In golf, shaping your shots by curving the ball intentionally is an important skill for navigating courses strategically. Being able to hit draws and fades allows you to manoeuvre the ball around obstacles and reach targets more effectively. Here is an overview of draws, fades and how to hit them.
Hitting a draw vs. fade strike on the golf ball
When it comes to hitting a draw vs fade strike on the golf ball, golfers often find themselves faced with a choice that can greatly affect the outcome of their shots. The draw and fade are two different shot shapes that golfers employ to achieve specific results. A draw strike involves the ball curving from right to left (for right-handed golfers), while a fade strike results in the ball curving from left to right. The choice between the draw vs fade strike is determined by a variety of factors, such as the golfer’s desired shot shape, the layout of the hole, and weather conditions. Each type of strike requires a different swing and clubface alignment at impact.
While the draw strike allows for increased distance and control, the fade strike is often favoured for its accuracy and ability to navigate obstacles. Ultimately, the decision between the draw vs. fade strike depends on the golfer’s individual skill level and strategic approach to the game. For a fade, it’s the opposite – an outside-in swing path and an open clubface. It may take some practice to master both, but once you do, you’ll have more options on the course and be able to tackle any situation like a pro. Masters of the sport possess the ability to execute both types of strikes with precision, giving them a competitive edge on the golf course.
What is a Draw and Fade?
The main point in hitting a draw vs. fade strike on the golf ball is that. what is it?
- A draw shot curves gently from right to left for right-handed golfers (left to right for lefties). This is created by applying a closed clubface angle relative to the swing path at impact.
- A fade shot curves gently from left to right for right-handed golfers (right to left for lefties). This is created by applying an open clubface angle relative to the swing path at impact.
- Both shot shapes create intentional sidespin that influences the ball’s flight pattern in the air. The curves are typically mild, with the ball turning 5-15 yards from start to finish.
Setting Up for a Draw or Fade
To set up for hitting draws or fades: Aim feet, knees and hips in the starting direction.
- Stance: Aim your feet, knees, and hips in the direction you want the ball to start. For a draw, align left of the target and for a fade, align the right of the target. This will influence the swing path.
- Weight distribution: Position weight slightly forward to encourage a descending blow into the ball at impact. Maintain balance and stability.
- Ball position: Play the ball forward in your stance for a draw, middle for a straight shot, and back for a fade. This factors into the angle of attack.
- Grip: Strengthen your grip by rotating hands to the right on the club for a draw (left for lefties). Weaken the grip left for a fade (right for lefties). This helps control the face angle.
Making the Swing Changes
To hit controlled draws and fades, you’ll need to make adjustments to the swing. Executing draws and fades requires swing adjustments:
- Swing path: The club should approach the ball from inside the target line for a draw, straight on for a straight shot, and from outside the target for a fade. Use felt, not hands.
- Face angle: At impact, the clubface should point left of the target for a draw and right of the target for a fade. Rotate forearms and clubhead to manipulate.
- The angle of attack: A downward strike adds sidespin for a draw, neutral for a straight, and upward for a fade. Modify attack angle by adjusting ball position and spine tilt.
Troubleshooting Draw and Fade Issues
Here are some common problems and fixes when shaping draw or fade shots:
Hooks and slices mean excessive curves. Overdraws and overfades curve too much.
- Hook/Slice – Excessive curve: Modify clubface angle and swing path to be less extreme. Find a better balance point.
- Overdraw/Overfade – Curves too much: Don’t rotate forearms excessively or sway off the ball in the backswing. Maintain stability.
- Pull/Push – Starts off line: Align your body, clubface, and swing path in relation to your desired starting line.
- Low hook/slice – No elevation: Add loft to the club, allow some wrist release, and avoid leaning back. Improve the angle of attack.
When to Use Draws and Fades
Creative shot shaping allows you to control ball flight and curve it strategically:
- Draws are useful when you need to curve the ball around trees or structures, hold fairway angles, or counter crosswinds from left to right.
- Fades are useful for shaping shots from right to left around obstacles, holding dogleg angles on holes curving left, or countering crosswinds.
- Consider the hole layout, terrain, hazards, and other factors when deciding when and where to hit a draw or fade.
Executing intentional draws and fades consistently takes practice. Mastering these speciality shots will make you a more versatile ball striker able to carve shots around hazards and handle any course conditions. Work on shot shaping at the range to expand your shot-making skills.
Benefits of Hitting Draws and Fades
Being able to hit controlled draws and fades provides many benefits for your golf game. Shot shaping allows you to curve the ball strategically around hazards, hold fairway angles, counter crosswinds, and reach pin locations more effectively. Drawing and fading shots also helps you manage distances better, stopping the ball more quickly on greens. Developing this complete shot-making skill makes you a more versatile, skilled golfer.
Proper Setup and Grip Fundamentals
To shape shots intentionally, you first need the proper setup and grip fundamentals. Align your feet, knees, hips, and shoulders in the direction you want the ball to start. Position the ball forward in your stance to promote a downward strike for the draw, middle for a straight shot, and back for the fade. Rotate your hands clockwise on the club for a stronger draw grip, and counter-clockwise for a weaker fade grip. Maintain balance and stability with weight slightly forward.
Swing Techniques to Create Curve
Making adjustments during the swing is crucial for hitting draws and fades on command. Swing the club inside the target line to promote a draw, and outside the line for a fade. Time the closing of the clubface through impact for a draw, keeping it open for a fade. The angle of attack should be downward with a forward ball position for draw, and upward with the ball back for fade. Use a feel to make subtle path changes.
Common Errors and Corrections
Hooking, slicing, overdrawing and other errors happen when you overdo swing adjustments. If hooks or slices are excessive, moderate the clubface angle and path. Overdraws and fades indicate too much body sway – remain centred. Pulls and pushes mean incorrect alignment and swing path. Low hooks and slices are from leaning back or scooping. Analyze and correct these mistakes.
Strategic Use of Draws and Fades
The smart strategy involves choosing the best shot shapes for the hole layout. Use draws to curve around hazards or trees on the right side of holes. Fade shots around left doglegs, hazards, and to counter crosswinds from the right. Consider all factors like terrain, winds, trouble and angles when deciding when and where to play draws or fades.
Shaping a variety of controlled draws, fades and straight shots makes you more versatile and able to attack courses strategically. Practice shot shapes regularly to hone your ball striking skills. With mastery over curve, you’ll confidently handle any layout.
Being able to move the ball both ways allows you to better navigate courses and handle any hole shape or angle. Draws are extremely useful when you need to maneuver around hazards, trees, or other obstacles positioned on the right side of fairways and holes. A draw curves the ideal shape to avoid such challenges. Similarly, a fade is the perfect shot shape for navigating around leftside hazards, doglegs curving left, and other objects. Shaping the curve correctly enables you to position the ball safely while maintaining proper angles and lines into greens.
Mastering the ability to shape shots intentionally through hitting draws, fades, and straight shots makes you a much more versatile and strategic golfer. With control over the ball’s curve, you can confidently attack any course and handle every layout, hazard, and wind condition you may face during a round. There are many benefits to possessing complete shot-making skills and repertoire.
Neither shot is inherently better or more desirable. Both draws and fades have strategic benefits depending on the hole shape, hazard locations, wind conditions, and other factors. Developing competence in hitting both controlled draws and fades makes you a more versatile golfer.
For most golfers, a fade is often the easier shot shape to produce. The swing path and motions needed to hit a fade tend to be more natural for most. Drawing the ball requires more precise timing to close the clubface through impact, which can be trickier to master.
No, you should not always hit a draw. While draws are pleasing shots, over-relying on a draw can get you into trouble. Fades, straight shots, and variation are important. Hitting draws exclusively leads to a one-dimensional game. Learn both draws and fades for strategic shot-making.
To hit a fade: Align feet, hips and shoulders left of target. Use a weak grip with hands rotated counter-clockwise. Make a swinging motion from outside-in, with clubface open relative to path. Time the open face through impact, with weight shift to the front foot. Aim for an upward strike on the ball. A fade will curve gently from left to right.