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Should I try switching to lefty?

eric l

Short version: I hurt the left side of my back, pretty permanent. Will switching to lefty enable me to play with less pain? Has anyone ever had to do this before?

Long version: I got in a car wreck when I was younger and it has just been bugging me ever since. My head stayed in the car while my body tried to leave through the window. I ripped all kinds of muscles in my upper left back. Had to just drop the game since I physically couldn't play more than 9 holes. Prior to the wreck I was 4 handicap and could beat the ball to a pulp off the tee. That was nearly 10 years ago. I got back into it recently, not as heavily. I'm a shade away from single digits again (11 handicap) I went to a store to get fitted for a 100% swing and see how all the equipment has changed...I felt pretty good. I can still hit the ball with exceptional power and consistency. Worked up to 30 shots with driver, avg swing speed is 118. Kept a solid tempo and I'm not over swinging but still working for it no doubt. Next 2 days my back was sore. Figured I'd let it rest and go play a round at 100%. I made it to hole 7 and started aching. Hole 14 I was in legitimate pain. If I didn't have a cart I might have quit. I have tried 3/4 swings, modifying my follow through, and "swinging easy" but nothing I have done in the past few years has solved it. Even granny swinging I make funny noises after impact and hurt the next day. I'm at the point where I think switching to lefty and rotating the other way might be the solution. I do almost nothing lefty. I'm left eye dominant, that's about it. I understand the immense undertaking this would be, I have paid my dues in full as a righty. I have so many reservations about committing to the switch but, it might be worth it.

Has anyone made the switch, even on a whim? Is there any skill transfer?

4 Replies

  1. Dino J

    Hi Eric,
    Very sorry to hear of your accident and the physical toll that it has taken on you.

    In my own way, I have a similar experience. I used to play hockey and other sports at a very high level. However, it took its toll on my body. Torn left rotator cuff (twice), mild shoulder separation (left shoulder), torn MCL (left knee), damaged medial meniscus (left knee), an additional knee surgery for bone spurs and cartilage damage (left knee), chronic tendonitis or tendinosis (left shoulder) with both tendons (bicep and the arm), a partial rupture of my left Achilles tendon. And, to add to it, I also have osteoarthritis in my knees and left foot.

    So, while I did not have quite the same trauma as your accident, my "battle scars" have left me in a "compromised" state as well. I have found some success in working very strongly and doggedly with a very good physical trainer (in fact a TPI certified trainer).

    In addition to the regular cardio workouts, we have also focused on building flexibility in my upper body (shoulders, chest,) and in my hips, etc. We also focus on building strength in my core muscle group (lats, glutes, quads, hamstrings, abdomen, etc.)

    I have found that this has really allowed me to come back in my golf game and to swing the club with some strength and consistency. I managed to get back to a single digit handicap player again.

    While I may never get the strength and length from my younger days, I am enjoying my golf again. It has also meant coming to terms mentally, with some physical limitations and learning how to compensate. That means extra focus on the short game ... salvaging pars, etc. where I might have walked away with a bogey.

    So Eric, only you know your body and where you are at in life. But, you may find it worthwhile to sit down and talk with a TPI Certified Physical Fitness Trainer. They can help you evaluate your situation and what a suitable program may be.

    I do wish you all the best in your choices and I hope that you find some "food for thought" in my comments. All the best Eric. D.
  2. Don O

    I did make the switch. I'm a natural LH. Also in my favor, I grew up batting RH and only played golf infrequently borrowing RH clubs until I switched on a whim. My core/back soreness tends to be on the right side when it crops up. My wife is RH and I can still take 3/4 swings RH and putt from both sides
  3. B.A.

    Go for it if it doesn't hurt that way! Do what you need to do. Long Drive champ Jaime Sadlowski is left handed and golfs right-handed... You can do it!
  4. Sawyer Nix

    Why don't you check out a TPI athletic trainer? The may be the best avenue to help you figure out what works and what doesn't.

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