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ambidexterity and golf....

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

is it normal (more so than other sports) for people to play opposite of their natural hand dominance?


this question is based on an episode of Entourage, in which Ari is playing against someone in a high stakes game, and his coach (phil mickelson) in which the guy plays right handed the whole time until the stakes are upped and he switches to lefty (phil makes a comment about him being better as a lefty, like him) and a post in the club throwing thread, where a member mentions being a natural lefty, except when playing golf. 


does anybody else play opposite of their natural hand dominance?


and more importantly what are the reasons for people doing this? right handed clubs being more readily available? some kind of strategic advantage? 


mainly curious, b/c i come from a baseball background where the advantages are obvious (switch sides based on handedness of pitcher)

post #2 of 22
One of my friends plays righty even though he's left-handed. I think it's cause he learned with his dad's clubs which, as you might have guessed, are right-handed. Interestingly enough, when we played baseball, he batted left-handed. On the opposite end of things you have people like Phil Mickelson and Rafael Nadal, the latter who, although not a pro golfer obviously, plays tennis lefty while being naturally right-handed.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

i wonder how much the availability of left handed clubs, especially in the early stages of learning the game when most people use whatever is available to them, affects what side they play from.  it's an odd phenomenom to me, because there are distinct advantages in some sports to playing one side, or being able to play both, while others it seems to me is pure preference.


example: i dabbled with mixed martial arts, and boxing in particular a few years ago.  I struggled with the stand up striking until an instructor had me try to lead with my right foot, a natural stance for a left hander, despite me being right handed. it was amazing how natural it felt, despite playing EVERY other sport my entire life right hand dominant.


i just wonder what correlation and carry over this has to golf, if any.

post #4 of 22

I grew up writing with my left hand, and favoured my left foot when playing football.  I play squash and tennis using my left hand, but with golf and cricket I have always taken a right-handed stance.


I was, however, going through some old photos a few months ago, and there were some photos of me at two or three years old, putting left handed with a toy putter... 

post #5 of 22

I tend to being left handed, but play golf right handed.  I say "tend to being left handed" because there are quite a few things I do right handed out of convenience, or simply because that's how I learned; for example I use scissors right handed because you have to go pretty far out of your way to find left handed ones.  My father was an avid golfer and I'm sure I had one of his old cut down right-handed clubs in my hands not long after I started walking.


I rather doubt that lefties that play right handed are very rare since many left handers learn early to get along in a right handed world.  I suspect that righties that play lefty like Phil are far more uncommon, though I have nothing to back that up.

post #6 of 22

Yeah, I write and eat left handed, but I do all sports righty.  I'm not sure why.  I guess it just felt more natural when I was a little kid.  It wasn't about club availability, since I took up golf much later in life.


My daughter is lefty all the way, and finding clubs for her can be a bit of a pain.

post #7 of 22

Inoticed Sergio threw a ball into the crowd with his left hand last weekend ... presumably he's a lefty that learned to play golf right handed ?

post #8 of 22
I'm left-handed and I've always played golf right-handed as it feels more natural. I bat right-handed at cricket too, so it's not to do with the relative scarcity of left-handed clubs.
post #9 of 22

I write left handed and play golf left handed. I do tend to do a number of things right handed though. I throw with my right arm, kick with my right foot, and play racquet sports right handed. 

post #10 of 22

I drive and do everything with my right (my dominant hand), EXCEPT for putting.  weird, I know!  for some reason, it feels unnatural for me to put right-handed, which is obviously necessary sometimes.  i wonder why though.  the only other sport/game that I use my left hand is pool/billiards.  

post #11 of 22
Originally Posted by SwingKing View Post

I drive and do everything with my right (my dominant hand), EXCEPT for putting.  weird, I know!  for some reason, it feels unnatural for me to put right-handed, which is obviously necessary sometimes.  i wonder why though.  the only other sport/game that I use my left hand is pool/billiards.


I think I played with you !   Either that or you're not alone.    Played with a guy at Flanders, NJ earlier this year that played righty & putted lefty.    It took me about 9 holes to notice & when I asked him about it - he said it took me about 5 holes longer than most people to ask him about it - LOL. 

post #12 of 22

My golf buddy does everything left handed, but golf ... hits all clubs but his putter right handed  ... he putts left handed, and when paired with other people its about three holes before someone notices and comments ... 


So I think it may be more common that people think ...

post #13 of 22

Anything that requires as much strength as possible (especially hand strength) I do right handed and anything that requires as much skill as possible I do left handed.


Things that sort of require both I do about equally with either hand but I am terrible at using the "off hand" on the things where I use one hand or the other.


I can't throw a lick left handed but could switch hit pretty well in baseball but never did it in games because I had much more power right handed and wasn't willing to give up that power.


I wouldn't be good at golf full swings left handed (I don't think) but pretty sure left handed should have been my natural way to putt. Somebody gave me my first set of clubs when I was 48 years old and they were right handed clubs including the putter.

post #14 of 22

I'm right handed, but I play all sports which involves sticks/clubs/etc... as left handed. I have no idea why and I did not choose to play golf left handed because I like having problems finding clubs haha.


I do everything else right handed.


At baseball, I throw right handed, but I swing left handed. Hockey, left handed. Golf, left handed. As soon as it involves holding something with two hands, I can't do anything right playing right handed.

post #15 of 22
I putted lefty for a while. Still have the putter in my trunk. My aiming was fine but I had no distance control at all.

I switch hit when I played baseball as a kid and could always kick a soccer ball fine with my left foot.

Otherwise I'm exclusively a righty.
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 

Definately some pretty interesting and eye opening responses.  Maybe this is just way more common than I realized.  This is just speculation, but maybe eye dominance plays a part in what side people swing from? (cricket, baseball, golf?)  

post #17 of 22

I write left handed and do a few other things left handed but I always thought that a right handed golf swing IS left hand dominant. That is the hand you have a glove on and you lead with the left side. When I get done hitting a bucket or playing my left forearm is sometimes sore the next day. My left arm is definately stronger than the right.

post #18 of 22

Another lefty that swings righty here, though almost all other sports I've tried I've ended up playing right handed.



Originally Posted by bman1313 View Post

... but I always thought that a right handed golf swing IS left hand dominant...


I don't know. My experience is the opposite but in no way conclusive. I feel like one of my swing flaws is that my left arm overpowers my right, and that a lot of learning how to swing better was understanding how to properly harness the power in my right arm. There's a quote from one of the greats about wishing they had three right hands, right?


The reason I play right handed is 'cause my dad's clubs were right handed.

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