Do I Swing Left or Right With Golf Clubs?

Man Swinging Golf Club

You will find much more success hitting the ball for distance and accuracy from your dominant side. Knowing your dominant hand is also essential when picking out the proper clubs.

Neither hand has an advantage in the game--both lefties and righties are successful.

Knowing Your Right From Your Left

If you're a right-handed golfer playing a shot, your left side should point toward the target area while your right side should point away from the target.

From the perspective of standing along your target line facing the tee, you should stand directly to the right of the ball if you're right-handed.

If you're left-handed and facing the ball, stand on the ball's left side.

Acquiring the Correct Golf Clubs

Golf clubs are specifically designed for right- and left-handed players. When you purchase your first set of clubs, therefore, right-handed players should ask for right-handed clubs.

If you don’t make your first purchase from a golf retailer -- perhaps you shop at a garage sale, for example -- hold the club in front of you with the clubhead on the ground. If you’re right-handed, the clubhead’s grooves should point to your left.

If the club is a putter, the smooth side should face left. If both sides of the putter appear smooth, check the clubface’s angle, because the hitting surface should be lofted very slightly.

Lefty Is Righty

Even though right-handed players almost always swing from the right of the ball, there is no rule that says they must do so.

If you're a new golfer, go to a driving range with a right- and left-handed club -- most ranges will rent clubs to you if you don't have your own -- and try swinging from both sides of the ball. Choose the side that feels better.

Practice Swinging

The best way to determine which hand is dominant when playing golf is to go out and practice swinging a club.

Go to a driving range with a right and left handed club and practice hitting the ball. As a beginner, swinging the club might be awkward from both sides, but one side should feel smoother and more natural than the other.

Get into a proper golf stance with your feet a little more than shoulder width apart and the ball just slightly closer to your front foot.

Take your backswing, the swing forward, connect with the ball and follow through. After a few tries, it should be clear which side is dominant.


You may occasionally hit the ball near an obstruction that prevents you from swinging normally. In these cases, a right-handed player may be better off swinging from the ball’s left, or vice versa.

In his book “My 55 Ways to Lower Your Golf Score,” Jack Nicklaus describes a shot that landed 2 inches to the right of a tree. In other words, the tree sat where Nicklaus -- a right-handed player -- would normally stand.

In this type of situation, Nicklaus recommends holding a 5-, 6- or 7-iron backwards and swinging left-handed. Stand to the left of the ball and then flip the club so the clubface is aimed at the ball. Hold the club the way a left-hander would, with your right hand on top, and then take the best swing you can. Nicklaus hit his left-handed shot 150 yards toward the green.