Asking which hand should be dominant in golf is a bit like trying to figure out if a one-plane swing is better than a two-plane swing.
Golfers don’t agree on all things golf.
Of course, some standards will be the same across the entire golf world, but most educational philosophies are personal preferences.
In this guide, we will help you understand which hand should lead your golf swing, including some other important information about the role of the hands.
Which Hand Should Be Dominant in Golf?
Some golf professionals believe the left hand should be dominant in golf while others believe the right hand leads the way.
There are positives and negatives to having both the left and right hands active in the golf swing.
The majority of golf teaching professionals believe the left hand should lead the way.
Let’s break down the positives and the negatives of the left and right hand involvement in the golf swing.
1. Left Hand Dominant
The left-hand dominant swing was made quite popular by the great Ben Hogan.
In Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons, he taught the importance of the left-hand dominant golf swing and why the right hand was just along for the ride.
This methodology is quite popular, and there are some very valid points related to this theory.
Where it can be a little difficult to feel the left hand dominating is during the takeaway.
When you start taking the club back, if you have a left-hand dominant swing, you will feel as though you are pushing the club back instead of pulling it.
This is a feeling and concept some golfers struggle to understand, especially when they are new to the game.
However, once your hands are at the top of your swing, feeling the pull from the left hand should be quite a bit easier.
When you are a left-hand dominant golfer, you will essentially feel the club being pulled down with your shoulder and hands.
With the left hand leading the way, you can make a shallow strike and get the club to cast out towards the target.
Golfers will feel as though the club is pulling them through impact, and they can throw the club out towards the target.
With the left side dominating, many golfers feel as though they have an easier time incorporating their body into their turn.
If you want to get lots of distance, spin, and control with your golf shots, you need to hit them with a descending blow.
This is done much more easily from the left side than when the right hand is dominating.
For golfers who are not good at right-hand domination, they could end up flipping at the ball as opposed to hitting it with a descending blow.
The left-hand dominant golf swing is known to be very powerful, and it will help correct some misses golfers have in their game.
If you are a player who wants power and you like the classic methods of pulling the golf club through your swing, then left-hand dominance is the right idea for you.
2. Right Hand Dominant
Right-hand dominant players are usually those who are very good with timing and getting their hands into the right positions.
The right-hand dominant player may have a hard time getting their body to do what it needs to do, and the right hand makes up for it.
If you have trouble getting your lower body to initiate the start of your downswing, the right hand can certainly help.
With the right hand leading, everything will pull through the ball.
As your arms and hands pull through the ball, the body will follow.
If you have played other sports in your life, the dominant right-hand swing could be the way to go.
Many sports are right hand dominant because the right hand is usually stronger than the left hand.
Since golfers who swing this way tend to be athletes, they can usually generate plenty of speed with their arms and hands.
However, if you feel as though your golf swing lacks speed overall, you may want to look at the dominant left-hand swing.
Sometimes incorporating more of a body-led movement can make the swing easier to repeat and a bit faster.
Some golfers will have no idea if their left hand or right hand is dominant.
You may need a teaching professional to help you figure this out.
Mostly, this is just a feeling you will have in your swing to keep things more in control and have a direction.
Do Left-Handed Golfers Have an Advantage?
Since many people believe a left-hand dominant swing is going to be a better overall strategy, the question comes up about left-handed golfers having an advantage.
When it comes to the leading of the hands, the left-handed golfers do not have an advantage.
When you think about a right-handed golfer, their left hand is on top of the club, and it is used to help pull the club through and initiate the downswing.
For left-handed players, their right hand is on the top part of the grip.
This does not make anything any more manageable from a left- or right-hand dominance perspective.
There are two other things about being a left-handed golfer that make it less advantageous.
For starters, golf courses are usually built with the right-handed golfer in mind.
The golf course tends to reward the player who stands on the left side of the ball.
There are usually fewer areas of trouble for the right-handed player, as opposed to the left-handed golfer.
The other disadvantage of being a left-handed golfer is the lack of equipment available.
Left-handed players sometimes don’t have access to the same equipment the right-handed golfers do.
Some companies won’t make some of their irons in the left-handed models.
Although this is rare, it can be an issue.
Left-handed golfers also have a hard time finding demo equipment they can try out before purchasing.
Most places don’t have a ton of left-handed equipment in stock to try.
What Starts the Golf Downswing?
The golf downswing can start in several different ways.
Some people think the left hand starts to pull the club down.
Others feel as though they initiate by dropping their arms into place.
Lastly, others believe the left hip will start to turn, and the lower body will initiate the golf swing.
There is truly no right or wrong answer when it comes to the golf downswing.
Players must figure out what works for them and what will be most natural for them.
If you have never seen a slow-motion video of your golf swing, now would be the time to do it.
You can pause the video at the top and quickly see what your first move is when you start the downswing.
If you think there are issues, you can easily make the transition to another way to start the downswing.
Golfers who start the downswing with their arms and hands have been known to lose a bit of power but increase control.
Golfers who start with their bodies generally have quite a bit of power, but sometimes they cannot control the angle of the clubface.
Will Interlock or Overlap Affect the Hand Dominance?
Some people will say the overlap grip is going to help the golfer who wants more left-hand action, and the interlock will help those who want to incorporate the right hand.
There are nuances to this, and sometimes this will be more about swing mechanics than it will be about hand position.
How Important Is Grip Pressure in the Hands?
Since we are talking about the hands and which one leads the golf swing, it is essential to talk about the pressure of the hands on the club.
When we talk about left or right-hand dominant, this does not have to do with grip pressure.
Golfers will have one hand or the other pulling the club through their swing.
The grip pressure between both of these hands should be even.
Grip pressure should also always remain very light on the club.
If you start thinking left-hand dominant means you grip the club harder with your left hand, you will run into some grip pressure-related swing flaws that can be hard to fix.
Grip pressure on a golf club can be too tight or too light.
Most golfers struggle more with gripping the club too hard than not gripping it hard enough.
If you grip the golf club too lightly, you could end up losing power and losing control of the clubhead as well.
If you grip the golf club too tight, you can potentially restrict yourself from releasing the club.
When you first start playing golf, it can be tricky to figure out the exact grip pressure you need.
It takes a bit of time and practice to figure out the proper pressure and positioning of the hands.
If your hands are in the proper place on your golf club, you will have a much easier time getting the proper grip pressure.
Does the Grip on the Club Matter?
If you feel like you need to be more or less left hand dominant, you may be wondering if there is a particular golf grip that can help you.
Most golf grips are made in a way to make sure you have the same grip pressure in both hands.
There are some grips, however, that leave some extra wraps under the right hand.
This allows the right hand to have an equal part in the swinging of the club, and it won’t be thinner and easier for the right hand to grip tighter.
If you like that feeling of the right hand along for the ride, this is undoubtedly an excellent choice to look for in a grip.
Mostly, when choosing a grip for your club, it is essential to find something that allows you to feel as though you have complete control over the club.
You don’t want something that is going to slip out of your hands while you are completing your golf swing.
Although we were not able to tell you whether the left or right hand is the winner, hopefully, you got some valuable information about what should work best for your golf game.
You have to make sure you pay attention to the strengths and weaknesses in your golf game and make a decision that works for you.
Thinking about the left and right-hand dominance is not the best swing thought.
You want to work on things in your game that allow you to focus on a single goal.
Something like a slow takeaway or a high finish is essential when it comes to swing thoughts.
Trying to feel a right-hand dominance throughout your swing is a difficult thing to think about.
Save these thoughts for the driving range.