Fade vs Draw in Golf

In golf, shot shaping is a captivating art that can elevate your game to new heights. Two prominent shots that golfers aim to master are the fade and the draw. We will discuss the intricacies of these shots, dissecting what they are, how they differ, and exploring the nuances that set them apart. Get ready to uncover the secrets behind these intriguing shot shapes and discover which one might become your new favorite.

Understanding the Fade and the Draw

  • Fade: A fade is a golf shot that gracefully curves from left to right (for right-handed golfers) or right to left (for lefties). It is achieved by imparting controlled left-to-right spin on the ball, resulting in a gentle and intentional curve.
  • Draw: On the other hand, a draw is a shot that artfully curves from right to left (for right-handed golfers) or left to right (for lefties). It involves generating controlled right-to-left spin on the ball, producing a beautiful arcing trajectory.

Differences Between the Fade and the Draw

  • Shot Shape: The most apparent difference lies in the shot shape itself. A fade curves from left to right (right to left for lefties), while a draw curves from right to left (left to right for lefties).
  • Swing Path: The swing paths for these shots vary. A fade requires an outside-to-inside swing path, while a draw demands an inside-to-outside swing path.
  • Clubface Alignment: At impact, the clubface position distinguishes the two shots. For a fade, the clubface is slightly open, while for a draw, it is slightly closed to the target.
  • Spin Direction: The spin imparted on the ball sets them apart. A fade generates left-to-right spin (right-to-left for lefties), while a draw produces right-to-left spin (left-to-right for lefties).
  • Ball Flight: Fades tend to have a higher ball flight and a shallower descent angle compared to draws, which often have a lower trajectory and steeper descent.
  • Strategy: Fades are useful for navigating obstacles on the left side of the fairway or positioning the ball for a right-side pin. Draws, on the other hand, work well when faced with obstacles on the right side or aiming for a left-side pin.
  • Difficulty: Hitting a consistent and intentional fade requires precision due to the outside-to-inside swing path, making it slightly more challenging than hitting a draw with an inside-to-outside path.
  • Natural Shot Shape: Many golfers have a natural shot shape that leans towards a fade or a draw. Some players find it easier to enhance their natural shot shape, while others work hard to develop and master the opposite shot.

When to Hit a Draw

There are various reasons when a draw should be the swing of choice. If navigating obstacles a well executed draw can avoid these obstacles and ensure you have a better position for approach to green. Another reason may be strong winds, again this can help to counteract against the wind and give the ball a more controlled flight path. Finally if you need an extra boost in distance a draw can help to add yardage.

When to Hit a Fade

Like a draw a fade can be used to navigate obstacles, whether this is trees or bunkers a fade can help you to safely navigate those hazards and keep your ball in play. When the pin placement is tucked away on the right of the green the curve of the fade will provide a better angle for approach to green increasing your chances to make birdie. Finally fades are better known for their accuracy and control- for those precision shots why not try out a fade to help you place the ball precisely where you want it.

In conclusion this is a difference between a fade and a draw and when best to utilize each shot. Fades and draws bring their unique flair to the game. The fade floats gracefully from left to right, offering strategic advantages, while the draw arcs with charm from right to left, allowing for precise shot placement.


How do I hit a draw?

  1. Align yourself slightly to the right of the target (for right-handed golfers).
  2. Maintain a neutral or slightly strong grip.
  3. Swing on an inside-to-outside path and aim to close the clubface slightly at impact.

How do I hit a fade?

  1. Align yourself slightly to the left of the target (for right-handed golfers).
  2. Maintain a neutral or slightly weak grip.
  3. Swing on an outside-to-inside path and aim to slightly open the clubface at impact.

Is it better to play a draw or fade?

Whether it’s better to play a draw or a fade ultimately depends on your individual playing style, shot preferences, and the specific circumstances you encounter on the golf course. A draw can provide extra distance, counter crosswinds, and navigate obstacles on the right side. On the other hand, a fade can help manage left-side obstacles, target right-side pins, and offer precise control. Therefore the “better” choice depends on you as a player and the specific challenges you face on the course.

Is a fade more accurate than a draw?

Yes, a fade can be more accurate than a draw in certain situations. The accuracy of a shot depends on various factors, including the golfer’s skill, swing mechanics, and shot execution. Both fades and draws can be executed accurately with proper technique and practice.

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