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Draw vs Fade in Golf – Difference

There are all kinds of terms to learn when you’re first introduced to golf, and some may seem so similar that it can be hard to understand the differences. So, what are the differences between a draw and a fade?

The difference between a draw and a fade is the direction a golf ball moves after it’s been hit at just the right angle. A draw, for a right-handed player, moves from the player’s right-hand side to a slight left. A fade moves from the player’s left-hand side to a slight right.

To learn more about these differences, as well as how they differ between right and left-handed players and how to best hit a draw or a fade, continue reading!

What is a Draw golf swing?

For a right-handed player, a draw shot in golf is when the golf ball moves from the player’s right-hand side to a slight left while in flight. This is the opposite of a fade shot. Remember that the movement is slight, if it goes too far or too abruptly to the left, this is called a hook. A draw shot is more controlled than a hook, which is a more dramatic movement. A draw or a fade is the most controllable flight, even more so than trying to get the ball to fly straight on toward the hole.

Golf swing mechanics - Red Gate Golf

Draws for Left-Handed Players

For a left-handed player, a draw shot in golf is when the golf ball moves from the player’s left-hand side to a slight right while in flight. It may appear like a fade shot, so keep in mind that if the ball starts on the side with the player’s dominant hand (where he/she is facing), then moves slightly toward the player’s non-dominant side, it’s a draw.

How-to hit a draw

The best way to hit a draw is determined by your grip on the club or putter. You’ll need to grip it at a stronger position, setting it in the base of your fingers. Your top hand should be more at the top of the golf club and your bottom hand slightly under, with your thumb and forefinger “V” pointed at your back (trail) shoulder. A successful draw hit will also depend on having just the right backswing, which is usually swung back far.

Swing fast, twisting your body as you go, keeping this swinging momentum of your golf club after it hits the ball. You will finish and stop turning when the tips of your trail foot toes and your chest face the target hole.

Practice hitting draws to perfect it, and follow these tips as you do:

  • Control the clubface – Don’t allow the clubface to open too much while swinging, you want a square clubface at impact with the ball.
  • Use your hips – Turn your body toward your trail hip as you rotate and keep your rear end back, keeping your spine angle and posture still.
  • Keep your clubface square on the backswing – The clubface should be square at impact with the ball, so keep it square during your backswing, and swing the club back using your arms and body rather than your hands.
  • Swing inside-to-out – Visualize hitting the club at the 4 pm position on a clock dial, which can create an inside-to-square club path. Swing with a square clubface and strike the ball to hit a proper draw spin.
  • Stay connected – Keeping your body and arms in sync during the swing will add more power and accuracy to the draw strike.
  • Finish Strong – You should make an aggressive follow-through when hitting your draw, keeping a steady acceleration. Deceleration could alter the path of the ball that you don’t intend. Rotate your chest to commit to this hit.

What is a Fade golf swing?

For a right-handed player, a fade shot (sometimes called a cut shot) in golf is when the golf ball moves from the player’s left-hand side to a slight right while in flight. This is the opposite of a draw shot. Remember that the movement is slight, if it moves too far or too abruptly to the right, it’s called a slice. You can learn more about why you Slice driver vs iron.

A fade shot is more controlled than a slice, which is a more dramatic movement. This shot is much more controllable, just as a draw shot, more so than a straight shot aimed right at the hole.

Golf swing - Red Gate Golf

Fades for Left handed player

For a left-handed player, a fade shot in golf is when the golf ball moves from the player’s right-hand side to a slight left while in flight. It may appear like a draw shot, so keep in mind that if the ball starts on the side with the player’s non-dominant hand (where the player’s back is facing), then moves slightly toward the player’s dominant side, it’s a fade.

How-to hit a fade

The best way to hit a fade accurately and in a controlled way is to keep your stance open (with your toes pointed to the left of the hole target), position the ball forward slightly, and then swing along your body plane with your feet.

You’ll also want to strike the ball with an open clubface while standing closer to the ball at a 45-degree angle address, which will steepen the plane of your golf club.

Practice hitting a fade to perfect it, and follow these tips as you do:

  • Check your grip – Keep your grip slightly weaker than usual, with your left (for right-handers) top hand rotated slightly counterclockwise. You’ll see two knuckles at the top of the club rather than three. Rotate your bottom hand slightly in the same direction.
  • Check your stance – Instead of standing with your feet parallel to your target hole, turn them slightly left so you can aim slightly left.
  • Open the clubface – Rather than altering your swing path, you can open the clubface instead. Rotate the toe of your golf club slightly away from the ball at the address, but not too far open. The more open to the left the toe is, the more to the right the ball will start to the right.
  • Swing left – Instead of opening the clubface, you can swing slightly across your target line to the left instead, keeping it at a slightly outside-to-in motion through impact. Just hit the ball from 1 or 2 degrees outside to in and no more. Keep your hands high above your trail shoulder, then keep your hands low to the left at the finish of your shot.

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