Dominant arm and hand control has been a controversial concept over the years. I started doing this drill when I was 13 years old and it has worked for me ever since. And I have written about this action in many of my golf instructional books. The first time I published it was in 1994. Ben Hogan used it, swinging a golf club 100 times a day with only his right hand holding the club. It worked for him as well. Tommy Armour believed in it as well, he said whack the hell out of the ball with the right hand. I have also heard Sam Snead say he learned the basic golf action by taking hold of a stick in his right hand only, stabbing an apple with it and then swinging the stick back with the apple on the end of the stick and holding the stick in his right hand only. If he swung correctly, the apple would stay on the stick until the time of proper release and he could flinge the apple straight to his target.
When golfers played with hickory shafted clubs the natural thing to do was to control the club with the domiant hand. However, the hickory swing required a rolling action with the dominant hand. When steel shafts came along, most of the golfers continued to roll the release, however there was much less torque in the shafts and they started hooking their shots. Well Byron Nelson was one of the first players from the Hickory Era to figure out how to play the steel shafted clubs straight and he became Iron Byron. Ben Hogan figured his way out a little later, he employed a side-cover swing path action with supination to straight out his shots. And Sam Snead was the last to switch over to steel, and he coined the "Late Release" method.
The golf channel was non-existant at the time, and the everday instructors had to find a way to help their students change over their hickory habits to steel shafted habits. The technique that prevailed was to pull down with he left arm and hand. What this did was flail the clubface open in a position similar to where the clubface was with hickory shafted clubs at delivery. Then all the student needed to do was against the rolling-release a little and "whala" the shots went straighter. Unfortunately we have had over 7 decades of golfers that have never played with hickory clubs and have never developed hickory habits. However, the techniques is still taught, and it has produced generation after generation of "slicers." It has also produce tons of torn rotator cuffs in the left shoulder joint.
Proponents of the left arm and hand control method would say stuff like, "it is like playing a backhand shot in tennis, it is more powerful than the forehand shot." How ridiculous!! Any competitive tennis player will tell that is false, and it is largely why there is a two-handed backhand in tennis instead of a two-handed forehand. The fact is, excuses needed to be made for the theory and telling golfers take the right hand out of the action. However, even in the hickory shafted compensation the student only took the right hand out during the downstroke, they still used it in the through stroke.
The fact is, golf is a two handed game, and it is how you use the hands that make the difference and you have the best chance of performing the most precise actions with your dominant hand in control. After all, it is your smartest hand. Even so, there will still be some left hand contribution, many for helping stabilize the club and clubface alignments. Truly dominant right handed people will play their best with the dominant hand being the dominant controller, dominant left handed people will play best with dominant left hand control. And ambidextrous golfers can use both to varying degrees. I have researched this and tested it with my students for decades. Instead of prescribing one or the other, I have had them try all three and see what works best. The students have discovered for themselves, given the opportunity to try all three options that the dominant control options works best.
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