Jim Suttie

Is the golf swing right or left dominant?

Is the golf swing right or left dominant?

NAPLES — You have often hear the expression “Pull down from the top of your swing with your left hand and arm.” Then a guy like Jimmy Ballard comes along, and says the downswing should be entirely right-sided.

Well, what is it? A right-handed game or a left-handed game? After all, Ben Hogan himself said “I wish I had three right hands.” The legendary Tommy Armour said the same thing.

There have been plenty of biomechanical studies that have shown the muscles of the upper-right quadrant are the most active in the golf swing. Think about it for a moment, Isn’t the golf swing the only skill activity that will tell a right-hander to use his left hand on the downswing? Wow! No wonder we have 26 million golfers who are confused.

It seems that all skill activities say you should use your dominant hand and arm to project or throw the object, yet the instruction in the golf swing is always the same. “Take it back with your left hand, arm, and shoulder, and pull it down with your left.”

I remember when John Jacobs told me to turn my right side to the right on the backswing. I guess he was ahead of his time. I watched my friend and fellow professional Doug Reed give a lesson to a 20-handicapper, and it was all about how to use your right side (strong side) in the golf swing, It worked pretty well.

I think we have to compromise on this one though. There is a place for both sides of the body to work since you are putting two hands on the club, The left hand and arm are the guide, and maintain the integrity of the circle. The right side is the power side. We only get in trouble and hit crazy shots when the right hand and right side of the body get involved in accelerating too early,

If you are very right-side dominant, go ahead and use your right side, and your distance will improve by just being natural.