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Right or Left side dominance

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Just wondering what everyones feelings are are which hand or arm should be dominant in the golf swing. I have seen arguments for both pulling with the left shoulder and arm. And also an argument saying basically if you swing a hammer with your right arm then why wouldnt you swing your golf club with right hand dominance. This is in reference to a right handed golfer. I started thinking about this tonight at work and I plan to test it next time I get to swing the clubs. Just wanting some insight from others.
post #2 of 20

Re: Right or Left side dominance

I think the left arm should be dominant. The right arm just pushes through.
post #3 of 20

Re: Right or Left side dominance

depends on your level of play, i guess. i was taught to use only my left side the whole time. then, once i was able to make shots i was told i could use my right side, too. but use them in conjunction. i think it was ben hogan that said he wished he had three right hands when he was smacking a driver. it delivers the punch.
post #4 of 20

Re: Right or Left side dominance

I've thought about this too, but when my swingthoughts consciously involved left or right arm dominance, it was at a time when my ball striking was inconsistent. Basically, it was part of the grasping at straws process (for me anyway).

Now I just make sure the angles and positions of both arms/hands are correct(ish) and let my legs and torso drive the bus.
post #5 of 20

Re: Right or Left side dominance

Both arms as a unit, neither is dominant.

At the top of the swing you move/slide your lower body to start the downswing. Your arms and hands will follow naturally bringing you into impact.

Whereever the back of your left hand is facing - so to will be the club face - and the ball will go in that direction.
post #6 of 20

Re: Right or Left side dominance

I'm very very right side oriented.

I pull and fan the right forearm to take the club away. Then I simply focus on driving the right shoulder down plane in the down swing.

My other swing thoughts are feeling weight on the pressure point on my right index finger and burying my right elbow into my ribs.

Its all right side.
post #7 of 20

Re: Right or Left side dominance

As I get older and less flexible I try to make sure I feel pull in my left side (ribs) at the start of the downswing, this seems to allow me to keep my swing radius without thinking about my arms and timing and give me some extra pop. It sort of goes like this, slight plant of left foot, ribs pull, arms and hips turn through with arms and hands straightening and extending through the finish( when I do it correctly). Most people feel I have basically a single plane swing, when I was younger I was more upright, two plane swinger and I had much more aggressive arm and hand action. What I am trying to say is that Jay Birds action sounds like a body swinger, and I would guess grant 79 is more of a hands and arms guy, likely with a more upright swing. Matching what you are doing to the type of swing you have would make the descriptions more usefull.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 

Re: Right or Left side dominance

I have been adopting more of a one plane swing(hardy) and i have been following jeff ritters youtube lessons and he talks about in the backswing. he talks about feeling like you are covering the logo on your shirt with your left arm in the backswing and covering it with your right arm on the follow through. I think this has made me use my right arm more conciously. I has helped but I think it might have been a band-aid. I am trying to get my swing grooved before all this snow melts so i can get off to a good start this season.
post #9 of 20

Re: Right or Left side dominance

I just wrote about this. Basically in most right handed golfers, the right side ends up being dominant. The problem is, the swing is more natural when its a pulling motion, rather than a pushing motion, and pulling comes from having the left side be more dominant.

Take a look at the article I wrote, and let me know your thoughts.
post #10 of 20

Re: Right or Left side dominance

Originally Posted by zenchili View Post
I just wrote about this. Basically in most right handed golfers, the right side ends up being dominant. The problem is, the swing is more natural when its a pulling motion, rather than a pushing motion, and pulling comes from having the left side be more dominant.

Take a look at the article I wrote, and let me know your thoughts.
Couldn't be more wrong in my opinion actually.

But I'm a Golfing Machine guy and we have our own way of looking at things.

In general the golf swing is very right side dominant in all cases, but especially in mine considering I'm a right arm hitter.


Extensor action, the stretching of the left arm for right handers, is the key to distance and consistency. It gives you a very wide take away and a very stretched out feeling.

It is impossible to get this feeling if you push the club away from you. However if you use the right arm to stretch the left arm it comes completely naturally.
post #11 of 20

Re: Right or Left side dominance

Originally Posted by grantc79 View Post
Couldn't be more wrong in my opinion actually.

But I'm a Golfing Machine guy and we have our own way of looking at things.

In general the golf swing is very right side dominant in all cases, but especially in mine considering I'm a right arm hitter.


Extensor action, the stretching of the left arm for right handers, is the key to distance and consistency. It gives you a very wide take away and a very stretched out feeling.

It is impossible to get this feeling if you push the club away from you. However if you use the right arm to stretch the left arm it comes completely naturally.
I certainly don't mind a spirited debate. I think ideally you have basically a balance between the right and left side, with one being slightly stronger. I think a lopsided amount of one versus the other can lead to unnatural swings. With right side dominance it's harder for me to clear my hips. When the left side is just a bit more dominant, the hip clearing is absolutely natural. When my arms are pulling, rather than pushing, I find the club face squares itself without any hand movement. When I'm more right side dominant, I find I need to use my hands to try and square the club face. So in my swing, I prefer left side dominance, but not a huge dominance. Simply that the scales tip slightly in favor of the left side.

As far as the stretching of the left arm, I get a very good stretch on the backswing. On the downswing thought, by rotating hard with my left side and pulling, my left arm stays tight to the chest, the club face sqaures naturally and I get better ball striking. When my right side dominates more, I find the left arm moves away from the chest on the downswing. I personally don't find that to be a good thing as I think it can lead to an over the top move and makes releasing more handsy. My $.02.
post #12 of 20

Re: Right or Left side dominance

Originally Posted by zenchili View Post
I certainly don't mind a spirited debate. I think ideally you have basically a balance between the right and left side, with one being slightly stronger. I think a lopsided amount of one versus the other can lead to unnatural swings.
Honestly, it completely depends on the person. Different people learn different ways and different mental keys work for different people.





Would you be happy with that swing? That's Ted Fort who is a Golfing Machine teacher in Georgia. He is completely right side dominant. Right forearm takeaway, right shoulder down plane, right forearm on plane, right arm shoving the ball at impact.

Now is that the only way to do it? Absolutely not. But that doesn't mean you can't be almost exclusively right side focused and play damn good golf.

With right side dominance it's harder for me to clear my hips. When the left side is just a bit more dominant, the hip clearing is absolutely natural.
People who strictly focus on turning the left side tend to get way inside during their takeaway. Basically the club tends to go around your body as you pull it rather than up the plane as it should.

People who focus on the right forearm takeaway tend to not turn well enough away from the ball because they get so right arm focused they forget their right shoulder and right hip have to clear.

Either way, both can be corrected easy enough you just have to learn the right way to do either one.

When my arms are pulling, rather than pushing, I find the club face squares itself without any hand movement. When I'm more right side dominant, I find I need to use my hands to try and square the club face. So in my swing, I prefer left side dominance, but not a huge dominance. Simply that the scales tip slightly in favor of the left side.
Completely understandable. That said there is a completely different way to play golf. My only qualms is that you said it was the wrong way. It isn't, its just different.

What people have success with differs person to person. I remember reading a Golf Digest article on Geoff Ogilvy (mainly for laughs) and Geoff seems to try to want to bend his left wrist at impact. That probably works for him because he has so much lag he needs to let the club go. 99% of amateurs have the opposite problem.

Another example is Ben Hogan who's magic move was to cup his left wrist at the top of his back swing. That insured that he couldn't hook the ball which he struggled with. Most amateurs need to cure a slice, not a hook.

Everybody's different.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 

Re: Right or Left side dominance

ok well this debate has me wanting to hit the range but I live in PA. So i have to wait until sunday when I hit the simulators. I have noticed that if I put most of my weight on my left leg my swing is more automatic. this is much like the one leg no weight shift drill. but when i center my weight I dont know what makes my swing tick.
post #14 of 20

Re: Right or Left side dominance

Originally Posted by grantc79 View Post
Honestly, it completely depends on the person. Different people learn different ways and different mental keys work for different people.





Would you be happy with that swing? That's Ted Fort who is a Golfing Machine teacher in Georgia. He is completely right side dominant. Right forearm takeaway, right shoulder down plane, right forearm on plane, right arm shoving the ball at impact.

Now is that the only way to do it? Absolutely not. But that doesn't mean you can't be almost exclusively right side focused and play damn good golf.



People who strictly focus on turning the left side tend to get way inside during their takeaway. Basically the club tends to go around your body as you pull it rather than up the plane as it should.

People who focus on the right forearm takeaway tend to not turn well enough away from the ball because they get so right arm focused they forget their right shoulder and right hip have to clear.

Either way, both can be corrected easy enough you just have to learn the right way to do either one.



Completely understandable. That said there is a completely different way to play golf. My only qualms is that you said it was the wrong way. It isn't, its just different.

What people have success with differs person to person. I remember reading a Golf Digest article on Geoff Ogilvy (mainly for laughs) and Geoff seems to try to want to bend his left wrist at impact. That probably works for him because he has so much lag he needs to let the club go. 99% of amateurs have the opposite problem.

Another example is Ben Hogan who's magic move was to cup his left wrist at the top of his back swing. That insured that he couldn't hook the ball which he struggled with. Most amateurs need to cure a slice, not a hook.

Everybody's different.
You're right. I shouldn't have said that it's the wrong way. It's not really what I meant. And I agree there are lots of ways to hit a golf ball. The important thing is finding the way that works for you.

That being said, the average amateur player has issues with slicing and coming over the top. IMHO that has to do with too much right side dominance and lack of knowing how to use the left side properly. Can they learn to hit the ball well without learning how to use the left side? Yes.

For my swing letting the club face square naturally eliminates a variable and adds consistency. It allows me to really go after it without relying on timing it perfectly.
post #15 of 20

Re: Right or Left side dominance

Originally Posted by zenchili View Post

That being said, the average amateur player has issues with slicing and coming over the top. IMHO that has to do with too much right side dominance and lack of knowing how to use the left side properly. Can they learn to hit the ball well without learning how to use the left side? Yes.
Slicing, when the ball starts left and then slices right, is 100% of the time a pivot issue according to The Golfing Machine which I pretty much agree with.

People slice the ball because they get onto their right side in their backswing and never get back on their left side.

Learning a good pivot is the hardest thing in golf to master in my opinion, that is one reason why the Stack and Tilt is such a great pattern for amateurs.

If you don't have the pivot mastered you simply cannot play good golf and if you do have the pivot mastered so many other things fall into place that golf becomes a much easier game.

Obvious answer is to remove the pivot.
post #16 of 20

Re: Right or Left side dominance

i am a right handed golfer who is naturally left side dominant...
my swing if left to nature is left arm backswing, turn/shift, then pull pull pull.
can't complain to much its gotten me to a 2 index but i never feel like i am in control of it.
at some point every few rounds or so i get stuck and it all goes to crapville.
pushes, hooks and everything in between which means grind it out golf until its fixed.
i have sinced been given a lesson and it was explained to me that i need to be very diligent about involving my right side as to balance everything.
right arm back, turn/shift, forehand forehand forehand...higher ball flight, same gentle draw and no more stuck.
for me the right side, is the right side.
post #17 of 20

Re: Right or Left side dominance

I'm a bit ambidextrous, though probably a bit stronger in my right arm (I write right-handed, throw right-handed for baseball... but left-handed for practice, etc). Golf left-handed, a decision I made when I started because 1.) I'm very right-eye dominant and 2.) It just feels more natural.

On the golf swing, very much right-side dominant though I've been paying some attention to my left side lately (Extending the left arm, keeping connected, etc).
post #18 of 20

Re: Right or Left side dominance

I'm almost all left arm. On my best shots, the right arm is basically along for the ride. Usually when I'm hitting bad the right hand is getting in the way, particularly on a slice.
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