If you are a novice golfer and watch a tournament on television, you may hear an announcer talk about how a player needs to hit a draw vs fade, depending on the particular shot at hand.
What exactly is a draw and a fade, how do you set up and swing to hit each shot, and when is the best time to use a fade or a draw?
What is the difference between a draw vs fade?
Draws and fades are shots where the movement of the ball is controlled. A draw moves from the right-hand side to the left-hand side for a right-handed player, while a fade starts left and moves to the right. The reverse is true for left-handed players.
Very few players hit a perfectly straight shot, but most will have a natural tendency to either draw or fade the ball from their natural swing pattern.
What is better: draw vs fade?
Professional players are skilled enough to hit various amounts of fades and draws depending on the type of shot, wind conditions, and where they want the ball to land on the fairway or green.
PGA professionals even consider the slope of the green from over 200 yards away to play a draw or a fade.
If you look at the ball flights of both types of shots, they will be very similar in terms of ball speed, distance in the air, and angle off the face. Let’s take a closer look at the differences in a draw vs fade and how the average player can start to incorporate these shots into their game.
How to Hit a Draw
The most important thing to remember is that the clubface predominantly determines the starting direction of your shot through impact. Although the club’s path certainly plays a factor, as does the lie, and spin, the clubface is the most important factor.
Therefore, the first thing you must know is that the clubface must be open at impact to start the ball away from you and “draw” it back.
How do you set up to hit a draw?
How do you draw the ball back toward the target? This is where the path of the club comes into play. The path must be more away from the target than the clubface is pointing.
The degree to which this is the case depends on the club, with the higher the loft, the farther the path must be outside. The most important thing about the path is that the clubface must be closed to the path and not to the target, which is a common misconception.
What is a good club swing path for a draw?
To create the path, you want on the swing, position the ball vertically alongside your front shoulder and close your stance by about an inch. Make sure the body position at address is such that the club’s shaft is more toward the target at impact than at address.
The way to do this is a lateral shift of the hips towards the target on the downswing. This helps create the in-to-out swing path needed.
How to grip a golf club to hit a draw?
In order to confidently and repeatedly hit a draw, be sure to make sure of closing your stance slightly. Make sure your hands are moving more around the body than above on the backswing.
Be aware of shifting the hips towards the target to trigger the downswing, keeping your shoulders back for as long as possible. Keep the forearm as stable as possible through impact, limiting rotation. Too much rotation will close the face early.
Remember, the face must be pointing right of the target at impact to produce a draw. Learn more about how to grip a golf club here.
How to Hit a Fade
Hitting a fade is generally easier than hitting a draw. The first step is to make sure your clubface is closed (pointing left of the target for right-handed players and right of target for left-handed players) at address.
What is the swing path for the fade?
Next, be sure that you produce the correct swing path so that your shot doesn’t result in a pull, missing very wide of the intended target.
Open your stance relative to the target until the clubface is closed to the target but open with a relationship to your stance. This seemingly odd misalignment is needed to produce the spin to move the ball from left-to-right (opposite for left-handed players).
What is the ideal swing path?
When starting the swing, do not try to compensate for the fact that you are aimed one way and lined up another way.
A common mistake is taking the club too far inside on the backswing, creating an inside-to-out swing. Concentrate on swinging along with the same length as your feet and body. Trust that this swing with the correct set-up will create a fade you desire.
How to hit a fade off the tee box?
When producing a fade from the tee, the process is slightly different. Put the ball about an inch farther forward at address, on the far side of the tee box.
Do not keep the clubface as closed as you would from the fairway, which will create a greater carry, but a softer landing shot with less roll.
Learn more on how high to tee up a golf ball here.
Advantages of Draw vs Fade
Is it easier to hit a draw vs fade?
A draw will get a greater role and increased total distance, and it is perfect on right-to-left doglegs for right-handed players and the opposite for left-handed players.
However, it is more difficult to master the draw than the fade.
Is a fade a slice?
The number one reason for hitting a fade is the provided control. The ball lands softer due to the very high spin rate, which minimizes the amount of roll. A fade is not a slice.
A slice is uncontrolled, a fade is controlled.
It’s also good for left-to-right doglegs for right-handed players and the opposite for left-handed players. Finally, a fade is simply an easier shot to master.
Should You Use a Draw or Fade on Approach Shots?
When the flag is towards the opposite side of the green compared to hand (left for right-handers and vice versa for left-handers), then the draw is the correct shot. The reason is that you can aim for the middle of the green and perhaps land the ball close to the hole.
When to use a draw or a fade?
If the flag is on the far side of the green, then a fade is typically the better shot. Be aware that the closer you are to the pin, the higher lofted club will be used and the more difficult it will be to fade or draw the ball.
A straighter shot is best when using high-lofted clubs unless you are a very skilled player.
When thinking of hitting the straight shot, one may wonder why not hit it straight every time. A perfectly straight shot will give you greater distance; after all, with no spin or curve, you will have to travel farther in a straight line than a fade or draw.
The only issue is that only the very best ball strikers (and robots used to test clubs) can hit the ball consistently in the middle of the clubface nearly every swing.
Long Bombs Golf Final Say:
Which is Better, the Draw or the Fade?
There really is no one correct answer to this question. Players have a natural tendency to hit the ball with one or two of these ball flights. The key is to be able to control the flights, so land the ball where you want. No matter which shot you choose, you must make sure you can consistently produce the swing needed to strike the ball off the center of the clubface.
One of the best ways to practice the draw vs fade is to use golf alignment sticks. Learn more on how to use golf alignment sticks here.
Is a draw or fade easier?
Basically, you need to have the golf swing down. Remember that both have advantages that can help lower your scores. It depends on the type of shot. Ideally, you can work on both the fade and draw to be comfortable enough to hit both to the intended areas on the course.
The biggest issue is overcompensating, leading to the dreaded hooks and slices. Therefore, practice both the fade and draw until you feel confident enough to take them to the course. Once you feel confident, you can apply these shots to your game, and your scores will improve.
Interested in learning more about golf terms for beginners?