Do you play golf with your left hand? If yes, you are a rare individual. Studies reveal that only 12% of the world population are lefties.
In the game of golf, the percentage is even lower. According to golf pros, there is an average of 1 left handed golfer to every 30 right handed golf players.
While being rare feels special on certain occasions, it's not the case in golf. Golf for left handers can be quite challenging. Lefties often feel outnumbered on golf courses and struggle to find the right equipment at golf shops.
To give more representation to left handed players, we have dedicated this article solely to them. Here's everything from advantages and disadvantages to tips and tricks for left handers.
Advantage Of Being a Left Handed Golfer
More creative and imaginative than right handers
If there’s one thing that makes left handed golfers unbeatable- it is their ability to hit complex shots. Left handers like Phil Mikelson and Bubba Watson have stunned the world time and again with golf shots that no ordinary golfer can play.
According to the studies published in the American Journal of Psychology, lefties have greater creativity and imagination. This is because a leftie's brain has a dominant right hemisphere- a region that deals with complex thinking and imagination.
So if you are a lefty, you have better intuition and creativity than righties which can give you an upper hand during competitions.
Disadvantages Of Being a Left Handed Golfer
Lack of proper instructions and golfing tutorials for left handed golf players
The greatest disadvantage left handed golfers face is- the lack of professional golf instructors. While some golf instructors are trained to teach the left and right golfers, most aren't.
It is preferred to learn golf from an instructor who has the same build as yours and plays with the same hand. Unfortunately left handed golfers are rare to find, so there aren’t enough professional instructors for lefties.
Most golf pros on youtube also post golf tips and tricks for right handers only. Lefties, on the other hand, fend for themselves with little to no instructions about how they can improve their game play.
Shortage of left handed golf equipment and gloves
Every golfer loves to have a variety of options to choose their equipment from. Unfortunately, most golf club manufacturers and retailers fail to realize that.
Most of the golf equipment, especially golf clubs are designed for right handed golfers only. Even the new innovations are launched for righties first.
So most of the time, left handed golfers have very limited options to select their clubs from. As for the latest inventions, lefties are left waiting for months to get a version made for them.
Similarly, every left handed golfer struggles to find the ideal golf glove. Most brands produce limited stock for left-handed golf players and those too are only available at big stores.
Golfer courses are designed for right handed golfers
Golf for left handers is hard. We say this because just like golf equipment, the golf courses at clubs also accommodate right handed players only. The lefties have no choice but to look out and navigate more trees around the tee box.
Golf For Left Handers: Tips That Would Help Left Handed Golfers Perform Better
Grip the club properly.
Gripping the golf club correctly is the first step toward hitting the perfect shots. Ideally, as a left handed golf player, you should grip the club with your right hand in a way that his thumb points down toward the center of the shaft.
Then wrap the left hand on the grip so that the lifeline of your left hand covers the right thumb on the club. Create a V shape with your left index finger and thumb that points up at the left shoulder.
This positioning, once perfected, will give you the perfect golf grip for the power release.
Make sure you have the correct stance.
To shoot the best shots, you need to have the correct stance. The first step is to set your club behind the golf ball so that the clubface is in a square position with your target.
Next comes the placement of your feet- the ideal way to get the right footing is to close the feet together and then take a small step towards the right with your right foot and a big step towards the left with your left foot.
This will set your feet shoulder length apart, with the golf ball lying in the middle.
In case it is hard to understand with just words, watch any golf stance tutorial and reverse the alignment of your body if you are left handed.
End the golf swing with a complete follow through
It is ideal for left handed golfers to end the swing with a complete follow through. Believe it or not, following through is just as important as swinging the club and hitting the ball.
Without a complete follow through, there is a high probability of losing balance and your golf ball not flying as you intended. Here are a few pointers that would help you get the perfect golf to follow through.
- Once you hit the ball, rotate your hips until your chest faces the targeted hole.
- Shift 80% of your weight to the lead foot and raise the heel of your trail foot.
- Extend your arms fully into the swing and then end the swing with the golf club resting over the back of your lead shoulder behind your head.
- Stay in this position until your ball lands.
Famous Left Handed Golfers
Phil Mickelson is a true golf champion. He has 44 PGA tours under his name and won five major championships, including three Master Tournaments.
Bubba Watson is another left handed golfer known for his powerful drives. He has won 12 PGA tours and 2 Masters Tournaments.
Bob Charles is considered the most successful leftie in the golf world. He holds the honour of being the first ever left handed golfer to win a major championship. The legend has over 70 titles under his belt.
Mike Weir, who has won 8 PGA tours and 1 European tour, said in an interview that he was often adviced to play golf with his right hand.
Mike, however, stuck with his left hand and proved to the world that championships can be won even as a left hander.
All these men are truly inspiring and have set an example that one can become a golf pro by playing with the left hand.
Commonly Asked Questions:
Are right handed golf players naturally better at golfing than left handed golf players?
Since most golf players are right handed- people tend to think they are better at playing golf. The truth is, right handed players do not have any natural advantage.
Anyone who practices the game with his heart and learns to play long and short shots becomes a pro golfer regardless of his dominant hand.
Is the game of golf more difficult for left handed players?
Right handed golf players dominate the golfing world. Most golf equipment and tutorials cater to the needs of right handers. So it can be said that the game of golf is more difficult for left handed players.
With practice and suitable golf gear, however, lefties can play as well as righties.
Should a left handed person play golf with his right hand?
Lefties face more challenges than righties in golf, but that doesn't stop them from playing well. History has seen several professional golfers that played left handed and won tournaments- Bobby Jones, Phil Mickelson and Mike Weir are great examples.
While other people's opinions may differ, we believe there is no right or wrong golfing side. People should pick the side they are more comfortable swinging the club with.
We say this because switching your sides could leave you struggling. In fact, there's proof that when left-handed players play right handed, they have a hard time releasing the club properly because their dominant arm becomes the lead arm. So it's best to own your rarity and make the most of it.
There you have it- all the left handed tips and tricks that can help you become a pro. One last thing we'd like to add here is- don't bother what others think and say.
Golf is a game that requires practice and critical thinking. So it doesn't matter if you play golf left handed-with hard work and determination you can easily beat right handed players.