drill I showed you, this quite strenuous exercise asks you to hold the club directly out in front of you. But instead of finding the perfect plane with your left side, you’re just going to build up muscle strength in your left wrist.

First, rotate the club so its shaft is parallel to the ground. After you’ve done that, hold it there for 10 seconds. It might not sound like a long time, but trust me, it is. After you’ve held it there for the allotted amount of time, rotate your wrist to the left so the club is again parallel to the ground. Again, hold it for 10 seconds.

1. Hold to the right for 10 seconds if you can.

2. Then return to center and rest your hand.

3. Rotate to the left for another 10 seconds of pain & gain.

Believe it or not, there’s a reason why you should suffer through this exercise: It’ll strengthen your left wrist and help you stop overswinging from the right side. I’ve found that this drill works very well for many of my women students and juniors, who don’t have as much wrist strength as men. But men, you should try it too. I’ll bet you can’t do it and not feel the pain.


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