Draw vs. Fade: What's the Difference & Which Shot Is Better?

draw vs fade golf shot
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Tiger Woods once said, “The hardest shot to hit is a straight shot.” 

This coming from a 14-time major champion. Chances are, if you’ve played the game for any amount of time, you can attest to the challenge of a straight shot as well.

Tiger is known as one of the few old-school golfers who love to shape shots. High, low, left, right, he has all the shots in the bag.

While you don’t need all the shots yourself, the more types of shots you can play, the easier it is to score well. In this post, we’ll break down two important shots: the draw vs. the fade, and teach you how to hit both.

Draw vs. Fade: Who Wins the Battle?

Some golfers swear by the power fade, while others swear by the power draw.

So who’s the winner of the great debate?

Both have their pros and cons. 

The draw:

  • Looks better and more powerful for most players.
  • Usually harder to execute (most golfers are plagued with a slice).
  • Great for a driver and woods, as they tend to carry and roll out further for more distance. 

While the fade is:

  • Easier to hit with any club in the bag.
  • Doesn’t travel or roll as far as a draw.
  • More dependable (As they say, “You can’t talk to a draw or a hook.”)

If you can have both in your set of go-to set of shots, you will be equipped for anything. You will be able to deal with wind, tucked pins, escape trouble, and more. 

The cool thing is that you don’t need to mess with your swing to hit either shot. Instead, try to adjust your setup so that you don’t have to depend on timing so much. 

Here’s how to do it for both shots… 

How to Hit a Fade

A fade has a ball flight that goes left to right (assuming you’re a right-handed player). This happens because the face is open at impact position.

The more open the face is at impact, the more it fades. After about 5-7 yards, the fade is considered a slice.  

The main reasons for a fade will happen is from two causes:

  • You have a weak grip (not grip pressure, but weak hand position). 
  • You make an over the top move on your downswing and cut across the ball at impact. 

Hitting a Fade 

If you want to play a fade on demand, here are some simple setup tweaks to make it happen.

  • Option 1: Open the face slightly at setup. Then, aim your body to the left of the target to allow the fade to happen, but aim the face at the target. When you swing on the line of your feet with an open face, it should cut across it and hit a nice power fade.
  • Option 2: Adjust your grip to a neutral or slightly weak position and aim left. 
  • Option 3: Combine option 1&2. 

Other tips that might help you learn how to hit a fade include standing slightly closer to the ball at address. When you crowd the ball, it makes it easier to have a fade swing path. 

The final tip is to try and hold off your finish like a helicopter to get the ball going left to right.

How to Hit a Draw

Meanwhile, a draw has a ball flight that goes right to left (assuming you’re a right-handed player). This happens because the face is closed at impact position.

The more closed the face is at impact, the more it draws. After about 5-7 yards, the draw is considered a hook.  

The main reasons for a draw will happen is from two causes:

  • You have a strong grip (not grip pressure, but strong hand position). 
  • You come from the inside on the downswing and flip your hands/rotate the face too much at impact. 

Hitting a Draw 

If you want to play a fade on demand, here are some simple setup tweaks to make it happen.

  • Option 1: Close the face slightly at setup. Then, aim your body to the right of the target to allow the draw to happen, but aim the face at the target. When you swing on the line of your feet with a closed face, it should produce an in-to-out move and promote a draw.
  • Option 2: Adjust your grip to a neutral or slightly strong position and aim right. 
  • Option 3: Combine option 1&2. 

If you’re more of a feel player, you want to feel the club rotating more on the downswing. Some players refer to this as “getting handsy” or flipping the wrists sooner. It might feel more like a baseball swing if you have ever played the sport too. 

Other tips that might help you learn how to hit a draw include adding more grip pressure to your right hand. This will make it easier to rotate the club faster on your downswing. 

The final tip is to try and swing slightly faster. The draw shot requires a little more speed than a fade, so make sure you swing out right of your target. Otherwise, you might get a nasty hook shot that rolls left forever. 

Wrapping Up

Everyone learns how to shape shots differently. Some players like changing their grip, while others prefer adjusting setup positions. 

Learning how to hit a fade and draw is 100% possible if you’re willing to put in the work.  

When you learn how to play both shots, you become a much more well-rounded player. 

If you can learn how to hit a fade or draw on demand, it’s much easier to score better on any golf course. But this doesn’t happen overnight in most cases. 

Usually, you need to put in time on the driving range and make a concerted effort to learn how to play the ball both directions. Start with mid-irons as they’re easier to shape (6-7 iron) and then try it out with different clubs in the bag. 

Soon, you will be able to hit it both directions with any club, leading to more confidence than ever before. 

Do you know how to hit both shots? If so, which one is easier for you to hit on a regular basis?

Let us know in the comments below! 

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