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Canada: Home of the lefty?

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Golf has become a more prominent sport in Canada, and I believe that Mike Weir has a lot to do with that, since his triumph at the Masters only 16 short years ago. I am not saying it is going to replace hockey as our sport of choice as that kind of talk may get me committed.

We have, since that time, significantly grown our presence on not only the PGA Tour but all professional tours. It does make us exceedingly proud to sport one of the premier LPGA players in Brooke Henderson.

Harkening back to Mike Weir, at this time I also feel, shows a more accurate representation of the current state of golf in Canada. If you spend some time looking at the players at our courses, especially those that have taken up the game since his triumph, I think you may be surprised at what you see.

Welcome to Canada – home of the lefty

It seems to be a revelation of sorts here north of the border. One that, I will be honest, I do not belong to the group, but am intrigued as to what triggered it. We, as a country, have one of the highest per capita numbers of both golfers and courses. The state of the business of golf in Canada is a totally different topic.

Did Mike Weir make it acceptable? At a time when everyone wanted to be like Tiger, a short lefty from Canada wins the Masters and it was instantly cool in Canada to play left-handed? As a dedicated club ho walking through the used section of golf shops here does not reveal the multitude of deals for lefties that it previously did.

In Canada, approximately 30 percent of golfers are now left-handed, which is a staggering number anyway that it is looked at. We are not that far removed from a time when just writing with your left hand was seen as a faux pas!

If we look at the other sports played here I think that we can garner a better perspective of how this number came to be.

The national sport of Canada is lacrosse. However, if you asked most people, I would bet they would answer hockey. Nearly two out of every three people who play hockey in Canada play the sport left-handed. Hockey is a game of hand-eye coordination and transfer of power. Stickhandling, catching a pass or shooting all require good hand-eye to make you successful. But the transfer of power into a slap shot, or even a wrist shot for that matter, is where the correlation to the golf swing can begin.

Looking at the similarities, both involve a plant foot, a long backswing, hip rotation, downswing, acceleration and a follow through to generate power and results. Just as in golf, if any of these components aren’t present, the puck will go nowhere and on the ice, and you may just fall down.

More people play hockey than golf in Canada, and if you already play one left-handed it can be a somewhat natural transition to the other, as the basics for the swing are already ingrained in your mind.

Baseball is also another popular sport in Canada. Many of our successful hitting MLB players have been left, handed hitters. I feel that most will admit to the fact the swing was an easy transition over from hockey. They may field and throw right but the mechanics of the swing are easier to replicate by doing it left-handed.

Whatever the reason for this revelation of the left-handed golfer in Canada, I feel that it is a good thing for the sport. Whatever gets more people on the course is a good thing and if playing that way helps them to achieve personal success at the game faster then we can’t ask for anything more.

Who knows what the future of the left-handed golfer in Canada will hold. Just remember, if you are a lefty golfing north of the border, don’t expect to find the deals in clubs that are extended to our our left-handed friends south of the border!

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23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Vinny

    Mar 25, 2019 at 8:56 am

    Left handed player from the States here. I play hockey lefty, so I play golf the same way. The same goes for batting.

  2. Paul K

    Mar 24, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    I am one of the right handed Canadians who swing lefty. My brother shot left in hockey so naturally the little brother followed suit, and I kept the same setup into golf (and baseball).
    I honestly have no idea what my left hand is doing through the golf swing and I still can’t imagine how you righties do it ‘properly’ with your dominant hand down below. Just shot best ever 6 over par on Friday so something is working for me!

  3. NTL

    Mar 23, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    No deals for us south of the border either.

  4. Dave r

    Mar 23, 2019 at 11:41 am

    Being Canadian most people south of the border think we live in igloos.

    • F

      Mar 23, 2019 at 7:01 pm

      Well you certainly wear enough pads to play this silly game on ice.
      Why don’t you be real men and remove the pads and helmets and the walls and play the real game of hockey where you can’t use your hands and the stick is one-sided like a golf club.

  5. Jim Thomson

    Mar 23, 2019 at 10:54 am

    I’m a southpaw Canuck. Every time I get a chance, I ask a fellow lefty golfer if he or she is a “right-handed person,” i.e., do you write, throw, use scissors, etc. with your right hand. I’d estimate 90% answer yes, me included. As a kid I played a lot of hockey and baseball. I don’t buy the argument that playing hockey left-handed influenced my golf swing. Shooting a puck, hitting a baseball, or playing golf left-handed just feel more natural to me for some reason. I’m sure Jordan Spieth who throws left-handed but plays golf right-handed (Johnny Miller and Nick Price as well, perhaps) feel the same way.

  6. eh

    Mar 23, 2019 at 9:17 am

    Canadians tee it up in the fairway. Lefty wackos.

  7. Under the Roof

    Mar 23, 2019 at 7:45 am

    In Canadaian youth hockey, kids are taught to have their dominant hand above the other, which allows for better control of the stick and thus stick handling skills.
    Fast forward as those kids transition into golf, and it’s far more natural to have you “strong hand” , for most right hand, above the other on the grip, thus playing left handed.
    Being “right-handed and playing lefty, or vise versa, should provide an advantage for ball striking, as you naturally are pulling down with your (strong) hand into the ball.

    • Man

      Mar 23, 2019 at 7:02 pm

      ICE hockey.
      We have hockey, and it’s played without pads and helmets and the stick is one-aided and you can’t use your hands to knock the ball down. A real man’s game.

  8. Paul S

    Mar 22, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    Check your stats. There are more golfers in Canada than there are registered hockey and soccer players combined

  9. J

    Mar 22, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    This article is rife with inaccurate statements that were not properly researched. Weir didn’t have the effect the author claimed. Golf was a big sport before in Canada and still is. Canada has always had a larger than average amount of lefty’s, weir did not inspire Anyone to choose leftY.

    This was just disappointing to read. It’s an inaccurate portrayal of golf in Canada

  10. E

    Mar 22, 2019 at 8:57 pm

    People are so easily influenced and gullible. Especially Canadians.

  11. W

    Mar 22, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    Ice hockey is lame, a game for wusses

  12. Yertu

    Mar 22, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    A quick google search will show that there are many more golfers in Canada than there are hockey players.

  13. Moshe

    Mar 22, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    More Canadians play soccer than hockey.

    • Bob Parsons

      Mar 22, 2019 at 4:36 pm

      just look at canada’s dominance at international soccer unlike hockey

    • Jeremy

      Mar 23, 2019 at 3:09 am

      We play hockey, dumb dumb.

      • R

        Mar 23, 2019 at 8:22 am

        No, you play Ice hockey, dummy, hockey is a different sport without the ice, and it’s more respectful because in it the players don’t go around fighting each other

  14. Putt Stuff

    Mar 22, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    Lacrosse is the National Summer Sport.
    Ice Hockey is the National Winter Sport.

    Golf is the BEST SPORT.

  15. Steve

    Mar 22, 2019 at 11:44 am

    As a lefty canadian golfer, one time we had three lefties in a foursome. It was amazing. We made sure that the other guy know that he was swinging on the wrong side lol.

    • Geoffrey Holland

      Mar 24, 2019 at 8:16 am

      I once played in a group that all four of us were lefties. The amazing thing is we were put together as a group of singles none of us knew each other before the round.

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I’ll start by saying this: Bob Parsons has a stigma attached to him. With every move he makes or idea he pushes, many people think: Rich guy. No perspective. Who does he think he is?

I also need to say this (whether you believe it or not): This is not a puff piece. This is my honest perspective as I have experienced. Until 30 days ago, I didn’t have one PXG club in my bag and have never been given favor from PXG to “make them look good.”

OK, that’s out of the way, so you know what isn’t the motivation here. The motivation is to describe my relationship with Bob, so the golf community knows exactly who he is, why he is so important, and why we don’t want him to ever go away.

I first met Bob Parsons on December 11th, 2007 on the set of the first commercial I ever booked as an actor. It was for GoDaddy.com, and it was a Super Bowl ad that was later banned and became a “cult classic” for years to come. On the set of that commercial, Bob showed up before principal photography began and walked up to every person on that set (100 people) and personally introduced himself and thanked them for the hard work. When I met and I told him my name, he said in a way only Bob can, “Johnny Wunder!? I’ll never forget that name, that’s a no brainer.”

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Since then, I have interviewed Bob four times and been his guest during product launches. NOBODY does hospitality like Bob. NOBODY. You are inside the bubble, and you are well taken care of but also respected to the utmost degree. He understands the job we in the media have and will give you everything he can to make the experience worthwhile. Yes, Bob has a larger-than-life on-camera persona. It’s big, funny, gregarious, and to some, intimidating. Bob off camera is a bit of a different thing. He’s a thoughtful, quiet man that will ask about your kids far before he asks what you think about his products.

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This is not Bob selling me. This is Bob.

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I hope you see what I see. Enjoy the interview.

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