Editors' BlogAugust 29, 2007

Sinistrophobia

Okay, we've wronged the lefties, and they're right about it.

Dan McKerracher is one from British Columbia, where they speak English and plenty of it.

I am a lefty, and am writing to ask if you have ever considered that you are confusing between 8 and 15 percent (according to generally-available research) of your potential readership by universally referring in your articles and teaching aids to golfers and students as though we are all right-handed.

There is never so much as an introductory sentence or two of contrition, never mind apology, for the right-handed oratory that is about to be presented in each case.... there are thousands of us duffers and lovers of golf who stand on the 'right side of the ball' and have a devil of a time transposing each descriptor in each sentence of each article in each of your issues so that they make sense to us. Enough, already!

Dan suggests that we alter "right" and "left" to "forward" and "back" and illustrates on a tip in the Jim Hardy Breaking 100, 90, 80 in September. Under the headline, One Plane: The Magic Starting Move:

"You're probably heard the pharase "getting stuck" but what does it mean? When you pull hard with your left hand on the downswing, the club tends to flatten and fall behind you. It also opens the clubface, so you have to quickly flip your hands to hit the ball square...."

McKerracher amends Hardy:

"You've probably heard the phrase 'getting stuck', but what does it mean? When you pull hard with the front hand on the downswing, the club tends to flatten and fall behind you. It also opens the clubface, so you have to quickly flip your hands to hit the ball square.

He then concludes:

I cannot adequately describe to you how much better my left-handed mind assimilates this important and valuable tip using these slightly different words....

Dan: I'm glad you got that off your chest, even the gigantic parts I've edited out. You're right. We should be more careful, or careful at all, as the case may be. And a belated Happy Left-handers Day.

I'm only worried that the guys who just mastered right from left will be writing in, wondering where the hell their forward arm is.

--Bob Carney

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