The Simple Way To Draw or Fade
Curving your golf shots “on demand” is one of the most impressive things you can do in the game of golf. It’s also great fun. (Although very seldom is it the smartest thing to do.) When you stand on the tee of a par three and announce to your playing partners that you’re going to fade (or draw) the ball right into that hidden pin location and then you actually do it – WOW. That gets you instant respect as a golfer. About the only thing that gets more respect is a 300+ yard drive.
Before you try drawing or fading yourself you should fully understand the dynamics of why balls curve at all. Take a look at my previous article “Why Do Golf Shots Curve?” Here: http://simplegolf.com/blog/full-swing/basics-full-swing/why-do-golf-shots-curve-slice-hook-fade-or-draw/
Now for the good, the bad and the ugly about drawing and fading. The good as we said, is that it’s great fun and it’s really impressive. The bad is that drawing and fading takes practice. You can not go out on the course and just start hitting fades and draws. It takes some real range time to master fading and drawing. The ugly is the fact that unless you’re close to a scratch golfer, deliberate drawing and fading will cost you more strokes than it will save you. The truth is that if you can’t routinely hit straight shots you don’t have a prayer of hitting controllable draws and fades on demand.
You’re always be safer and you will have a lower stroke average if you play position golf and just go for the middle of the fairway or the middle of the green instead of trying to get fancy and curve the ball. However, I know very well that most of you are going be out there trying to draw or fade the ball anyway, so we’re going to cover the simplest way to fade or draw.
To make things simple we just talk about fading the ball first. As you saw in the “Why Do Golf Shots Curve?” article, we want to have the club face open to the swing path in order to fade the ball. The easiest way to do this is just to manually open the club face a couple of degree at address and then re-grip the club so that the club face stays open at address. Don’t change your stance (at this point) or your swing!!!
Now hit some balls with that open clubface. You should see your shots curving to the right. Now experiment with opening the clubface a little more at address and watch the curve of the resulting shots curve more to the right. The only way to learn how much the ball is going to face is to experiment and practice. The balls should be taking off straight and then fading to the right (for right handed golfers). Experience and practice will teach you how much you’ll need to aim to the left for a given shot.
On the course you’ll need to adjust your stance and aim a little more to the left but you don’t have to do that at first in your practice. After you learn how much the ball curves when you open the club a certain amount then you’ll know how much you’ll have adjust your aim.
Fading is far easier for most of us (right handers) than drawing so I suggest you master fading first before you move on to attempting the deliberate draw. Drawing is done the same way except you’d be closing the club face a bit at address.
The only time I recommend trying a deliberate fade or draw is to help you avoid a hazard or trouble on a hole. For example, if you are worried about hitting into the water on the left then setting up to hit a deliberate fade can give you confidence that you’re not going near the water.
Remember spend time on the range practicing fading (or drawing) before you ever even think about taking it out on the course. Good luck.