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Saturday, 2 September 2017

Hitting With Your Left Hand

There was a video out recently showing John Daly hitting shots with just his left hand. He was hitting a variety of shots, including bunker shots, this way. This was a good indication that he is a left-sided player; a top hand golfer. Among the great players he has plenty of company.

Among the other great players who were left-sided, or top handed, were Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Moe Norman; and, yes, Ben Hogan. For Bobby Jones, the golf swing was a back-handed strike with the left hand. Moe Norman emphasized the fact that he was pulling the club down the line with is left hand. 

Sam Snead described his swing as him pushing the club back with his left hand and pulling it down and through with his left hand. Byron Nelson discovered that he could stop hooking and hit the ball with great accuracy by focussing on the back of his left hand driving through the ball towards the target. 

For right-handed golfers, learning to use your left hand in the golf swing is very important. Golf is truly a game of opposites. You swing left to hit it right. You swing to the right to hit it left. You hit down on it to make it go up. The right-handed golf swing amounts to a back-handed strike with the left hand. No wonder it seems complicated at first.

A couple of current examples of left-sided players are Matsuyama and Spieth. Matsuyama is often seen warming up hitting balls with his left hand. Spieth really drives the back of his left hand down the line; so much so that he gets his famous chicken wing.

So, if you're not happy with your ball striking, perhaps you might want to consider trying to hit some practice shots with just your left hand. If you can do it, that's good. If you can't--and many players who try it at first have great difficulty doing it--you just might have something useful to work on. 

A good exercise to build up your left side is to hit an old tire, or an impact bag, swinging the club with just your left hand. Henry Cotton was big on that drill. In fact, I'm going to do that right now.