The Draw in Golf: What It Is and Its Main Benefits

The ability to shape your golf shots can place you in prime position on a dogleg hole. A draw or fade shot can also help you escape trouble when an obstacle lies in your target line. In this post, we’ll go into the details of what a draw is in golf.

In addition, I take you through the benefits of hitting a draw shot and compare the results to a fade. And at the end, I have prepared a few tips that guide you through executing a right-to-left shape if you are a right-handed golfer.

 

What is a Draw in Golf?

A draw occurs when your golf ball starts right of your target before curving back left towards your mark. If you are right-handed, then the golf ball curve on the shot is right to left.

how-to-hit-a-draw-visualization

The challenge is controlling the quantity of curve on your draw. If you produce excess right-to-left side spin, your beautiful draw turns into a nasty hook that finishes further left of the target than initially intended.

 

Benefits of Hitting a Draw

1. Optimal Fairway Position

A draw golf shot has numerous advantages from tee to green. However, I use it for tee shots on right-to-left dogleg holes. Shaping my ball with the hole’s layout enables me to achieve prime position on the fairway.

Without the ability to draw, I would rely on a straight shot and aim up the right side of the fairway. This requires precision to ensure that the golf ball does not run off the fairway and into the right rough.

Once your ball is in the middle of the fairway, it enables you to attack the flag on approach.

2. Escape Trouble

The other area where a draw has paid its dues is escaping trouble. Let me offer some context. I typically play this shot when there are obstacles in my direct line. However, I need sufficient space to the right of the target to start my ball since I am a right-handed golfer.

Inducing a draw helps me curve the ball around the obstacle and land it close to my target zone. Otherwise, I would need to resort to chipping out and risking a bogey or worse.

3. Lower Ball Flight

Inducing a draw requires a closed clubface at impact and the ball to sit back in your stance. The closed club face and back ball positioning combination cause a delofted strike. This motion prompts a lower launch and piercing ball flight.

Lower trajectory is suited to windy conditions when you ought to remove the breeze from the equation.

 

Difference Between a Draw and a Fade

Shape

The most glaring difference between a draw vs fade is their flight path. As I mentioned, a draw starts to the right of your target and curves slightly left for a controlled landing. However, a fade occurs when your golf ball starts left of the mark and shapes right, towards the flag.

A poorly executed draw can turn into a hook causing the ball to finish well left of your target. Conversely, a slice is a fade gone wrong. It cuts violently away from your marker to end significantly right of the target.

Those struggling with a slice should follow our guide on a fade vs slice. In it, you will find all the tips you need to combat this nasty habit.

Alignment

A draw and fade require adjustments to your alignment. For example, if you are right-handed and plan to hit a fade, your feet should aim to the left of your market. This compensates for the face angle at impact, which prompts the ball to curve from left to right. If you are a left-hand golfer, your feet should aim right of the target, preparing for the left turn.

A draw is different. This time as a right-hander, your feet should aim to the right of your landing zone. That provides sufficient space for the ball to draw back to the pin.

Me and My Golf provide a detailed instruction video of where to aim and how to set up for each shot; you can follow their lesson below:

Ball Position

A fade and draw require differing ball positions for optimal execution. A fade dictates that you place the ball forward in your stance, while you should move it back for a draw.

The forward ball position helps you swing along the line of your body while aiming to the left of your target. This enables the clubface to remain square to the mark but open to your swing path. This set causes the ball to shape from left to right in the air.

On the contrary, you should place the ball back in your stance to produce a delofted strike that draws towards your target. When you connect the ball, your clubface is slightly closed to the target, sending the ball curving from right to left.

Golf Swing Path

Your swing path impacts the angle that your clubface strikes the golf. This is important as it determines the direction of the sidespin you generate for your shot. Following the above steps ensures that you are accurately set up and ready to produce your desired shot.

If you intend to produce a draw, you should follow an inside-out golf swing. This means that your clubhead follows an inside line on takeaway before flowing on an outswing path down to the golf ball. This encourages you to start the shot right of your target to account for the imminent left arc.

Furthermore, a fade typically requires an outside-in path guiding your clubface to send the ball to the right of the target before it fades back on the intended route.

Clubface At Impact

Everything that you have set up for comes down to this moment. If your clubface is not positioned optimally at impact, you will not execute your golf shot as intended.

For example, you set up for a draw, and aim right of your target, only to strike your golf ball with a square face relative to your swing path. This causes your golf ball to travel directly to the right of your target with no draw.

Therefore, your clubface must be open to your swing path at impact to generate a fade. On the other hand, your clubface should remain in a closed position relative to your swing path to prompt a draw.

 

Is It Better to Hit a Draw or Fade?

I value both shots because they each have a time and place. The ability to play both of these increases your options on the golf course. A draw is of no use when facing a left-to-right dogleg.

The bottom line is that both shots are equally important, and you should know how to hit a draw and a fade.

 

How to Hit a Draw

Check out our guide on how to hit a draw if you’re looking for step-by-step instructions on how to hit this shot consistently. However, I have provided a few basic steps to get you started.

1. Aim Right of Your Target

Right-hand golfers need to aim their feet to the right of the target. Try to limit how far right you aim. The further right you point, the more curve you require to get the ball close to your target.

Aiming to the right of your target compensates for the draw curve on your ball. This gives you the space to shape the ball back to your mark after starting it out to the right.

2. Ball Back In Your Stance

The next step to hitting a draw is to place the ionomer back in your stance. This encourages you to strike the golf ball with less loft and a steep attack angle, leading to a lower launching shot.

In addition, striking the ball from this position makes it easier to keep the clubface closed in relation to your swing path. That helps you start the ball to the right of your target and draw it back in.

3. Forward Press

I highly recommend the forward press approach for every setup. Placing your hands ahead of the ball strengthens the club’s loft to encourage a low launching shot. This is an ideal way to increase your distance by reducing spin rates.

4. Inside Backswing

Now that you are set up to play a draw, it is time to swing. You start with taking the clubhead along an inside path on the backswing. From this position, it is easier to produce an outwards downswing.

5. Outside Downswing

After taking the club inside on your backswing, you are now optimally placed to send it through on an outside path. This helps you keep your clubface closed relative to your swing path. Plus, it launches the ball out to the right of the target before drawing back to the intended landing zone.

6. Closed Clubface At Impact

By closed clubface, I do not mean closed to your target. If you do that, you could start your ball left of your mark and draw it further to the left. Instead, your clubface needs to remain closed relative to your swing path. This angle sets you up to produce the necessary side spin, which sends the ball back left after starting out to the right.

 

Matt Stevens

Matt Callcott-Stevens started playing golf at the age of 4 when Rory Sabattini's father put a 7-iron and putter in his hand. He has experienced all the highs and lows the game can throw at you and has now settled down as a professional golf writer. He holds a Postgraduate in Sports Marketing and has played golf for 28 years.