In this article, we’ll go over the distinctions between a draw and a fade, as well as the advantages of shaping your golf shots and how to hit both. If you’re interested to learn more about these, read on!
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Fade vs. Draw
Fade vs. Draw is a debate that has been going on for quite some now. Both “draw” and “fade” golf strokes give the ball slight sidespin, leading the shot to finish off-center.
While too much side spin on a shot is normally undesirable, moderate side-to-side movement on the draw and fade strokes is often advantageous to striking it straight.
Many skilled golfers can shape their shots to their satisfaction, even if their “natural” swing has a pull or fade shape to it. The direction the ball travels laterally is the most significant distinction between draw and fade strokes.
A draw golf shot travels somewhat right-to-left for right-handed golfers, whereas a fade travels slightly left-to-right.
Advantages of shot shaping
Both off the tee and when shooting approach shots, shaping your shot can be beneficial.
Let’s start with the benefits of shaping your tee shot. A draw is frequently the best shot shape on a “dogleg left” hole. By bending your ball around the leftward bend, you can go closer to the pin with a draw.
If you don’t hit a draw and instead hit the ball straight, you’ll still be on the fairway but further away from the pin. In the same situation, a fade will almost certainly send your ball into the rough on the right side of the fairway.
Draws and fades can help you avoid hazards on the fairway by improving your chances of avoiding them. Consider the benefits of curving your approach shot onto the green next.
The hole is on the short and right side of the green, beyond a bunker, in this case. To avoid landing short in the bunker or going off the back of the green, aim towards the center of the green with a straight shot.
You can go closer to the pin while generally avoiding danger if you can fade your shot. Fading and pulling the ball adds overall spin to the ball, which helps keep it from rolling off the green.
Playing to the shape of your shot.
On some of your shots, you’re likely to find yourself fading or drawing the golf ball without even realizing it. Every shot cannot be hit completely straight by a golfer.
Golfers are more likely to fade the ball naturally rather than draw it.
It’s acceptable, and even a bonus, if your shots go straight or fade/draw. You can move your “misses” to the right or left to fool about with them. If you occasionally fade the ball, aim your shots so that either a straight or a fade will result in a straightforward following shot.
You should aim for the center of the green in the previous example. You’ll be safe in the middle of the green if you hit it straight, but a fading shot will land closer to the hole.
If you have a habit of over-spinning the ball to the right (slicing), you should aim even further to the left.
While it’s good to pull or fade shots naturally, don’t do both at the same time. There’s usually nowhere safe to aim if you miss to the right or left.
If you consistently miss to both sides, slice or hook the ball (and/or push/pull it), you should probably work on your consistency before attempting to learn how to hit a draw or fade.
Fade in golf
A golf shot that fades from left to right is known as a “fade.” The spin induced on the ball by the clubface being somewhat open compared to the swing path causes the ball to fade.
While the clubface is open in respect to the swing path, it is not open in relation to the target line (and may even be slightly closed). You’re more likely to slice your shot if the clubface is open relative to the target line at contact.
Hitting a fade (simple method)
- Aim the clubface at your target to hit a fade in golf (or very slightly closed vs. your target).
- Relative to the aim, open your body (left of your target). This indicates your front foot is somewhat open (pointing slightly forward rather than exactly in front of you), and a line is drawn from your right toe to your left toe points left of your goal.
- At impact, swing along your body’s path while maintaining the clubface pointing at your objective.
Benefits of hitting with a fade
A fade is a great shot to have in your repertoire if you want to work around trees or put yourself in a good position on dogleg holes. It also allows players to maintain consistency and control over their game by allowing them to set up, aim, and swing the same way on every hole.
The downside of a fade
If the face makes contact with the ball at an incorrect angle when playing a fade, it might result in a slice. A fade may also prohibit you from reaching a green in regulation on dogleg holes that are draw-friendly.
When to hit a fade?
It’s similar to a draw. If the hole doglegs right, right-handers should choose a fade. On left dogleg holes, this stroke is ideal for lefties. When your line is hampered by obstacles, a fade can assist you in getting out of trouble.
Draw in golf
A fade is the polar opposite of a draw. A draw is a golf shot that goes slightly right-to-left due to the spin on the ball caused by the clubface being slightly closed in relation to the swing path.
Hitting a draw (simple method)
- Aim the clubhead at your intended target (or slightly open relative to your target).
- Close your body with respect to the target (body right of your target). A line drawn from the back of your back foot to the front of your front foot would point to the left of your goal.
- Swing the club along your body’s path, making sure the clubface is pointed at your goal at impact.
You might also find it simpler if you move the ball back a little in your stance.
Benefits of hitting with a draw
A draw allows you to position your tee shot for a clear approach to the green, which can help you conquer dog-legged courses. A constant shot shape also provides you the assurance to repeat your swing and set it up for each shot.
Downsides of a draw
The problem with playing a draw is that if you don’t get your tempo perfect on the swing, it might lead to a duck hook. Furthermore, while landing on dry fairways and firm greens, the extra sidespin from your pull can be problematic.
Finally, if you are a right-handed player and the hole doglegs right, a draw may place you in a position where reaching the green on your approach is impossible.
When to hit a draw?
If you’re a right-handed golfer, a draw can help you hit left dogleg holes. When the hole doglegs right, left-handers should pull this shot out. If you have an obstruction in your line and need to get creative to get around it, it’s also a good idea to hit a draw.
Tips for better fade and draw shots
One of the most popular strategies to hit a fade or draw shot is to change your golf stance. Make sure your golf clubface is slightly closed, and your body is positioned farther to the right to cause the ball to fade a little. To hit draws, you’d do it the other way around.
Certain golf equipment is designed to strike the ball left or right. For example, hitting draws is easier than hitting fades with a draw bias driver or offset golf club.
Professionals on the PGA Tour usually utilize a club that is somewhat more open, which allows them to hit a draw or better manage the ball trajectory around fairway curves.
If your path comes from the inside, you’ll have an easier time hitting a draw. Golfers who wish to hit more fades will notice that their path is a little closer to the center and less inside.
A path is a challenging approach to managing the ball’s flight, and pros are better at it. Controlling your golf shots with your stance and equipment is unquestionably the better option.
Choosing your shot
You can begin practicing the other shot once you have mastered playing and controlling your natural shot consistently. If there is a dogleg left ahead, you can now take a draw and fade to a dogleg right off the tee.
If the pin placement is near the front of the green, you might choose to run the ball to the back of the green or land it softly with a fade.
It’s fascinating to hear the perspectives of some of the best pros, both past and current. Many people believe that certain courses are better played with a draw or fade.
Lee Trevino was known for his low fade off the tee, and many people believe that fades win championships.
Augusta National Golf Course, home of the Masters, is recognized for favoring the draw, with doglegs to the left on holes 2, 9, 10, and 13, with only hole 18 requiring a fade. Trevino never won at Augusta, although Nicklaus, who is known for his “power fade,” won six times there.
Both Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are accomplished power faders. Martin Kymer overcame adversity to become good in both shots. The list goes on and on. Dustin Johnson switched from a pull to a fade, and so on.
You shouldn’t try to hit fades unless you can first draw, according to Jack Nicklaus, who is known for his power fades. To play the draw, he recommends starting from the ground up, with the feet and legs leading the way.
This creates a swing path into the ball with a clubface that closes upon impact. All you have to do now is set up aiming left, slightly open the clubface, and repeat the swing. Jack makes everything seem so simple.
Surprisingly, a poll was performed at one point to determine which was “cooler” and more effective. As could be predicted, roughly 30% of respondents were undecided, 60% said the draw was cool, and 10% said it was not cool.
On the subject of effectiveness, the tables were turned, with 60% of respondents voting for the fade and 10% voting against it.
Fade or draw vs. straight shots
When I’m playing my best golf, I always find myself hitting a fade. This is because I am able to establish consistency. For every shot, I aim, set up, and swing in the same way, which boosts my confidence tremendously.
Is a draw or fade better than a straight shot when this is taken into consideration? No, it isn’t true because it is dependent on the lie of your ball.
If you encounter obstacles, the best strategy is to shape your ball to the left or right. To avoid difficulties on a narrow fairway, keep your shot straight.
Fade or draw vs. slice and hook
A slice and a hook, to put it simply, are draws or fades that did not come off. A slice is similar to a fade, except it travels across rather than forward, shortening your distance.
A hook follows in the footsteps of a draw. For right-handed golfers, though, it snaps from right to left.
Which is more reliable: fade or draw?
A fade from the position of control can be more trustworthy than a draw from a similar position. Controlling a fade is easier than controlling a draw. A draw can sometimes have a little too much movement to the left, causing the ball to hook a little too much.
The true difficulty here, though, is the player’s natural swing and how they control the clubhead through impact. If your natural swing path takes you a little to the inside, hitting a draw is simple.
If you swing inside out and keep the clubface slightly open, hitting a fade is simple. Essentially, you must tune into the natural strengths and benefits of your golf swing in order to improve your game. You will struggle to stay consistent if you don’t do this.
Which is easier to hit: fade or draw?
That largely depends on the player. Some players may discover that their style of play makes it simple to fade a ball. Others, on the other hand, find it simple to produce a draw.
Amateurs, in my experience, have an easier time hitting a solid fade than a draw. When learning to strike a draw, players have a tendency to roll their hands across their bodies excessively, resulting in a hook.
In terms of the ball being airborne, a fade gives inexperienced golfers more forgiveness. A bad draw can result in a low hook that has trouble getting off the ground.
I draw longer than a fade?
Because hitting a draw lowers the loft and spin rates, it can be longer than striking a fade. Players who hit a draw will notice that the ball releases a little more than a fade, and stopping it on the green can be a little more difficult.
When you hit a draw, the clubhead can provide less loft, which results in a little more distance.
Studies have compared the spin rate, ball speed, overall distance, launch angle, and other aspects of the draw and fade shots. The general conclusion of these investigations is that the distance difference between a draw and a fade is actually pretty small.
Most golfers believe that a fade does not go as far as a draw since a fade might occasionally be a minor mishit. A golfer’s club will turn to the right and seem like a fade if he or she releases the club a touch late.
In truth, this was most likely a mishit rather than a typical fade.
Do pros hit more with a fade or a draw?
The majority of professionals can perform a fade and a draw. Tour players, on the other hand, prefer to hit a fade rather than a draw off the tee, according to Paul Liberatore of Golf WRX. Dustin Johnson, the world number one, agrees, saying that a fade provides him more control off the tee.
“If you want to win majors, that is the shot you have to use,” said the great Lee Trevino of the fade shot.
Pros who hit excellent fades
Pros who hit excellent draws
How to stop an accidental fade or draw?
I reduced the length of my backswing and tightened my grip on the club to counteract undesired shapes. This swing encourages a smooth motion that propels your clubhead back and through on a straight path.
If you shorten your backswing, you’ll have a better chance of connecting with the ball with a square clubface and sending it straight instead of left or right.
If you ask me which shot is better, I’ll answer you this: better is the one that works for you and the one you have the most consistent control over.
The one that allows you to remove one side of the course and hit more fairways than rough is the best. Best of luck!