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Brooks Koepka left handed

Can a right-handed player carry left-handed clubs?

Can you be ambidextrous on the golf course? Is it fine to mix and match? Our Rules of Golf expert swaps hands to take this shot

 

Put a golf club in my hands and I’ve always been naturally right-handed.  

But I wield a pen with my left, hold a tennis racket with that hand, and make a mess of cutting a loaf the same way. I’m the definition of ambidextrous.

If you put a gun to my head and a wedge in my hand, I could play a passable shot with my ‘wrong hand’.

That can prove pretty useful when you play the some of the woeful shots I manage out on the golf course. It’s certainly an option when your ball gets stuck behind a tree.

Some of you have obviously been thinking along the same lines as you’ve been in touch to ask how this all plays out in the Rules of Golf.

You want to know: can you carry a left-handed club if you wished (and vice versa of course) and, if you’re not inclined to show off, can you use the back of a club to make a stroke?

Let’s reveal the answers to this left or right handed golf clubs question…

left or right handed golf clubs

Left or right handed golf clubs?

You can carry a left-handed club in a right-handed set – and vice versa (I’m tired of typing that now, you get the drift) – and you are allowed to use it.

But that club has to be part of the 14-club maximum. So you can’t have 14 right-handed clubs AND a left-handed club in your bag.

Check out Rule 4.1a (1), which only says you must use a club which confirms to the requirements in the equipment rules.

Let’s move on to using the back of the clubhead. This is also perfectly fine. Rule 10.1a, which looks at fairly striking a ball, says you must “fairly strike at the ball with any part of the head of the club”.

It doesn’t specify sides. So as long as you don’t push, scrape, or scoop it with your cavity back or blade, you won’t infringe the rules.

Got a question for our expert?

Despite the changes to the Rules of Golf in 2019 and 2023, there are still some that leave us scratching our heads. I’ll try to help by featuring the best of your queries in this column.

What do you think? Have you played the other way round? Do you carry a left handed club in your bag but you’re right handed – and vice versa? Let me know with a comment on X.

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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