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Target’s Chairman, Colin Spencer, previews our charity golf day and reflects on a particular challenge he faces when playing.

The preparations for our seventh annual golf day are well under way, and the Target team can’t wait to greet many familiar faces, as well as some new ones! On Thursday 4 July, we’ll be heading over to Brickhampton Court Golf Complex to raise money for Maggie’s, who offer a safe space for patient’s receiving cancer care, as well as their loved ones.

While I always enjoy our golf day, playing with friends and clients old and new, there’s one challenge I face every year, and after six successful golf days, I’m ready to reveal what it is:

Hello, my name is Colin, and I am a left-handed golfer.

Did you know, left-handedness is associated with increased activity in the right hemisphere of the brain? This part of the brain is responsible for creativity and imagination and the neurological advantages allows left-handers to excel in artistic endeavours such as painting, writing, and music. Well, I’m a stereotypical accountant, who is only interested in numbers, so that can’t be right!

To be completely transparent, I’m only partly a lefty – I write with my right hand, when I played cricket, I batted left-handed and bowled right-handed, just like Ben Stokes, although that’s the only thing I have in common with the champion of Bazball. On the football field I favoured my left foot, but I was more Chopper Harris* than Lionel Messi, “I got there as soon as I could ref!”

 

It’s all in the research

When doing my research I found that 10% of the world’s population are left-handed, but to my surprise, while 20% of cricketers are left-handed, only 5-7% of the world’s golfers are left-handed, so in my accounting eyes that’s just 1 in 17.There have been some excellent left-handed golfers, including Bob Charles (the first left-hander to win The Open), Phil Mickelson, also known as Leftie, Bubba Watson, who won two Masters titles in 2012 and 2014, and the current Open Champion, Brian Harman.

 

The challenges lefties face

However, being left-handed does not spoil my enjoyment of golf. It’s great to be outside in the open-air, trudging up and down the fairway (or rough!) trying to find where my ball landed, although I do feel that at times we do get a raw deal. So, let’s have a look at a few of my frustrations:

  1. Most golf equipment for sale is strictly right-handed. I know that only 6% of the potential market are left-handed but I would guess that the amount of left-handed kit for sale is well below that figure.
  2. Most driving ranges now have ball trackers, but virtually all of them are set up for right-handed golfers. This makes it very difficult for the left-hander to make full use of the facilities.
  3. Other golfers are not used to playing with left-handers. Quite often, other golfers might be practising their swing (swish, swish, swish), rustling in their bag or just cleaning their golf balls, but often these movements are in my eye line when I play my shot. However, it’s a great excuse when I slice my drive into the trees; a poor shot in golf is always somebody else’s fault!
  4. During wet weather, the area that I tee up on is often badly chewed up from the footprints of right-handed golfers

But of course, I can put my frustrations aside for the Target Golf Day. So far, we’ve raised more than £8,000 for Maggie’s, and with your help, we can continue to support them by adding to the fundraising total this year. So, if you’d like to join us for 18 holes of golf, a delicious BBQ and the chance to win some spectacular prizes, get in touch on info@targetgroup.co.uk.

All golfers are welcome including left handers!

*Ron “Chopper” Harris was a defender who played for Chelsea in the sixties and seventies, who tended to connect with his opponent’s legs more than the ball. Pictured below getting there as quickly as he could!

Ron Chopper Harris