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With proper, repeatable swing mechanics, draws and fades are easier to hit than a straight shot.
With proper, repeatable swing mechanics, draws and fades are easier to hit than a straight shot. (Kellie Stenzel/WorldGolf.com)

How to work the ball with draws and fades

Les MillerBy Les Miller,

Draws and fades are much easier to hit than a straight shot; however, the proper swing mechanics need to be repeatable to master these shots.

The key is knowing the difference between hitting a draw vs. a fade, and despite what you may have heard, these shots are easier to learn than you might think. With these simple tips, you'll never want to hit it straight again.

Hitting the fade shot

To hit a fade, start by opening your stance and taking the club back on the outside, (at the top of the backswing your hands need to be high above your head), and the right elbow out away from your body. You should feel like you are swinging the club up over your head, not behind you.

From this position at the top you need to start down by rotating your hips and shoulders to the left, (right-handed golfers), having your weight move forward to your front foot. (This is critical: if your weight stays back you will have a tendency to hit pull hooks.) The strong lower-body rotation and forward weight shift will have you hitting nice baby fades.

A good swing thought when trying to hit a fade is to remember to finish high after impact. This will help keep the club head from closing during the impact zone.

Hitting the draw shot

Unlike the fade, the draw shot is created from an inside-out swing and a more active, rolling of the hands through impact. A draw occurs by having the hands and arms release through the impact zone, (for right-handed golfers your right hand should turn over the left hand at impact).

Having a strong grip helps the hands turn over, closing the club face through impact, (right-handed golfers should turn both hands to the right so the V's between their thumbs and forefingers point to their right shoulder). This will create a flatter swing plane that allows the club face to close (turn over) through impact.

Hitting a draw means swinging the club from the inside, so it's important to feel like you are swinging around your body instead of up and down. It is more of a baseball swing, allowing your hands and arms to turn over through the hitting area. It is important when practicing draw shots to swing gently so the hands turn over. Swing too hard initially and you will block shots to the right.

Les Miller was a longtime Golf Writers of America member who covered golf instruction for several newspapers and golf publications. His many years of experience as a golf professional, director of product development and tour relations for several major golf companies gave him a unique background and ability to help golfers increase their enjoyment of the game.

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