No other sport has shown such a strong bias against lefthanders than the game of golf. For most of the games early existence, there were no lefthanded golfers at all. Golf club manufacturers didn't start offering lefthanded golf clubs for sale until the early 1960's, and if there were any lefthanded golfersl, they were playing with either homemade or custom made clubs. Until that time, anyone who tried to play golf lefthanded was met with ridicule and resistance, and in many cases they were banned from play.
Bob Charles learned to play golf lefthanded in New Zealand in the 1950's, and he became the first lefthanded golfer to play on the PGA Tour in the early 1960’s. His first career victory came in 1963. As golf was gaining popularity on television during the rise of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicholas, and other greats of that era, Charles was often still playing, and contending with these greats in the final round of tournaments. His emergence as a great player helped alleviate some of the bias against lefthanded golfers, but it was a long time before any others followed in his footsteps.
More recently, Russ Cochran, Phil Mickelson, Mike Weir, Steve Flesch, Bubba Watson and Brian Harman have made golfing lefthanded more common than ever before. These seven men, plus the nine listed on our Other LH Golfers Page, have represented lefthanders very well. But these are the only fifteen lefthanded golfers anyone has ever heard of, and it has been over 60 years since Bob Charles broke the barrier.
With the obvious bias and barriers seemingly gone, you would expect more lefthanded golfers competing and winning on the PGA tour. But you don't see many lefthanded golfers at the professional level, and you don't find many of them on college teams or high school golf teams, and not in junior leagues either. You don't see very many lefthanders playing casual golf, or taking golf lessons to try to learn the game.
The Success and The Failures of Lefthanders In Sports