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Are You a Righty, a Lefty, or a Little Bit of Both?



photo of my shadow walking on a fairway at Picton golf & Country Club
My Shadow. Photo taken at Picton Golf & Country Club

Are You a Righty or a Lefty?

Even though I golf quite a bit, I don’t think I will ever be able to truly answer that question with 100 % certainty.


I didn’t golf much growing up. I remember my father had an old set of right-handed clubs in the garage that I would borrow if needed. Being lucky enough to grow up with the Bay of Quinte in my backyard, I was much more focused on water skiing and boating than I was golfing.


In my early adult years, family and work commitments dominated my attention, leaving little time for golf. I would play a few work-related tournaments or fundraisers and did enjoy getting out with family and friends on occasion but that was it; 10 to 15 rounds per year max. During that time, I flip-flopped back and forth between being a righty and being a lefty. Equally terrible from either side of the ball.


I remember golfing at Oak Hills Golf Club with my brother-in-law John one day. He was a lefty, and I was a righty (on that day). We were on a par 3 on the Highlands Course. I teed off first with my right-handed 8 iron. I pushed my tee shot left of the green.


Then John stepped up and knocked his left-handed 8 iron to within 4 feet of the pin. John looked back at me with a little smirk on his face as he strut off the tee block. I said, “Can I try your club?” John said “Sure.” I grabbed his left-handed 8 iron and hit a second tee ball to within 6 feet of the pin.


So began the looming question; “Am I a righty or a lefty?”


The Adventure Begins

I began playing golf on a semi-regular basis in 2015 when I got a membership at the Bay of Quinte Golf and Country Club. That first season I played most rounds as a lefty, but I did have my set of right-handed clubs “on standby” just in case. The right-handed clubs received limited playing time. By the end of the first season, I would have to say that I was leaning heavily towards being a lefty.


You Could Say That I was “Officially” a Lefty, Right?

Well, not exactly. Throughout the years of alternating back and forth between left- and right-handed clubs, two clubs in my bag were not interchangeable under any circumstances. My right-handed putter and my right-handed 7 Iron were, without a doubt, my two best clubs.


Putter Problems? Try a Little Foam Insulation

My putter has no manufacturer’s name on it. It is what used to be referred to as a #10 blade putter and is estimated to be 60+ years old. It was my father’s putter and is the only club remaining from the old set that sat in the garage way back when.


It continues to work well to this day (most of the time) but I did want to upgrade the grip while preserving the original hard rubber grip.


Solution: I took a small length of tubular foam insulation, used to put over hot water pipes, and fit it over the original grip. To secure it in place, I used camo hockey tape. The modification was perfect, and it gets freshly re-taped at the beginning of each season. Any mishits are attributed to “operator error” rather than equipment failure.


Say Hello to Mr. Wilson

My right-handed 7 iron is an old Wilson Blue Ridge with a 37-degree loft. No need to preserve the grip on this club. It gets nice new grips whenever the rest of the clubs are re-gripped. I affectionately refer to this club as “Mr. Wilson” and everyone who plays golf with me knows Mr. Wilson by name.


Left, Then Right, Then in the Hole

From the tee blocks, I am a true lefty. Once I get to within 10–20 yards of the green and I can hit a bump n’ run chip, I transform into a righty with Mr. Wilson and my trusty 60+-year-old putter.


It's always interesting to see what kind of a reaction I get when golfing with others for the first time. Some never notice that I switch back and forth between right and left clubs throughout the round while others pick up on it right away. Almost everyone comments on my putter though, especially the homemade grip.


Go With Whatever is Most Comfortable


What is it that determines whether one should play golf right-handed or left-handed? I write and throw a ball with my right hand but play hockey, lacrosse and baseball left-handed. For me, it is more of a question of “What hurts the back the least amount when swinging a club?” Personally speaking, I find it much more comfortable when I swing left-handed.


According to an article written by Golf.com contributor James Colgan, only 5 to 7 % of golfers in North America are lefties and most of them hail from north of the border. Adam Dickinson of GolfWRX.com says that 30% of golfers in Canada swing left-handed. No doubt Mike Weir’s 2003 Masters win at Augusta has helped with those numbers.


Carrying and playing both left and right-handed clubs during play is perfectly acceptable according to the official rules of golf. Just make sure that the total number of clubs in your bag does not exceed 14.


Whether you're a righty or a lefty or, in my case, a little bit of both, the most important objective when playing golf remains the same.


Get Out There and Have Fun!





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