Laterality and performance: Are golfers learning to play backwards?
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-30, 19:16 authored by Oliver R. Runswick, David L. Mann, Shivraj Mand, Alan Fletcher, Peter M. Allen
When using a bimanual tool to strike an object, most people place their preferred hand closer to the striking end. In sports, a player is deemed to adopt a “right- or left-handed” stance depending on the hand that is lower on the club or bat. Research has suggested there is an advantage in going against this convention by placing the preferred hand at the top in a “reversed-stance”. This study aimed to establish if the reversed-stance advantage exists in golf, whether it is underpinned by the preferred hand or dominant eye, and why players adopt such a stance. We tested hand preference, eye dominance, and full swing stance in 150 golfers (30 for each handicap category) and conducted follow-up interviews with 12 reversed-stance players. Professional or category 1 golfers were 21.5 times more likely to adopt a reversed-stance. The advantage could not be explained by ambidexterity or the dominant eye but could be explained by the position of the preferred hand. Reversed-stance players cited a variety of reasons for adopting it and were more likely to display a left-hand preference. Findings offer initial evidence of a reversed-stance advantage in golf and can inform work identifying its origins and mechanisms.
Publication titleJournal of Sports Sciences
PublisherTaylor & Francis
- Accepted version