Draw vs Fade in Golf: Pros & Cons and Which One is Better?

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In this guide, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about hitting a draw vs fade in golf. If you follow our step by step tutorial on hitting a draw or a fade, you will be able to add these shots into your arsenal in no time no matter which golf ball you choose to play!

I’ll specifically go over:

  • The differences between a draw and a fade
  • The benefits of hitting a natural fade or draw vs always going for the straight ball
  • Examples of some popular PGA tour golfers hitting these shots

With a few simple tweaks, you won’t need a golf ball for slicers in order to hit better shots.

Before I show you how to hit each shot, it’s important to understand the similarities and differences between a draw vs fade in golf.

What is a Draw?

A draw is one of the most popular shots hit by professional golfers. This is because it is a relatively easy shot to hit and can provide more distance on your shots.

For right-handed golfers, a draw is where the golf ball starts right and curves to the left.

For left-handed golfers, it is the opposite, where the ball would start left and curve to the right.

Learning to hit a draw is not overly complicated, but you should be confident in your overall ball striking ability before attempting to curve your shots. This is why most beginner and higher handicap players don’t usually rely on drawing the ball until they are more confident with their swing.

draw vs fade in golf how to hit a draw

Benefits of Hitting a Draw

The main benefit to hitting a draw in golf is the added consistency to your golf game. Once you master the draw shot and swing path needed to hit a draw, it is a consistent shot that should easily find the fairway for you.

As you become a more experienced golfer, it is good to have consistent shots that you can hit at any time and know exactly where the ball will end up. The draw might not be key to breaking 100 or learning how to play golf, but it is important if you want to become a scratch golfer.

Another benefit to hitting a draw is the distance it can add to your shots. Most golfers can hit a draw further than a fade or any other shot. The reason for this is when you hit a draw; you are reducing the loft on the golf club head, leading to lower ball spin rates.

With a lower spin rate, the ball will travel further for you. A lower loft on the shots and a closed clubface at impact will also cause a lower piercing ball flight. This shot allows you to cut through any wind and land near your target.

Downside of Hitting a Draw

Not every golfer should be heading out trying to hit a draw on every shot. Learning to hit a draw in golf is quite hard and can take a lot of practice.

As I said above, I wouldn’t recommend learning to hit a draw until you are confident in your ball striking ability and hitting straight shots.

Most beginner golfers will struggle with a slice when they start. A slice is where the ball banana hooks left to right as a right-handed golfer and right to left as a left-handed golfer.

Beginner golfers will then try to offset a slice by changing their swing and stance to try and hit a draw. In doing so, you are only creating more problems with your swing and won’t have a clue what type of shot you will hit and where the ball will end up.

When Should You Hit a Draw?

It depends if you are a left or right-handed golfer, as draw shots will come in handy on different holes.

For example, if a hole is straight and doglegs to the right, you are better off hitting a draw on your tee shot as a right-handed golfer. This will shape the ball from right to left, leaving you on the left side of the fairway and a better angle of attack towards the hole.

As a left-handed golfer, if the hole doglegs to the left, you should try and hit a draw on your tee shot. This will leave you on the right side of the fairway and a better angle of attack toward the hole.

Determining to hit draw is dependent on quite a few factors.

Is there water on the left or right side of the fairway?

Are there any obstacles or hazards you should be aware of?

Is there a part of the fairway that is better to land on?

What is the lie of the golf ball like?

All of these factors come into play when determining whether to hit a draw or not.

How to Hit a Draw (Step by Step)

When hitting a draw in golf, the number one thing to remember is having a closed clubface at impact. Think of your golf shot like you are shooting a forehand in tennis. Hitting the ball with a closed club face at impact will help promote the draw shape.

To hit a draw:

  1. Line up your shot as you normally would with your feet pointed directly at your target.
  2. Move the ball slightly back in your stance. This promotes a closed clubface angle at impact.
  3. Drop your back foot about 3-4 inches, so it is lower than your front foot. What this does is slightly close your body at setup.
  4. Take a few practice swings, and you will notice your swing has a little more in-out path.
  5. With a draw, you want the ball to go right to left as a right-handed golfer, which means you need to start the ball a little right of your target. This would be the opposite for left-handed golfers.
  6. Take your swing and try to feel your club head closed at impact.
  7. This should promote a draw shape and a lower ball flight allowing the ball to travel further than normal.

Want more advice? Click here to read our full tutorial on how to hit a draw in golf.

What is a Fade?

A fade is another popular golf shot used by professional golfers. A fade is precisely the opposite of a draw. A fade is where the ball travels left to right as a right-handed golfer and right to left as a left-handed golfer.

A controlled fade is a shot where the golfer has complete control over the ball’s spin and can land it softly near their target. A fade has the same spin as a slice, so I recommend having complete control over your ball striking before attempting to shape your shots.

Like the draw, learning to hit a fade is not overly difficult if you are confident in your ball striking ability. I recommend learning to hit each shot, as using them will provide more consistency in your golf game.

Benefits of Hitting a Fade

The main benefit of hitting a fade in golf is having complete control over your golf shot. When you hit a fade in golf, the ball goes left to right as a right-handed golfer and the opposite for left-handed players.

You must be careful as fades carry the same side spin as a slice. If you are too steep on your swing plane or hit the ball with too much spin, the ball will slice way further than intended.

If you can control the fade, the higher spin rate means the ball is coming down at a steeper angle. In theory, the ball will land softer and bounce/roll less. These types of shots are perfect for tee shots that you want to land right away or approach shots where you want to go right at the pin and stick it short with no roll.

The other benefits to hitting a fade are that they require less timing on your swing and less change in the club path and wrist action, which makes it a more consistent and easy swing. Hitting a fade will allow you to find more fairways off the tee, as the ball will not roll or bounce as much as a draw does.

You can count on a fade to land softly if you want to hit a fairway.

draw vs fade in golf how to hit a fade

Downside of Hitting a Fade

Like the draw, there are not many downsides to hitting a fade if you can. The main downside is that it will not travel as far as a draw, but in some cases, this is intended.

There is, however, one major red flag to be aware of when hitting or trying to hit a fade.

A fade carries the same sidespin as a slice does. If you do not have control over your swing plane or ball striking, you will not have control over hitting a fade and will instead slice the ball.

Beginner golfers struggle mightily with a slice, leaving them in terrible positions off the tee.

When Should You Hit a Fade?

Deciding to play a fade depends on the hole and the location of any hazards. As a rule of thumb, the type of shot you play should depend on the location of the hazards on that specific hole.

You want to stay as far away from the hazards as possible.

This means if there is water down the left side of the fairway, you would want to play a fade as a right-handed golfer as it will keep the ball as far away from the water as possible.

You should also play a fade when you want to land the ball softly with as little bounce or roll as possible. Hitting a power fade puts the type of side spin on the ball, allowing it to come down at a steeper angle and land softer near your target.

How to Hit a Fade (Step by Step)

Opposite the draw, the first thing to remember when hitting a fade is to have a slightly open club face at impact.

  1. Set up on the ball as you usually would but move it forward in your stance by a little bit. Then you want to move slightly closer to the ball as if you are crowding it.
  2. Align yourself so that you are aimed left of your target (for a right-handed golfer) or right of your target (as a left-handed golfer).
  3. Grip the club normally but apply a little more pressure on your lower hand. This helps you not roll your wrists over at impact and keeps the club face slightly open.
  4. Move your front foot back by 2-3 inches.
  5. Swing along the path of your feet and shoulders, and you should be quickly hitting fades.
  6. Make sure you are not rolling your wrists over.

Alignment Aids to Help You Draw and Fade in Golf

If you want alignment aids to help you mark your stance and swing path, I recommend these ones from GoSports.

GoSports Golf Alignment Training Sticks 3 Pack - 48" Golf Alignment Aid Practice Rods
  • GOLF ALIGNMENT STICKS: Master your swing with perfect alignment every time; Set includes 3 golf alignment sticks (48” length) for improved training that will shave strokes off your score
  • IMMEDIATE IMPROVEMENT: Practice fundamentals to land closer to your target: ensure proper posture (shoulders, feet, hips), ball alignment, club alignment and swing plane for achieving optimal impact
  • PRACTICE SMARTER: Alignment sticks feature a pointed tip for easily staking into the ground and setting up for ball striking drills and more
  • FOLDABLE DESIGN: Compact alignment sticks fold in half for easy storage in any golf bag making them easy to take on the go for practice

Draw vs. Fade: Your Top Questions Answered

What is the Benefit of Shot Shaping?

Learning how to properly shape your golf course shots is crucial to staying out of trouble and hazards and ultimately becoming a better golfer. If you can hit certain shots to avoid hazards, you won’t have to worry about blowing up your score.

Plus, hitting off the fairway on nice lies is much nicer than hitting out of the rough or dropping near the water.

Which Shot is Easier to Hit for Beginners?

Most beginner golfers already have the characteristics of a draw or fade integrated into their swing. If this is the case, it may be easier for them to learn that specific shot as their swing allows them to do that.

I believe that a draw would be slightly easier to learn to hit as you are just closing your stance and rolling your wrists over as you normally would when hitting a golf shot.

Do You Lose Distance When Hitting a Draw or a Fade?

You don’t necessarily lose distance when hitting either shot, but it is well known that you will hit the ball further when hitting a draw instead of a fade. This is because when hitting a draw, you are de-lofting your golf club, which means less spin is put onto the ball. In theory, this means that the ball will bounce and roll further.

When hitting a fade, the ball launch will be higher and come down steeper meaning less bounce and roll.

Draw/Fade vs. Slice/Hook: What’s the Difference?

A slice is a fade that didn’t come off the club face properly, and a hook is a draw gone wrong. However, a lot more behind the scenes happens during your swing when a slice or a hook does happen.

Most beginner golfers slice the ball.

This is because beginner golfer’s swings are usually inside to out. Swinging inside out on the ball causes a severe amount of sidespin at impact and will have the ball sailing sideways. It takes a lot of practice to properly get your swing and swing plane on a correct line to take away that side spin on the ball.

I highly recommend working on your ball striking and knowing your swing plane before attempting to shape the ball.

Pros That Hit a Good Draw

Rory McIlroy, one of the most popular golfers on the PGA Tour right now, built most of his PGA legacy on the powerful draw he plays off the tee. It is his most consistent shot.

GOLF SWING 2013 - RORY MCILROY DRIVER - PERFECT DTL DRAW STANCE & BALL FLIGHT - REG & SLOW MOTION HD

Zach Johnson is another PGA golfer and accomplished player who has found quite a bit of consistency over his playing career. It is well known that Zach Johnson will exclusively play a draw when out on the golf course. This means he is using it almost every single shot.

Zach Johnson Golf Swing (High Draw)

Pros That Hit a Good Fade

Dustin Johnson is one of the most accomplished players currently hitting a fade. Back in 2016, he started experimenting with a fade and found that he had way more control over the golf ball.

Swing of the Week: How to hit Dustin Johnson's power fade

Collin Morikawa is another PGA pro that exclusively hits a fade. He has been known to attribute the shot too much of his success in his golf career and has said he doesn’t plan to move away from it.

Dustin Johnson & Collin Morikawa Talking Fades | TaylorMade Golf

Tips for Improving Your Draw and Fade

Below are some general tips to keep in mind if you want to improve your draw or fade shot in golf.

  • if you would like to track the progress of your draw or fade, buy yourself a launch monitor. It will monitor your golf swing and show you analytics about your side spin, ball speed, and shot pattern. A launch monitor will let you track improvement as you try to perfect these golf shots.
  • Make sure you have complete control over your swing and ball striking before attempting to shape your shot.
  • Hit the driving range! The best way to learn these shots is to practice them. It would help if you didn’t try to hit these during an actual round until you are fully confident with them, as it will only derail your score and confidence.
  • Find which shot works better with your swing and what you are more confident hitting. If you are only confident hitting one, focus on that. Many PGA pros stick to hitting one shot as it offers them the best success on the golf course.
  • Golf is all about having fun. It would help if you didn’t stress over shaping your shots and getting down on yourself. You can focus on hitting the ball straight as well.

Conclusion

Both the draw and the fade are two golf shots that both amateur golfers and PGA tour pros should master. Learning these two shot shapes will allow you to master dogleg holes and avoid hazards.

A draw is where the ball travels right to left as a right-handed player and left to right as a left-handed golfer. A fade is where the ball travels left to right as a right-handed golfer and right to left as a left-handed player.

To play these shots, you have to learn how to adjust your golf ball at address.

If you have any questions about how to play these shots, comment down below and let us know!

In this guide, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about hitting a draw vs fade in golf. If you follow our step by step tutorial on hitting a draw or a fade, you will be able to add these shots into your arsenal in no time no matter which golf ball you choose to play!

I’ll specifically go over:

  • The differences between a draw and a fade
  • The benefits of hitting a natural fade or draw vs always going for the straight ball
  • Examples of some popular PGA tour golfers hitting these shots

With a few simple tweaks, you won’t need a golf ball for slicers in order to hit better shots.

What is a Draw?

A draw is one of the most popular shots hit by professional golfers. This is because it is a relatively easy shot to hit and can provide more distance on your shots.

For right-handed golfers, a draw is where the golf ball starts right and curves to the left.

For left-handed golfers, it is the opposite, where the ball would start left and curve to the right.

Learning to hit a draw is not overly complicated, but you should be confident in your overall ball striking ability before attempting to curve your shots. This is why most beginner and higher handicap players don’t usually rely on drawing the ball until they are more confident with their swing.

Benefits of Hitting a Draw

The main benefit to hitting a draw in golf is the added consistency to your golf game. Once you master the draw shot and swing path needed to hit a draw, it is a consistent shot that should easily find the fairway for you.

As you become a more experienced golfer, it is good to have consistent shots that you can hit at any time and know exactly where the ball will end up. The draw might not be key to breaking 100 or learning how to play golf, but it is important if you want to become a scratch golfer.

Another benefit to hitting a draw is the distance it can add to your shots. Most golfers can hit a draw further than a fade or any other shot. The reason for this is when you hit a draw; you are reducing the loft on the golf club head, leading to lower ball spin rates.

With a lower spin rate, the ball will travel further for you. A lower loft on the shots and a closed clubface at impact will also cause a lower piercing ball flight. This shot allows you to cut through any wind and land near your target.

Downside of Hitting a Draw

Not every golfer should be heading out trying to hit a draw on every shot. Learning to hit a draw in golf is quite hard and can take a lot of practice.

As I said above, I wouldn’t recommend learning to hit a draw until you are confident in your ball striking ability and hitting straight shots.

Most beginner golfers will struggle with a slice when they start. A slice is where the ball banana hooks left to right as a right-handed golfer and right to left as a left-handed golfer.

Beginner golfers will then try to offset a slice by changing their swing and stance to try and hit a draw. In doing so, you are only creating more problems with your swing and won’t have a clue what type of shot you will hit and where the ball will end up.

When Should You Hit a Draw?

It depends if you are a left or right-handed golfer, as draw shots will come in handy on different holes.

For example, if a hole is straight and doglegs to the right, you are better off hitting a draw on your tee shot as a right-handed golfer. This will shape the ball from right to left, leaving you on the left side of the fairway and a better angle of attack towards the hole.

As a left-handed golfer, if the hole doglegs to the left, you should try and hit a draw on your tee shot. This will leave you on the right side of the fairway and a better angle of attack toward the hole.

Determining to hit draw is dependent on quite a few factors.

Is there water on the left or right side of the fairway?

Are there any obstacles or hazards you should be aware of?

Is there a part of the fairway that is better to land on?

What is the lie of the golf ball like?

All of these factors come into play when determining whether to hit a draw or not.

How to Hit a Draw (Step by Step)

When hitting a draw in golf, the number one thing to remember is having a closed clubface at impact. Think of your golf shot like you are shooting a forehand in tennis. Hitting the ball with a closed club face at impact will help promote the draw shape.

To hit a draw:

  1. Line up your shot as you normally would with your feet pointed directly at your target.
  2. Move the ball slightly back in your stance. This promotes a closed clubface angle at impact.
  3. Drop your back foot about 3-4 inches, so it is lower than your front foot. What this does is slightly close your body at setup.
  4. Take a few practice swings, and you will notice your swing has a little more in-out path.
  5. With a draw, you want the ball to go right to left as a right-handed golfer, which means you need to start the ball a little right of your target. This would be the opposite for left-handed golfers.
  6. Take your swing and try to feel your club head closed at impact.
  7. This should promote a draw shape and a lower ball flight allowing the ball to travel further than normal.

Want more advice? Click here to read our full tutorial on how to hit a draw in golf.

What is a Fade?

A fade is another popular golf shot used by professional golfers. A fade is precisely the opposite of a draw. A fade is where the ball travels left to right as a right-handed golfer and right to left as a left-handed golfer.

A controlled fade is a shot where the golfer has complete control over the ball’s spin and can land it softly near their target. A fade has the same spin as a slice, so I recommend having complete control over your ball striking before attempting to shape your shots.

Like the draw, learning to hit a fade is not overly difficult if you are confident in your ball striking ability. I recommend learning to hit each shot, as using them will provide more consistency in your golf game.

Benefits of Hitting a Fade

The main benefit of hitting a fade in golf is having complete control over your golf shot. When you hit a fade in golf, the ball goes left to right as a right-handed golfer and the opposite for left-handed players.

You must be careful as fades carry the same side spin as a slice. If you are too steep on your swing plane or hit the ball with too much spin, the ball will slice way further than intended.

If you can control the fade, the higher spin rate means the ball is coming down at a steeper angle. In theory, the ball will land softer and bounce/roll less. These types of shots are perfect for tee shots that you want to land right away or approach shots where you want to go right at the pin and stick it short with no roll.

The other benefits to hitting a fade are that they require less timing on your swing and less change in the club path and wrist action, which makes it a more consistent and easy swing. Hitting a fade will allow you to find more fairways off the tee, as the ball will not roll or bounce as much as a draw does.

You can count on a fade to land softly if you want to hit a fairway.

Downside of Hitting a Fade

Like the draw, there are not many downsides to hitting a fade if you can. The main downside is that it will not travel as far as a draw, but in some cases, this is intended.

There is, however, one major red flag to be aware of when hitting or trying to hit a fade.

A fade carries the same sidespin as a slice does. If you do not have control over your swing plane or ball striking, you will not have control over hitting a fade and will instead slice the ball.

Beginner golfers struggle mightily with a slice, leaving them in terrible positions off the tee.

When Should You Hit a Fade?

Deciding to play a fade depends on the hole and the location of any hazards. As a rule of thumb, the type of shot you play should depend on the location of the hazards on that specific hole.

You want to stay as far away from the hazards as possible.

This means if there is water down the left side of the fairway, you would want to play a fade as a right-handed golfer as it will keep the ball as far away from the water as possible.

You should also play a fade when you want to land the ball softly with as little bounce or roll as possible. Hitting a power fade puts the type of side spin on the ball, allowing it to come down at a steeper angle and land softer near your target.

How to Hit a Fade (Step by Step)

Opposite the draw, the first thing to remember when hitting a fade is to have a slightly open club face at impact.

  1. Set up on the ball as you usually would but move it forward in your stance by a little bit. Then you want to move slightly closer to the ball as if you are crowding it.
  2. Align yourself so that you are aimed left of your target (for a right-handed golfer) or right of your target (as a left-handed golfer).
  3. Grip the club normally but apply a little more pressure on your lower hand. This helps you not roll your wrists over at impact and keeps the club face slightly open.
  4. Move your front foot back by 2-3 inches.
  5. Swing along the path of your feet and shoulders, and you should be quickly hitting fades.
  6. Make sure you are not rolling your wrists over.

Draw vs. Fade: Your Top Questions Answered

What is the Benefit of Shot Shaping?

Learning how to properly shape your golf course shots is crucial to staying out of trouble and hazards and ultimately becoming a better golfer. If you can hit certain shots to avoid hazards, you won’t have to worry about blowing up your score.

Plus, hitting off the fairway on nice lies is much nicer than hitting out of the rough or dropping near the water.

Which Shot is Easier to Hit for Beginners?

Most beginner golfers already have the characteristics of a draw or fade integrated into their swing. If this is the case, it may be easier for them to learn that specific shot as their swing allows them to do that.

I believe that a draw would be slightly easier to learn to hit as you are just closing your stance and rolling your wrists over as you normally would when hitting a golf shot.

Do You Lose Distance When Hitting a Draw or a Fade?

You don’t necessarily lose distance when hitting either shot, but it is well known that you will hit the ball further when hitting a draw instead of a fade. This is because when hitting a draw, you are de-lofting your golf club, which means less spin is put onto the ball. In theory, this means that the ball will bounce and roll further.

When hitting a fade, the ball launch will be higher and come down steeper meaning less bounce and roll.

Draw/Fade vs. Slice/Hook: What’s the Difference?

A slice is a fade that didn’t come off the club face properly, and a hook is a draw gone wrong. However, a lot more behind the scenes happens during your swing when a slice or a hook does happen.

Most beginner golfers slice the ball.

This is because beginner golfer’s swings are usually inside to out. Swinging inside out on the ball causes a severe amount of sidespin at impact and will have the ball sailing sideways. It takes a lot of practice to properly get your swing and swing plane on a correct line to take away that side spin on the ball.

I highly recommend working on your ball striking and knowing your swing plane before attempting to shape the ball.

Pros That Hit a Good Draw

Rory McIlroy, one of the most popular golfers on the PGA Tour right now, built most of his PGA legacy on the powerful draw he plays off the tee. It is his most consistent shot.

GOLF SWING 2013 - RORY MCILROY DRIVER - PERFECT DTL DRAW STANCE & BALL FLIGHT - REG & SLOW MOTION HD

Zach Johnson is another PGA golfer and accomplished player who has found quite a bit of consistency over his playing career. It is well known that Zach Johnson will exclusively play a draw when out on the golf course. This means he is using it almost every single shot.

Zach Johnson Golf Swing (High Draw)

Pros That Hit a Good Fade

Dustin Johnson is one of the most accomplished players currently hitting a fade. Back in 2016, he started experimenting with a fade and found that he had way more control over the golf ball.

Swing of the Week: How to hit Dustin Johnson's power fade

Collin Morikawa is another PGA pro that exclusively hits a fade. He has been known to attribute the shot too much of his success in his golf career and has said he doesn’t plan to move away from it.

Collin Morikawa’s draw and fade warm-up drill

Tips for Improving Your Draw and Fade

Below are some general tips to keep in mind if you want to improve your draw or fade shot in golf.

  • if you would like to track the progress of your draw or fade, buy yourself a launch monitor. It will monitor your golf swing and show you analytics about your side spin, ball speed, and shot pattern. A launch monitor will let you track improvement as you try to perfect these golf shots.
  • Make sure you have complete control over your swing and ball striking before attempting to shape your shot.
  • Hit the driving range! The best way to learn these shots is to practice them. It would help if you didn’t try to hit these during an actual round until you are fully confident with them, as it will only derail your score and confidence.
  • Find which shot works better with your swing and what you are more confident hitting. If you are only confident hitting one, focus on that. Many PGA pros stick to hitting one shot as it offers them the best success on the golf course.
  • Golf is all about having fun. It would help if you didn’t stress over shaping your shots and getting down on yourself. You can focus on hitting the ball straight as well.

Conclusion

Both the draw and the fade are two golf shots that both amateur golfers and PGA tour pros should master. Learning these two shot shapes will allow you to master dogleg holes and avoid hazards.

A draw is where the ball travels right to left as a right-handed player and left to right as a left-handed golfer. A fade is where the ball travels left to right as a right-handed golfer and right to left as a left-handed player.

To play these shots, you have to learn how to adjust your golf ball at address.

If you have any questions about how to play these shots, comment down below and let us know!

Ryan William
Ryan William

Ryan has been an avid golfer for over 25 years. Now an entrepreneur, Ryan spends his time keeping up with the latest golf trends and trying out the latest golf clubs, accessories, and training aids. Ryan has published over 1000 articles on various websites on the internet.

Last update on 2022-09-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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