When first starting out, you might be happy to simply hit the ball straight every time. But as your game progresses, you’ll undoubtedly want to get creative and add fade and draw shots to your golfing locker. Adding these shots to your repertoire can come in very handy, not least when you’re on a dog-leg tee shot or out of position in rough. Read on to learn how to play a draw and fade.
What is a draw shot?
The draw shot in golf involves adding forward/topspin to your golf shot which causes the ball to move during its flight and finish in a different position to the path on which it set off. For right-handed golfers, a draw will involve a shot that is shaped from starting right and coming round to the left. This can be compared to a powerful forearm shot in tennis. Of course, if you are a left-handed golfer, the draw shot will shape from the left and come back round to the right.
What is a fade shot?
The fade shot includes the similar protocols of the draw shot - just in reverse. Due to the different types of spin action placed on a fade shot, the ball will travel for the right-handed golfer slightly left-to-right. For this shot, the clubface will be slightly open. If compared to a tennis shot, the parallel would be a backhand slice shot that features a side spin put onto the ball. Of course, if you’re a left-handed golfer, the fade shot will be on the opposite side and will travel from left to right.
Why is shot shaping important?
Shot shaping can be hugely beneficial. Certain holes which aren’t straightforward may require a certain shot shape so that you can get into the best possible position. For example, a draw and a fade can help you navigate holes that are set up in the form of a dog-leg, as the draw shot would enable you to get into position for a clear approach to the green.
Shot shaping is also extremely beneficial for avoiding, or getting out of, certain hazards. For example, if trees or bunkers are blocking your path to the flag, the ability to bend the ball in your desired direction can save you a shot, or help you avoid the punishment of chipping out sideways.
A further advantage is that shaping your shots includes adding different types of spin. If you’re spinning the ball higher, the chances are that your approach shot will tend to drop and stop on the greens, meaning you can get consistently closer to the flag without the ball bouncing and running on longer past the pin.
Is shot shaping risky?
Of course, while there are massive benefits to shaping golf shots, shot shaping does throw up some risks. Although shot shaping can sound relatively simple, in a game scenario, shaping shots is incredibly risky and isn’t the easiest method to execute.
When it comes to hitting a draw, if you don’t get your tempo right on the swing you can induce a duck hook shot which will cause substantial problems on the hole. Furthermore, if the fairways or greens are relatively hard, the excessive topspin that the draw entails can be problematic and may cause the ball to bounce too far past the intended target.
Ultimately for playing a fade, if the tempo of the swing is slightly out, then the player risks playing a slice shot if the face connects with the ball at the wrong angle. In most cases, dog-leg holes are draw-favourable, meaning that choosing a fade in this situation can prevent you from reaching the green in regulation.
How to hit a draw shot
The best process to learn how to play a draw is by breaking this into a three-step process.
Step one: the player should aim their clubface at the target
Step two: the player should close their body right of the relative target meaning that you are aiming right of where you are intending for the ball to finish
Step three: the player should now swing along the path of their body while ensuring the clubface is aimed at your target at impact
If executed correctly the player should see the ball set off on the line of where their body is aiming right of the target, before seeing the ball come round from right-to-left to finish at where the clubface was aiming. Of course, for a left-handed golfer, this exact process is used but with the directions reversed in step two of the process.
How to hit a fade
Much like a draw, the best process for playing a fade is to break it into a three-step process.
Step one: the golfer should aim their clubface at the target
Step two: the golfer should open their body left of the relative target meaning that you are aiming left of where you are intending for the ball to finish
Step three: the golfer should now swing along the path of their body while ensuring the clubface is aimed at your target at impact
If executed correctly, the player should see the ball set off on the line of where their body is aiming, left of the target, before seeing the ball come round from left-to-right to finish at where the clubface was aiming. Of course, for a left-handed golfer, this exact process is used but with the directions reversed in step two of the process.
Learning how to shape the ball is hugely beneficial for any golfer, as this skill can sometimes make or break a player’s round. Learning to play these shots will certainly take your game to the next level. Don’t be too disheartened if you can’t play these shot types the first time asking. Stick to it, keep practicing, and sooner or later you’ll have a couple of extremely useful golf shots added to your golfing locker.