Author: WhyGolf WhysGuy
Draw vs. Fade - Which Ball Flight is Better?
We want to preface this guide with the acknowledgment that neither WhysGuy nor anyone from the WhyGolf team claims to know everything about the golf swing. We don’t want anyone to treat what we say here as gospel. While much of what we’ll say is a reflection of decades of dialogue with PGA instructors and players, we’re always learning and we understand that knowledge about the sport of golf will continue to evolve over time.
In this post, WhysGuy will cover:
- The difference between a draw vs. fade ball flight.
- How to hit a draw vs fade.
- WhysGuy's recommendations on learning how to hit draws vs. fades.
- How the Alignment Disc can help you hit draws and fades.
Benefits of Draws:
1. Draws penetrate wind much better than fades (draws make the ball spin less).
2. Draws generally go farther than fades. Since draws spin less than fades, they tend to roll out more.
3. Draws can help you safely access pins tucked to the left (right pins for left-handers). Instead of having to aim directly at a left pin, you'll be able to aim towards the center of the green and use draw spin to get closer to the hole.
Benefits of Fades:
1. Fades are generally easier to control than draws.
2. Fades land softer on greens due to increased spin. This allows you to be more aggressive when aiming at flag sticks.
3. Fades can help you safely access pins tucked to the right (left pins for left-handers). Instead of having to aim directly at a right pin, you'll be able to aim towards the center of the green and use fade spin to get closer to the hole.
How to Hit a Draw vs. Fade
Draws and fades happen when your swing path direction is slightly closed or open to your club's face angle at impact. If you want to learn more, check out our Ball Flight Laws article where we discuss in detail the 9 ball flights and the impact conditions necessary to hit them.
WhysGuy's Unsolicited Advice about Draws vs. Fades
Draws and fades are both useful in their own ways, and there's no "better" ball flight. With this said, it's important for every golfer to figure out whether they're naturally better-suited to hit draws or fades.
If you're interested in learning how to hit both draws and fades, please consider the following three points:
1. It's really important to have a go-to ball flight. Whether you're playing for big money or you've got a tight tee shot with OB left and right, having a reliable "fairway finder" will take stress out of your game. It may be in your best interest to develop a go-to shot before you consider trying to shape the ball both ways on a consistent basis.
2. It will take time and dedication to get to a point where you can hit both fades and draws consistently on the golf course. If you aren't playing golf at least once a week and spending time on the range, it may be wise to devote most of your attention to hitting one ball flight well (either a fade or a draw, depending on what is more comfortable for you).
3. If you haven't shot below 80, it's probably not worth actively trying to shape the ball both ways on the course. Stick to your preferred ball flight! It's entirely possible to hit just fades or just draws for an entire round of golf and shoot under par.
At the end of the day, we want golfers to enjoy the game as much as possible. For most, shooting lower scores is a primary source of joy. However, we acknowledge some golfers just want to hit cool golf shots and couldn't care less about scoring better. If this sounds like you, please ignore this section of this article. We won't take it personally.
Step Up Your Range Practice with the Alignment Disc
- You can place alignment rods at precise angles to facilitate the swing path of your choosing (e.g., draw or fade swing path).
- Whether working on your takeaway, swing path, plane or follow through, the Alignment Disc makes it easy to position and move rods as needed.
- Learn more about the different ways you can use the Alignment Disc here.
- There's no "better" ball flight - fades and draws are both useful in their own ways.
- Fades generally carry farther and land softer than draws. Draws roll more and usually go farther than fades.
- WhysGuy recommends that you perfect one shot shape (either a fade or draw) before you try to hit draws and fades consistently on the course.
- Consider using the Alignment Disc in your practice sessions to drill a draw vs. fade swing path.
What is a Draw vs. Fade?
Draws curve slightly from right to left and fades curve slightly from left to right (for right-handers).
Which ball flight is better?
There's no objectively "better" ball flight. Draws make more sense in some situations and fades can make more sense in others (course strategy post coming). We think it's most important for golfers to determine which ball flight (draw or fade) they feel most comfortable hitting. Once they've determined which ball flight they prefer, keep working on that ball flight until it's automatic.
HOw do I hit a fade?
To hit a fade that ends up at your target, you want your club face angle to be slightly left (closed for right-handers) of your target at impact. To produce a fade, your swing path needs to be slightly left of your club face angle at impact.
How do I hit a Draw?
To hit a draw that ends up at your target, you want your club face angle to be slightly right (open for right-handers) of your target at impact. To produce a draw, your club path needs to be slightly right of your club face angle at impact.
What are the Ball Flight Laws?
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