Tom’s Featured Tip: Swing Speed And Your Dominant Hand 

For simplicity, all advice on actual swings or drills is provided from a right handed perspective. 

Many players lose a lot of clubhead speed because of tension in the right hand or overuse of the right hand at impact. 

Most players are right handed, and an overactive right hand is a major cause of poor contact as well as loss of swing speed. 

For my better students, to a man (and woman) I always work on keeping the dominant hand in it’s correct role, which usually means less of it during the swing. 

The modern swing is a left side dominated swing, not a right side dominated swing. Most of it’s power is derived from centrifugal speed developed by swinging long levers through the swing. Your arms are levers, and in a sense so is the pivot point of your club. 

When your right hand becomes too active during the swing, it changes the fulcrum of the pivot point on your shaft from near the butt of the grip to just below your right hand. This amounts to effectively shortening the shaft about four inches, which causes a tremendous amount of swing speed loss. Add poor ball compression due to the angle of the clubface at impact and the result is a short, weak, high ball flight. 

One of the reasons that the golf grip is tapered the way it is, is so that you can hold on to it with the last three fingers of the left hand when you are swinging fast and using the proper fulcrum point on the shaft – the area near the butt of the grip. 

Here’s a good drill to practice how your grip should feel and be positioned at impact.

  • Grip the club with the last three fingers of your left hand only, keeping the thumb off the grip. 
  • Now take 25 slow, one handed 3/4 length swings, making sure that your left wrist stays flat or bowed at impact, and that your hand actually rolls so that the palm faces up during your follow through (like it’s catching rain). It’s actually the motion you would replicate if you were trying to hit a big hook. 
  • That’s the feeling you should have when you have both hands on the club, but the left palm won’t turn as much upward. 
  • Next, take 25 more slow swings, this time with both hands on the club but let the right hand fall off at impact. This a a drill you may have seen Phil Mickelson, Fred Couples, and VJ Singh do on occasion. It promotes the feeling of non dominance for the right hand. I actually saw VJ hit a driver like this during a tournament at full speed, and it produced a good result. The announcers thought it was a mistake but I don’t think it was. I think he was trying to get back the feeling of non dominance of his right hand because I saw him hitting full speed driver swings like that on the range. 

Practice this particular drill as often as you can and you’ll pick up speed simply due to the fact that you are using the full length of the club for leverage. 

And consciously TRY to keep your right hand grip soft and non-dominant through impact. 

Try it, you’ll like it. 


Love your practice, own your swing, own your health, 



Tom Tucker’s Bio

I conduct lessons at The Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
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Lessons are available for all ages and skill levels, please contact
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