Bryson Goes Lefty To Get Out Of Trouble

Aaron Ungvarsky

Aaron Ungvarsky

PGA of America Professional, SwingU Instructor

So, you are facing a lie with no real option to take a stance; or perhaps your ball has come to rest against a tree.

Your options seem to be limited to taking an unplayable lie — which would force you to either replay the shot, take two club lengths no closer and drop, or keep the point and flag in a line and proceed back as far as you’d like.

Or you can proceed like Bryson DeChambeau did at this past week’s QBE Shootout and take one of your lofted clubs, flip it around, and play the shot lefty.

This shot is very risky and inadvisable under most circumstances. However, if you are playing that grudge match against the buddy you have to beat, or if you want to upstage someone playing slightly better than you, here are the keys to playing that shot.

Bryson is the perfect player to pull to this shot off and make it look effortless because his normal swing characteristics, which are unconventional, play perfectly for this shot.

Quiet hands and minimal wrist action are what allows Bryson to swing single-length clubs so proficiently. You will need to mute your natural inclination to apply a hinge and release motion to make contact with the ball — the bare minimum goal to save face for playing such a bold shot.

Let’s examine the ways to make a left-handed shot the right play.

The Setup

  • The club needs to be rotated so the toe is pointing down at the ground. We should pick a more lofted club because the toe area is larger and provides a better chance of making solid contact.
  • Play the ball in the middle or slightly back of center in your stance, which optimizes ball first contact.
  • Take a left-hand low, traditional lefty grip. Apply medium grip pressure and remember we are eliminating hand and wrist action in the swing.

The Swing

  • The motion of this shot is exactly like a putt with some upper body rotation thrown in. DO NOT look to execute a mirror swing of your normal move — you will not enjoy the results. Even solid contact will directionally be hard to control and could get you in worse trouble. This is an escape shot.
  • Focus on feeling like you are making a large putting stroke, with extra long arm extension during the backswing. For the transition and downswing, you can start to turn your upper body to help build some momentum through impact.

NOTE: Be sure to make multiple practice swings at an object near the spot you are looking to play from. These practice swings will help you calibrate the putting-like motion and see how close to the object, like a stick or leaf, you can land the club.

Your ability to hit the object will give you an idea if you should really even be trying this shot. There is always the option to take the penalty shot, but at least you looked cool showing your friends you have the option to play lefty.