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What Handed Club Should I Buy for My Child?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

My son really likes to "golf" with me in the yard. He's turning three this year and I'd like to get him a juniors' wedge to play with. Right now, he hits his little plastic clubs and balls, and I think he'd really enjoy hitting a real club.

 

Problem is, he hasn't really exhibited any real signs of hand dominance, yet. One meal he will use his fork with his right hand; the next meal he will use his left. Same thing happens when he draws. Since his plastic clubs are double sided, he can hit them both ways, but I have noticed that he hits it better swinging left handed than right handed.

 

Should I buy him a left handed club because his natural swing is better from that side? I'm not sure that hand dominance matters in golf as much as say, hockey, but I think it will matter in terms of his enjoyment. I remember reading that Phil Mickelson swings left handed because he mirrored what his father did when he was a child, which is what I think my son is doing.

 

I know there are a few threads regarding junior golf clubs, but I haven't really found anything that answers my question, so how do you know what handed clubs to buy for your children? I'd really like to avoid buying two clubs if I can, so any help would be appreciated.

post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by billchao View Post
 

My son really likes to "golf" with me in the yard. He's turning three this year and I'd like to get him a juniors' wedge to play with. Right now, he hits his little plastic clubs and balls, and I think he'd really enjoy hitting a real club.

 

Problem is, he hasn't really exhibited any real signs of hand dominance, yet. One meal he will use his fork with his right hand; the next meal he will use his left. Same thing happens when he draws. Since his plastic clubs are double sided, he can hit them both ways, but I have noticed that he hits it better swinging left handed than right handed.

 

Should I buy him a left handed club because his natural swing is better from that side? I'm not sure that hand dominance matters in golf as much as say, hockey, but I think it will matter in terms of his enjoyment. I remember reading that Phil Mickelson swings left handed because he mirrored what his father did when he was a child, which is what I think my son is doing.

 

I know there are a few threads regarding junior golf clubs, but I haven't really found anything that answers my question, so how do you know what handed clubs to buy for your children? I'd really like to avoid buying two clubs if I can, so any help would be appreciated.


I don't have a good answer other than to try to figure out which is his better hand for golf. If I was in your situation I would try to figure that from watching any throwing tendencies because weight transfer should come naturally that way.

 

I do about 45% of things in life left handed, about 45% right handed, and about 10% equally with either hand. For me it's fairly easy (and natural) to figure which to use because anything that requires eye dominance (like shooting a rifle or a bow) I do left handed.

 

Anything that requires precision (writing, eating, shooting pool, welding, and minute tasks) I do left handed. But anything that requires strength I do right handed.

 

Things similar to throwing darts, playing ping pong, and throwing horseshoes I do equally with either hand, although in ping pong if I'm playing left handed I'm playing a finesse game and if I'm playing right handed I'm playing a power game.

 

The strange thing is that on the things I do exclusively with one hand or the other I am actually worse than the average person when trying to use the off hand.

post #3 of 16

I am rather like MS256.  If pressed, I answer that I am left handed since I write left handed and wield a fork left handed, though that may well be because the fork is generally set on the left side.  Interestingly, I shoot a long gun left handed but a handgun right handed.

 

Like your son, I know I was handed a golf club at a pretty tender age, but I doubt there were any plastic clubs back then, so it was probably an old club that got the hack saw treatment in the garage, don't really remember.  If that was the case it would have been a right handed club, and being pretty ambidextrous I just used it that way and always have.  Many lefties learn to do stuff right handed because it is the path of least resistance. 

 

I really like the idea of watching to see how he throws.  Another possible option is to get him both a left and right handed club and see which one he wants to play with.  This, of course, adds to the cost and I have absolutely no idea what small kids clubs cost or what your budget constraints are.  Anything you buy at this point is a very temporary solution anyhow since he's probably growing like a weed just about now. 

post #4 of 16
All things being equal, right handed. If for no other reason than that he'll have an easier time finding equipment.

What foot does he tend to kick with. Feet and hands tend to match. You can also test him for eye dominance. While not 100%, it's a fair indication of hand dominance too.
post #5 of 16

I would just play the wait and see card right now, he's only 3 years so let him naturally go down his own path, I was like that also when I was little and to this day do lots of things left handed still, almost considered ambedextrious (spelling). I played baseball with a kid who was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the first round who was pitching left handed and his glove broke but finished the game right handed. So what I'm saying is you never know.

post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by billchao View Post

My son really likes to "golf" with me in the yard. He's turning three this year and I'd like to get him a juniors' wedge to play with. Right now, he hits his little plastic clubs and balls, and I think he'd really enjoy hitting a real club.

Problem is, he hasn't really exhibited any real signs of hand dominance, yet. One meal he will use his fork with his right hand; the next meal he will use his left. Same thing happens when he draws. Since his plastic clubs are double sided, he can hit them both ways, but I have noticed that he hits it better swinging left handed than right handed.

Should I buy him a left handed club because his natural swing is better from that side? I'm not sure that hand dominance matters in golf as much as say, hockey, but I think it will matter in terms of his enjoyment. I remember reading that Phil Mickelson swings left handed because he mirrored what his father did when he was a child, which is what I think my son is doing.

I know there are a few threads regarding junior golf clubs, but I haven't really found anything that answers my question, so how do you know what handed clubs to buy for your children? I'd really like to avoid buying two clubs if I can, so any help would be appreciated.

I was exactly like your son in regard to the use of the left and right hands. I used left and right depending upon the day. If he has trouble telling left from right, there's a good chance he is ambidextrous like me. Everything feels the same either way. I can write, throw, use chopsticks etc. with both hands. My left hand throwing and golfing is more dominant because I played the left side as a youth to gain some advantage over other kids.

We had my son use his right hand for a while then his left. He played baseball left handed, but tennis right handed. He writes right handed, but can write/draw with both.

Your kid will probably decide for himself over time. Just don't buy an expensive set of clubs, yet.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback, guys. It looks like pretty much everyone is advocating a "wait and see" plan, so I'll go with that. I don't plan to get a full set of clubs, just the one, so I guess it won't be too big of an investment if I make the wrong decision.

 

I think I'm going to get him a lefty club, because like I said earlier, he currently swings better left handed. I probably should have mentioned that it seems like he prefers to hit from that side because that's usually how he lines up. If he's going to change later, I guess it wouldn't really matter in the long run.

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

All things being equal, right handed. If for no other reason than that he'll have an easier time finding equipment.

What foot does he tend to kick with. Feet and hands tend to match. You can also test him for eye dominance. While not 100%, it's a fair indication of hand dominance too.

With all due respect this is not good advice. My family members not noticing that I was left handed likely cost me a major league baseball career by allowing me to throw right handed though I did everything else lefty. My Son began to show signs that he is left handed right around 4 and to double check it I game him a right and a left handed club to play with  and he would hit the lefty club correctly and then try to hit the righty club with the back of it. By this time he will also have likely been exposed to other sports where he/she is allowed to pick like shooting a basketball or throwing a football. It became very obvious that my Son is lefty and I didn't buy him clubs until I was sure. You can wreck a child's potential by not allowing them to choose for themselves.

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Righty to Lefty View Post
 

With all due respect this is not good advice. My family members not noticing that I was left handed likely cost me a major league baseball career by allowing me to throw right handed though I did everything else lefty. My Son began to show signs that he is left handed right around 4 and to double check it I game him a right and a left handed club to play with  and he would hit the lefty club correctly and then try to hit the righty club with the back of it. By this time he will also have likely been exposed to other sports where he/she is allowed to pick like shooting a basketball or throwing a football. It became very obvious that my Son is lefty and I didn't buy him clubs until I was sure. You can wreck a child's potential by not allowing them to choose for themselves.

I don't think @David in FL was saying I should force my son to be right handed. I think he was just saying if he swings both directions equally well, that being right handed would give him more equipment choices.

 

Anyway, thanks for your advice, as well. I'm definitely not going to force him into any particular hand, just waiting to see which one is stronger. My wife spends more time with him than I do and she believes he's going to be a righty, but he swings so much better lefty that I'm leaning towards giving him a lefty club. Again, I'm making this decision on my assumption that hand dominance isn't as important in golf, but I'm open to switching him around if he shows signs that he wants to swing righty. It's not like I'm going to be giving him any instruction at his age, anyway, so I don't think he'd lose much in terms of development if he plays the "wrong" side for a few months.

 

Ultimately, it's whatever will make him happy, and if he hits the ball up in the air lefty, then I'll probably just stick with that.

post #10 of 16

@billchao ,

 

Why not try both as see what he gravitates to?  I'm not sure if the club is expensive, but he may naturally chose on his own if both are presented.

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boogielicious View Post

@billchao
 ,

Why not try both as see what he gravitates to?  I'm not sure if the club is expensive, but he may naturally chose on his own if both are presented.
Yea, that's not a bad idea, i think @PirateJim mentioned it, too.

Buying two clubs won't break the bank since they're not really expensive, but I just hate the idea of buying something I don't need.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by billchao View Post


Yea, that's not a bad idea, i think @PirateJim mentioned it, too.

Buying two clubs won't break the bank since they're not really expensive, but I just hate the idea of buying something I don't need.


I'm glad you asked the question in this thread. Since I didn't play golf at all when my kids were young it never crossed my mind, and I (or my wife) would be very likely to buy any future grandkids some golf clubs for a Birthday present or something.

 

My kids all had plastic baseball bats in their hands before they could walk but fortunately they could pick their own side with a bat. I used to roll the ball across the floor to them when they were only able to crawl and they understood to hit the ball back to me with one hand.

 

We were baby sitting a little girl last week and she saw my putter in the living room and wanted to putt some balls on the carpet. She addressed the ball left handed and tried to putt it with the back side of the putter. Without even thinking I turned her around to the right side so she could putt the ball.

 

Hope I didn't mess her future golf career up. (Just joking). But my parents did mess up when they bought me my first guitar and signed me up for lessons. I was definitely a naturally left handed guitar player and had already learned to pick a few songs on my friend's guitar with the guitar upside down. Back then it was understood that we didn't look a gift horse in the mouth so I went ahead and learned to play right handed but I will always believe I would have been a better picker if they had bought a left handed guitar. 

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post
 

We were baby sitting a little girl last week and she saw my putter in the living room and wanted to putt some balls on the carpet. She addressed the ball left handed and tried to putt it with the back side of the putter. Without even thinking I turned her around to the right side so she could putt the ball.

 

Hope I didn't mess her future golf career up. (Just joking). But my parents did mess up when they bought me my first guitar and signed me up for lessons. I was definitely a naturally left handed guitar player and had already learned to pick a few songs on my friend's guitar with the guitar upside down. Back then it was understood that we didn't look a gift horse in the mouth so I went ahead and learned to play right handed but I will always believe I would have been a better picker if they had bought a left handed guitar.

If anything, I'd say you exposed her to golf, and thereby opened the door to her future LPGA HOF career B-)

 

I try not to teach my son anything about the golf swing, yet. Hit it lefty or righty, no problem. Cross-handed grip? Sure. Basically right now we give him his plastic clubs and balls and just tell him to go hit it.

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Righty to Lefty View Post
 

My family members not noticing that I was left handed likely cost me a major league baseball career by allowing me to throw right handed though I did everything else lefty.

I hear ya.  My parents were the same way.  In fact, in my case, it wasn't just a major league baseball career that they screwed me out of, but in fact, a hall of fame pitching career.  I was going to be the best ever, but my parents hated me.

 

-----------------------

 

To the OP, I side with the guys who suggest just buying one of each (the little clubs for 3 year olds are under $20) and just letting him fool around with both.  This way if he ends up not being the next coming of Tiger Woods because he played with the wrong hand his whole life, he only has himself to blame. :-P

post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

I hear ya.  My parents were the same way.  In fact, in my case, it wasn't just a major league baseball career that they screwed me out of, but in fact, a hall of fame pitching career.  I was going to be the best ever, but my parents hated me.

Yeah......I coulda been a contender too!

Well, except for my own complete lack of talent... b4_blushing.gif
post #16 of 16
I was heavily recruited to my high school football team, because I was super fast and had good hands. I was kind of a lightweight though and did not really want to get hit. Considering my speed I probably could have gone into the NFL if I had ever played, but I am not sure about the HOF. As far as baseball goes, I was a righty. One time in high school I got bored hitting right handed and headed up to the plate left handed. Hit a double(true story). Makes me wonder if I should have been a lefty. Plus I am left eye dominant. Sometimes you just never know.
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