Whether you are a new golfer or have been around the block a few times, you must have heard about the draw and fade golf shots.
The draw vs. fade in golf offers a different variation for players that commonly play a straight shot. It enables the player to curve the ball away from them or to bring it back.
So draw vs. fade in golf; which one is better? Generally speaking, a draw is considered to be a better shot than a fade. Even though some golfers think otherwise, you must release the club properly with a square clubface to hit a draw. On the other hand, fades can happen when the path and direction are slightly open.
As a high-handicapper, you might wonder what a draw or fade is and how it can help to improve your golfing performance. The following article aims to help you better understand the draw and fade shots. We will look at the following:
- What is a draw/fade shot?
- How does a draw/fade affect your game?
- How to play a draw/fade shot?
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Do More Pros Hit a Fade Or Draw?
Many of the top golfers like Dustin Johnson are known to play the fade shot naturally. Johnson mentioned in a 2016 interview that he decided to try the fade shot, and it naturally stuck. Dustin Johnson decided to start hitting a fade because it allows him to have more control over the ball compared to when he hit a draw.
On the other hand, Adam Scott is renowned for playing the draw shot. These tricky shots have helped many golfers get around certain obstacles.
Rory McIlroy is another pro known to hit a fade out of the tee box (Source: GOLF.com). He mentioned that many new drivers he was using made it much more challenging to hit a draw, so he changed his play style out of the tee box to hit a fade.
Generally, most club golfers hit a draw further than a fade because when you hit a draw, you also reduce the loft, which leads to lower spin rates.
What Is A Draw/Fade Shot?
Assuming you are a right-handed golfer, the draw shot is a shot that curves to the left of the player. Additionally, the fade shot curves to the right of the player.
Many pro golfers might refer to shaping their shots, which means getting the golf ball to curve in or the other direction. As mentioned, some top players naturally play these shots.
For a left-handed player, the shots are similar, but instead of curving from right to left for a draw shot, it would be left to right.
However, all the tips and information we provide would apply to right and left-handed golfers.
Many beginners fade the ball when they don’t make good enough contact. While the golfer will aim straight down the middle, the golf ball will reach an apex point where it starts to move from left to right.
Various things like the angle and stance of the player affect the fade shot significantly, and good contact is needed to avoid slicing it.
The draw shot, in theory, is very similar to the fade shot, but the ball will reach an apex and move from right to left.
It might even look like the golfer has “hooked” the ball, but it will not deviate from the straight line as much as a bad shot. You can play a draw shot by closing the clubface slightly and adjusting your stance.
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How To Play A Draw Shot?
The draw shot carries the golf ball from the right to the left, but playing this kind of shot takes plenty of practice and adjustments.
If you want to improve your golf game, learning how to play the draw shot could greatly impact your performance.
Here is a breakdown of how you can play the draw shot correctly:
1- Adjusting Your Grip
For the draw shot to be successful, you will need to have a firmer grip on the golf club. Many experts recommend gripping the club at the base of your fingers.
You should have a slightly firmer grip on the golf club to create a natural “pulling motion.
2- The Swing (Backward Movement)
For the swing, you would want to pivot the golf club around your trailing hip when you pull the club back. Instead of stopping your body rotation like you would when you go through the midpoint, you don’t want to do this too soon.
If the toes on your trailing foot and chest point toward the target, you have done it correctly.
3- The Swing (Striking The Ball)
Playing the shot is slightly easier, and when you have done all the previous motions correctly, you should naturally strike the ball on the inside of the club without forcing it. The slight creation of spin should allow the ball to come back to your left when it is in the air.
Watch the video below on how to hit a draw in golf.
How To Play A Fade Shot
With a fade shot, the ball will shape from the left to the right if you are a right-handed player. A golfer playing a fade would angle their aim more toward the left, attempting to curve the ball around some obstacle or to use the wind.
Here is how you can play the fade shot as a beginner:
1- Adjusting Your Stance
You can keep your natural grip on the golf club for the fade shot. However, you want to adjust your stance by opening up more slightly.
Your feet should be pointed slightly to the left of the target, with the golf ball being forward so you can reach it without overextending to prevent an uncontrolled slice.
2- The Swing (Backward Movement)
If you have your feet in the right position, you should not need to make too many adjustments to your swing.
Playing a natural swing with a good follow-through should send the ball fading. Be careful not to force the shot and bring your hands in too close. This could result in a slice.
3- The Swing (Striking The Ball)
Another way to play the draw shot is to angle your clubface to a more open position slightly. The clubface method is tricky, and you will need to practice this method a bit more.
If you don’t control the grip, you could open the club face too much, which will result in an uncontrolled slice.
Watch the video below to explore how to play a fade shot.
Draw Vs. Fade – Which One Is Better?
Many players might consider the draw and fade shots to be very technical. Some believe you should focus on the basics, and as you get better, you can add more shot variations to your arsenal. However, the draw and fade shot could make a big difference for specific players. Depending on your style and goal, you might want to add the draw or fade to your game.
Remember that these shots can be very technical, and if you don’t play them correctly, you could “hook” or “slice” the ball significantly. Whether you want to play the draw or the fade, practice is one of the most important you should focus on.
Hitting a fade gives golfers more stability and accuracy with their wedges than their drivers, explaining why more pro golfers favor fade.
Which Player Should Learn The Draw Shot?
If we look at the natural motion of the draw shot, you will notice that the chances of cleanly striking the ball are much higher. You are also performing a “pulling” motion, which naturally means you have more power. A player looking to improve their range and add extra distance to their shots might find the draw shot useful.
However, more advanced players might find the draw shot helpful to get around certain obstacles. A bunker or tree might be blocking your straight shot angle, meaning you have to play two shots to get around the obstacle. However, the draw shot allows you to play the ball to the right of the target and curve it back in.
Which Player Should Learn The Fade Shot?
Once again, the natural motion of the fade shot might make you feel like you are reaching for the golf ball. Naturally, you will not have as much power, and cleanly striking the golf ball can be tricky.
- If you are happy with the distance you get from shots, the fade shot can help improve your control over the golf ball.
- If we look at advanced players, we see that they often use the fade shot to get around dogleg or trees. The fade shot is hard to control, and placement might be tricky.
- If a tree blocks a dogleg, the player can naturally aim more to the left. With the help of the fade shot, they could curve the ball around the obstacle moving from left to right.
Can I Learn The Draw And Fade Shots On My Own?
Nowadays, the internet offers numerous outlets, and there are many videos on platforms like YouTube that could assist you with the fade and draw shots. However, these shots require plenty of technical assessments, and having a professional golf coach help you should make life much easier.
The coach will look at your natural stance and help you make adjustments while assisting with the swing motion. For the fade shot, placing the ball too far forward is easy, forcing you to reach for it. This could lead to a slice. A bad draw shot will result in a hook that could push the ball too far to the left.
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It is rare for high handicap golfers to focus on these novelty or technical shots. As a new player, you should focus on the basics and improve your straight shot.
However, the draw vs. fade in golf could make a big difference when you eventually learn these shots. Have you tried the fade or draw shot before? Let us know in the comment section!
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