There’s just something about the swing of a left-handed professional that looks like poetry in motion.
In honor of International Left Handers Day, here are 10 of the best golfers of all time who stand on the wrong side of the ball.
PGA Tour Wins: 8
Canadian Mike Weir collected eight wins during his PGA Tour career, with the most notable being the 2003 Masters. Weir gave up hockey in his early teenage years when he realized he would not grow past average size and that golf was his best sport. However, he had received advice that he might be an even better golfer if he switched to playing right-handed.
In 1984, Weir decided to write Nicklaus for advice as to whether to make the switch. Nicklaus quickly wrote back and told Weir, “If you are a good player left-handed, don’t change anything—especially if that feels natural to you.” That letter is now hanging in his home next to his coveted green jacket.
PGA Tour Wins: 6
Bob Charles is one of the most successful lefty golfers of all time. Hailing from New Zealand, Charles’ career spanned over five decades and included more than 70 wins. He claimed six PGA Tour titles, one of which was the 1963 Open Championship. He also beat his age twice during a tournament as a 71-year-old. Charles was the first lefty to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
PGA Tour Wins: 1
Eric Axley won once on the PGA Tour at the 2006 Valero Texas Open. He also won on the then-Nationwide Tour at the 2005 Rex Hospital Open in addition to two victories on the NGA Hooters Tour. In 2014, he finished 50th in the Web.com Tour Finals, the last position to earn a PGA Tour card and his first in five years, by just $31.66. After barely gaining a PGA Tour card, he barely missed getting it back for the 2015-16 season, just $101 behind Rob Oppenheim.
PGA Tour Wins: 1
Russ Cochran has one win to his credit on the PGA Tour at the 1991 Central Western Open, although he lost in a playoff at the 1992 Tour Championship. He also has a major on his resume at the 2011 Senior Open Championship in addition to four wins on the senior circuit. For much of the 1980s through 1992, he was the only left-hander on the PGA Tour.
Ted Potter, Jr.
PGA Tour Wins: 2
The natural right-hander won the 2012 Greenbrier Classic during his rookie season, along with making 13 out of 25 cuts. Potter also won twice on the Web.com Tour in addition to racking up 12 wins on the NGA Hooters Tour. Most recently, Potter was the 2018 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am winner.
PGA Tour Wins: 4
Steve Flesch racked up four wins on the PGA Tour including the 2004 Bank of America Colonial and the 2007 Reno-Tahoe Open. Before that, the Cincinnati native finished in the top ten on the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 1993, 1994 and 1996. He won the 1997 NIKE Tour Championship to earn a PGA Tour card for the following season, only the second left-hander to win on what is now the Web.com Tour.
Professional Wins: 5
While Australian Nick O’Hern never won on the PGA Tour, he did have 23 top-10 finishes and one runner-up finish in his 13 years on the pro circuit. He also collected close to $7.5 million for his efforts. The avid wine collector climbed as high as number 20 in the world rankings back in 2005. In 2006 we won his nation’s 2006 Australian PGA Championship.
This Bubba Watson swing ??? pic.twitter.com/URKzrkv6RO
— PGA.COM (@PGAcom) January 25, 2017
PGA Tour Wins: 9
Bubba Watson has claimed nine wins on the PGA Tour since turning pro in 2003. Of course, two of those were the Masters (2012 and 2014.) In 2015 the Florida native climbed all the way to number two in the World Golf Ranking. Watson’s unorthodox swing and personality has made him a unique fan favorite on Tour.
PGA Tour Wins: 1
Sam Adams, not the president, nor the beer captured the 1973 Quad Cities Open a.k.a. the John Deere Classic. He remains to this day as the only left-hander to win the event. He also won the 1975 North Carolina Open and 2000 Tennessee PGA Championship. While his career didn’t exactly take off, he remains as one of the few lefties to win on the PGA Tour
PGA Tour Wins: 43
No lefty golfer list would be complete without Phil Mickelson. Although he’s a natural righty, Phil used his sweet swing, magical short game, and larger than life personality to become one of the all-time winningest players on Tour with 43 victories including five majors. Mickelson has spent over 700 weeks in the top-10 of the Official World Golf Ranking and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in May 2012.