Hoss and Little Joe

Golf is a two-handed game, but each has a different function. Your right arm is your power arm. That’s the arm and hand you hit with. My father called it Hoss. And, it’s pivotal role is performed through impact. Your left arm is your directional arm; the guide. That arm and hand keeps the club on path so that the face will come into the ball squarely on swing after swing. Dad referred to it as Little Joe.

The right hand cannot dominate the swing anymore than the left; they must be balanced and work together in harmony. If you hit too quickly with your right arm and hand, you hook the ball. If you don’t hit it quickly enough, you slice the ball. There’s no specific place in the downswing where you release the club and hit the ball. You find that place from a sense of feel. It’s practice. Play and practice helps you develop a sense of feel.

To help give you this feeling of balance, I suggest that you first tee up a few balls. Now, grip a 7- or 8-iron in your right hand only, and place your left hand either in your pocket or behind your back. Using only your right hand, swing the club with the intent of striking the balls you have placed on the tees. Then, repeat this process using only your left hand.

Note: When using your subordinate (less-dominant) arm and hand, make an effort on the downswing to pull the butt of the club down toward the ball by simultaneously rotating the left hip toward the target while transferring or pressuring body weight onto the left foot and leg. Do not expect too much in the beginning, but keep working with it. Before long, this practice will not only increase your awareness as to how both hands do indeed work together, it will also add to your understanding of golf being a truly two-handed game.

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