What works for one golfer might provide huge obstacles for another. If you’re not a big fan of a particular golf set, you might like to add variety to your gear by packing both left and right handed clubs in your bag. Thing is, does the USGA even allow this?
What rules – if any – will you have to navigate when playing with this approach to your equipment? On this page, we’ll be determining whether or not you can have left and right handed clubs in your bag.
We’ll cover what the USGA says, why you might like to switch up your kit, and how your prospects change as a left handed player.
The US Golfing Association (USGA)
The information provided on this page is based on that given by the USGA. To those who aren’t already aware, the USGA is “the United States national association of golf courses, clubs, and facilities and the governing body of golf for the U.S. and Mexico.”
If there’s a rule controlling golf in the US or Mexico, these guys came up with it and enforce it during official games.
What the USGA Says About Mixed Clubs in Your Bag
Let’s cut right to the chase – this line from the USGA’s page on clubs seems most pertinent:
“There is no restriction on the type of clubs you carry – for instance you can carry multiple putters, multiple drivers, or some left-handed clubs and some right-handed.”
To cut a long story short, yes – you can absolutely carry a mixture of left and right handed clubs in your bag. Keep in mind, however, that there’s one USGA rule that you may break if you’re not careful here.
The 14 Club Rule
If you care about playing your golf ‘by the rules,’ you’ll need to make sure you’re not breaching what’s known as the ‘14 club rule.’
This rule states that each player is allowed to carry a maximum of 14 golf clubs with them during a game. This means that if the left or right handed clubs you’re using bring your total of clubs up to more than 14, you’ll be breaking the rules and will be penalized accordingly.
Click here to learn more about the 14 club rule and sharing clubs.
What’s the Difference Between Left and Right Handed Clubs?
What’s the difference between left and right handed golf clubs anyway? In this section, we briefly touch on the basics.
The shafts of both left and right handed golf clubs are usually identical. You wouldn’t be able to tell just by looking at the shaft alone. The main difference can be found in the head design of most clubs.
The one exception to this is in left handed VS right handed putters – we explore this further down this page.
The angle and position of the club head is reversed on a right handed club VS a left handed club. This means they’re designed for either the right or left hand to be further down the handle when swinging.
If you’re left handed, using clubs designed to work with rather than against you can be a real Godsend.
In some left handed putters, the angle and shape of the handle/ shaft is also different. The handle will be crafted to suit the needs of left handed players on the green. If you’re unsure when shopping, the packaging and marketing should clearly state which dominant hand the club is intended for.
Why Have Both Left and Right Handed Clubs in Your Bag?
At first glance, the decision to carry both right and left handed clubs can seem like a strange one. However, there are a few things that can make it worthwhile.
If your ball lands right next to a tree or other obstruction, it can be hard to swing at it successfully with either a right or left handed club. For this reason, having a combination of the two in your bag can help you get out of a bind when necessary.
Force of Habit
Some left handed players forced themselves to play with their right hand for a while before deciding to try left handed clubs. This can result in a golfing bag that’s full of both kinds of club!
Can Lefties be Good at Golf?
Absolutely! There are plenty of left handed golf clubs out there and being left handed doesn’t really present any unique obstacles when compared to being a right handed player – there are tons of lefties out there who play excellent golf.
The USGA says it’s absolutely fine to play with a mixture of left and right handed clubs. Just make sure you’re not using more than 14 if you want to play by the rules.