What is a Golf Draw? (Draw vs. Fade + Tips to Hit)
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If you listen to pro golfers talk, you’ll often hear them talking about how desirable draw shots are. The consistency and ease of control that this shot offers make it one of the most popular among golfers looking to control their slice. However, you’ll need some practice to learn how to hit a draw in golf, and that’s what this article is about. But before we start, let’s get a definition.
So what is a golf draw? Also known as a draw shot, a golf draw is a term used to describe a flight path in golf, where the golf ball curves to the left for right-handed golfers. (The reverse is the case for left-handed golfers, but we’ll refer to right-handed golfers for most of this article.)
You’ll often hear golf enthusiasts refer to a draw as a junior version of a hook. However, while hooks usually result from mishits and golfers do not desire these shots, draws are mostly intentional.
For example, if there’s a bunker guarding the left side of a green, you can choose to move your aim slightly to the right and “draw the ball” back to the left. This way, you’ll avoid needing to move your ball across the bunker.
Why You Should Love a Draw
For some golfers, the concept of a draw may feel foreign, despite the tons of research that golfers do on it daily. But it’s adorable to see a draw because of how difficult it can be for golfers to hit the shot. It’s usually beautiful seeing the ball take off toward the right and then move back toward the middle of the fairway or attack a tucked left pun.
Draws are almost always crisp and powerful, with the ball staying in the air for very long. While some professional golfers opt for the power cut as their preferred shot, many other PGA tour players prefer the draw shot.
That said, here are some reasons why you should learn the draw shot.
- The first important reason to learn how to hit a draw is its ability to add a few more yards of distance to your shots. However, the number of yards that it’ll add to your shot may depend on the speed of the fairways.
- Apart from adding distance to your game, draw shots would also further cause your ball to roll out. The additional topspin that draws would produce for your ball would cause it to roll out further once it hits the ground.
- Hitting a draw would also give you more options throughout the round. Unlike other shots, draw shots can help you save your strokes throughout the field. With draw shots, you can either hit a punch draw around the course to escape troubles or play a shot against the right or left wind.
Despite the numerous benefits of a draw shot, many amateurs and even pro golfers still struggle to pull it off because of a few mistakes that you can fix easily. The next section provides a detailed explanation of how you can hit a draw.
How to Hit a Draw With a Driver
As usual, the fundamentals involved in hitting a golf swing to produce a draw flight are pretty consistent throughout the bag.
However, there are still some differences to note when hitting an iron vs. hitting a driver. Drivers are usually the longest clubs in the bag with the least amount of loft; hence, the need to master your ability to control the club face’s direction.
In addition to controlling your clubface, you should do a few other things, including keeping your club square on the backswing, knowing how to use your hips, and having the ability to swing inside-out. Here’s a detailed explanation of how you can handle each of these tips.
1. Control the clubface
This is perhaps the most common step to hitting a draw. You want to ensure that your clubface doesn’t open too much when you take your swings. Opening your club’s face would make it difficult for you to maneuver it back to square.
Additionally, opening your clubface would increase the amount of sidespin at impact, therefore causing too much curve and subsequently a slice in most cases.
The whole process of hitting a draw starts from your ability to square your clubface at impact while maintaining a slightly inside-to-square club path. You also want to check your grip since it plays a vital role in how your shot turns out. Most experts would advise that you place your top hand on top of the club while your bottom hand maintains a square to slightly underneath position in the club.
If you are unsure about your grip, an excellent way to check would be to clock your wrist up to see whether the V’s that your forefinger and thumb would form would point up to your trail shoulder. If this is not the case, you can slightly rotate your hands clockwise to strengthen your grip (for right-handed golfers).
2. Maintain a square on the backswing
Another critical step is to keep your clubface square at impact. While doing this, ensure that it is on the right path to enable you to hit a draw.
You can start the process by keeping your clubface square during your backswings. To achieve this, try to feel like the clubface is pointing to the ball for as long as possible on the takeaway.
However, we recommend using your body and arm to rotate the club backward instead of your hands. This connection would help take your swing a notch higher without the need to manipulate your clubface.
Note that the ideal position for hitting a top swing is by flattening the wrist of your top hand and keeping it in line with your forearm, not bowed, bent, or cubed too much.
3. Use your hips
While rotating, turn your body to feel like your hip is trailing. This posture should make you feel more weight on the inside part of your trail leg and your back foot’s heel. Ensure to also turn your trail hip to feel farther away from the ball while you steady your posture and spine angle. This is a strong position that can give you sufficient space to turn into the ball aggressively.
The position would also give you enough space to return to a position where you can attack the ball from the inside.
4. Swing inside-out
To master a draw shot, you must learn the inside-out golf swing. The first step to making this move is staying on the right club path.
This is one of the areas where keeping the clubface properly squared and rotated would help. It allows you to drop the club inside while attacking the ‘inside’ of the golf ball. Think of it as hitting the golf ball at 4 PM on the clock dial. It creates an inside-to-square club path, causing the ball to get the correct draw-spin at impact.
5. Finish strong
Apart from paying adequate attention to getting the correct hit, you should also learn to make a more aggressive follow-through on your shots. Going slower on your ball would often lead to a significant declaration on the follow-through, causing you to consequently alter your ball’s path or clubface.
Every serious golfer would learn to maintain their drive intensity through to the finish, rotating their chest to face the target.
6. Maintain Connection
As usual, you’ll need to maintain excellent sync between your body and arm throughout the spin while using your big muscles to dictate the strength of the shot. We often see golfers overusing their hands and arms to deliver the club at impact.
However, we always recommend using swing align devices to keep you properly aligned so that you can deliver more power and accuracy on the club.
How To Hit a Draw With Irons
The truth is that many of the steps highlighted above for using a driver are also applicable to using an iron. However, there are a few differences you should think about when making a swing with an iron. Here, let’s review them.
1. Focus more on the swing path
Irons are generally shorter in length than drivers, so you can expect that controlling them will be easier. The shortness of the club means that your swing would be shorter, and the timing required to hit a draw would consequently be shorter.
You should prioritize focusing on rotating your body backward during your swing, overusing your hands and arms to manipulate your club. The inside-out swing necessary for hitting a draw would come naturally as you rotate forward, considering the amount of space you’d have created for your club to attack the inside of your ball.
2. Choose Rotating Over Swaying
One of the easiest ways to lose the ball left or right when playing with irons is losing your balance midway into your golf swing. The shortness of the iron means that you’ll need to be double-sure you are rotating against your trail leg’s brace on the way back. While returning to the ball, rotate the lower part of your body, allowing your club to move down and inside out before hitting the target line.
Since iron clubs are generally heavier than drivers, we recommend allowing the club’s weight to determine your rotation to a full finish as you face your target.
3. Avoid flipping your hands
One of the main benefits of hitting a draw is how the steps can help you prevent a slice. However, we’ve found that many golfers would still flip their hands during impact, causing the clubface to rotate closed and cause a hook.
To get a draw correctly, you must use your body to control how your clubface rotates and squares off instead of your hands.
Golf Draw vs. Fade
One question we often hear mid to high handicappers ask is the difference between a draw and a fade. Some players would even further ask which is better between a fade and a draw in golf. This section would address the question and help you identify the best for different situations.
Both draw and fade golf shots would put slight sidespin on the shot, causing the ball’s movement to finish slightly off-center. While golfers would typically dislike getting too much spin on their balls, they’ll still work towards getting the slight side-to-side movements that fade and draw shots offer because of how it can improve overall gameplay.
As a golfer, you may find your natural swing having a draw or fade shape in it, but you don’t have to wait to achieve these shots by luck. Many advanced golfers have learned to purposefully achieve these shots at will.
The most significant difference between a draw and a fade shot is the direction the ball travels laterally. If you’re a right-handed golfer, you can expect your perfectly hit draw shots to travel slightly right to left and vice versa for left-handed golfers.
On the other hand, fade shots will travel slightly from left to right for right-handed golfers. While golfers can master both types of golf shots, we recommend paying more emphasis on the one that best suits your game.
However, players who need extra distance would be better off playing draw shots for the extra roll it produces. Players who can already hit the ball far should opt for fade shots since they offer them easier control.
Recap: What is a Draw in Golf?
Anyone can hit a draw – as long as you follow these steps and trust our recommendations. Hitting a draw may seem difficult for most amateur golfers, but anybody can do it with these simple steps.
Remember not to overcomplicate things by trying to roll your club too much at impact; instead, trust the steps we’ve explained above to adjust your shots.
The whole process begins with setting yourself up for success and griping the club properly so that the ball can curve well. Everything becomes easier when you get your setup correctly. Like every other skill in golf, you’ll also need adequate practice on the range.
Don’t take the ideas above straight to the course. Start by hitting several shots in the range before attempting it during a round.