Golf Shot Shapes: Draw Vs Fade [Meaning, Which Is Better, How To & Differences]

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Golf can be such a simple game. However, there is often a lot of jargon language that is thrown about on a golf course and today we’re going to explore another, the draw and the fade.

I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of it yourself when you’ve been out on the course. Words like ‘golf ball compression’, ‘spin rates’, ‘golf handicap’ are all commonplace.

In this guide, we will complete a draw vs fade comparison so that you can see exactly which each one is as well as see which one may suit your game better when making your shots out on the golf course.

Draw Vs Fade

In a nutshell, draws and fades are shots with a controlled movement of the ball. When comparing the draw vs fade, their differences lie in the draw, concerning a shot from the golfers right hand side to his left hand side, and a fade moves from the left hand side to the right hand side. This is for right handed golfers. For left handed golfers it would be the opposite way around.

draw vs fade differences comparison

Most players will either hit a fade golf shot or a draw golf shot completely naturally. Most PGA professionals, however, can hit fades or draws at their own will, depending on the situation of the shot and where they want to land the ball. 

In terms of performance of a draw golf shot and a fade golf shot, both shot shapes will follow very similar launch angles and ball speed as well as carrying a similar carry distance.

Now that we have defined exactly what a fade is and what a draw is, we are going to go a little bit deeper into analyzing the difference between a draw and a fade, and include how exactly you can utilize these two techniques to improve your game.

What Is A Golf Draw?

A draw in golf involves shot shaping from right to left. It can help on dogleg holes where the trees are located to the left for right-handed golfers and vice versa for left-handed golfers. To add to this if the wind is strong then a draw is one of the best ways to combat these conditions.

draw shot shape example

How To Hit A Draw In Golf

When it comes to learning how to hit a draw, (shot from right to left), you should try to mimic the same movement that a handball player uses to curve the ball to the left. A handball player who does this will strike the ball from the palm of their hand, and then rotates their hand down to the left hand side. Golfers are advised to do the same thing with the right hand while they are attempting to perform a draw shot. 

In order to maximize the height from the tee, the best thing for you to do is to make sure that the ball is vertically alongside your left shoulder, then close over your stance roughly by an inch. This should be enough to create the path from the right to the left that you are trying to achieve. Then, you should take the club head back as low as possible in a straight fashion, then take a long arc for the rest of your golf swing path, and continue to do so in the follow through as well. 

Advantages Of A Draw In Golf 

The most obvious advantage of hitting a draw is that on a range of holes hitting the golf ball from right to left can give you a better chance of shooting a better score. Out of the two choices, it is harder to hit a draw than hit a fade in golf.

What Is A Golf Fade?

A fade in golf involves shot shaping from left to right. Compared to a draw, a fade is great for avoiding hazards such as trees and bunkers to the right. The fade can be helpful for avoiding these obstacles and also counteracting strong wind conditions from right to left.

fade shot shape example

How To Hit A Fade In Golf

Hitting fade shots are actually slightly easier than hitting a draw. With this process you aim to bring the ball in from left to right. The first step is to point your body just left to your target. Take your clubface and aim it exactly where you want the ball to land. Then swing as you would with any other shot.

When hitting from the tee however, an approach that is a little bit different is required. Steve Bodosh claims that you should put your ball an inch or two further forward than normal, sat on the right hand side side of the tee box. Then, open the face of your club by just a few degrees and take your swing as normal. This kind of faded tee shot is likely to carry far, but also means that you won’t have so much roll on your golf shots.

Advantages Of A Fade In Golf

The main reason that anyone would use a fade is because of the control that it offers. Balls that travel from left to right will have a much higher spin rate. This means that the ball is less likely to bounce and roll around when it lands on the green.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should You Use A Draw Or Fade From The Tee?

When it comes to hitting from the tee, the best option is to use a fade shot shape on a dogleg hole where the fairway seems to be in the right hand side, and use a draw if the fairway bends to the left hand side. In addition to that, if you find that your natural drive curves significantly to the left, you should use a fade. This kind of fade is much easier to make work than any other type of straight drive. 

How About On Approach Shots?

When the flag is towards the left of the green, you should use a draw. This would allow you to aim for the mid area of the green, which is exactly where your ball is likely to land if you can’t curve it properly. If you can get your planning and execution right, you stand a fair chance of making sure that your shot lands nearby the hole. Where the flag is closer to the right, whereby a fade shot is normally the best shot to play. In addition to that, the more loft that you have on your club head,  the more you are going to struggle to get the right side spin that you need to fade or draw the ball in the way that you like it.

Do Pros Use A Fade Or A Draw?

Nowadays, you will find that the most predominant shot shape is the ‘baby draw’ or ‘baby fade’. However, the majority of professionals are hitting fades (Golf WRX). This starts just to the tight hand side of the target and draws back. But in addition to that, the further up the ladder that you move to the top of the game, the more you will find that players are comfortable working both ways. 

Why Not Just Hit A Straight Shot Instead Of Shot Shaping?

Now, if you were to grab the ends of a shot with plenty of curve in it, and you were able to pull it straight, you would of course have greater distance. This means that a balls with zero spin or curve will eventually travel much further than a ball that does manage to draw or fade. 
The only issue is, that only a robot can hit the ball perfectly consistent in the middle every time!

Does A Fade Or Draw Go Further?

Both a fade and a draw will go a similar distance. A draw may go slightly further overall but it is much more important to focus on good technique to achieve a consistent distance.

In Summary: Draw Vs Fade – Which Golf Shot Shape Is Better?

No matter whether you choose to hit a draw or a fade you always need to make sure that you are practicing on the general consistency of your game as it is most important to get the basics of the golf swing down (you can read our complete guide on these here). It is important to remember that both a strong and weak grip can determine whether you hit a fade or draw and both of these two shot shapes have huge advantages that can help to reduce your scores. By applying both you will be able to hit the ball into desired areas on the course especially on holes where a draw or fade is suited. It is important to be careful with these shots those to avoid hitting a hook or slice.

There is a clear difference between a draw and a fade but no matter whether it is an approach shot with a range of clubs or off the tee with your driver you can apply this to your game.

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