In golf, it’s important to know how to hit a draw. However, what does this exactly mean? Furthermore, what are the steps that you should follow to avoid any errors?
There are so many opinions about draw shots that it can get confusing to identify which ones to follow. Here, we discuss the importance of hitting a draw in relation to one’s overall performance as a golfer.
A common phrase used in competitions is to be “quick on the draw.” However, the draw in the world of golf has a different meaning. Instead of speed, the draw here is more about increasing the distance by appropriately shaping the shot. Essentially, having a draw shot means getting the ideal curve with your swing.
For right-handed players, this could mean being able to get the ball to fly slightly to the left. The opposite goes for left-handed golfers. Furthermore, properly hitting a draw will allow the ball to precisely move during the flight to avoid any obstacles once it lands on the greens. Sadly, hitting a draw is not as easy as it sounds.
In fact, beginners will likely send the golf ball flying into the trees or into the water instead of performing a gentle draw. Despite the likelihood of badly hitting a draw, it is not similar to a hook shot. For one, hooks are caused by off-center shots. On the other hand, draw shots are desired by golfers. The problem is that not everyone can hit a draw well.
From here on out, we’re going to explain the steps from the perspective of a right-handed golfer. Thus, we are aiming to shape the shot in such a way that it curves only slightly to the left. If you hope to successfully hit a draw, you can seek inspiration from a handball player. When curving the ball to the left, a handball player would hit the ball with his palm positioned squarely to the target.
Likewise, the player will rotate his hand downwards before going in the left direction toward the hitting zone. To hit a draw, you can replicate what the handball player does, but with your right hand instead. Another thing to consider is the height of the ball. Ideally, there should be enough height to effectively hit the draw off the tee. To do so, your left armpit should align with the golf ball.
Also, your stance should be closed for only an inch or so. As for the clubhead, it should be swung back in a straight manner before you strive for a swing with a sweeping arc all throughout. With this stance, the ball’s flight direction might just ease from the right direction to the left.
What if you want to hit a draw on your approach shot? For context, this is a shot wherein the flag is located to the left of the green. In this case, you should aim for the center of the green. If you hit the draw successfully, it will land near the hole to the left of the green. If you fail to do, the consolation is that the ball will land in the middle of the green.
If the opposite is the case, wherein the flag is located to the right of the green, you can still apply the same strategy. While going for a fade shot instead of a draw shot is better on this occasion, aiming for the middle of the green is still recommended.
If you fail your fade shot and it doesn’t land close to the hole to the right of the green, it should at least land in the middle. Regardless of which side the flag is located in the green, you must remember that using a clubhead with a high loft will make it difficult to make a side-spin for draw shots or fade shots. Thus, practice with different golf clubs and loft settings is necessary for perfecting your draw shots.
With enough experience, you will develop what golfers refer to as their natural swing. As you hone your play style, you will know exactly how to position yourself and aim your swing to have that natural flight path you’ve become familiar with. Thus, you can develop a consistency in your play in terms of a natural draw or a natural fade.
The problem with a natural swing, however, is when you are playing in a course with so many obstacles. Difficult courses will require you to perform different shots. At one point, you would need to hit a draw while on the other you’d need to hit a fade. If you’ve become so accustomed to either one instead of both, you’d have a hard time on the course.
So, should you ditch your natural swing? The short answer is no. Beginners, mid-handicappers, and high-handicappers cannot just learn so many shots at the same time. In other words, it’s perfectly okay for you to develop your natural swing first. This will give you confidence in knowing that you can consistently do one shot. Once you’ve become comfortable enough with your fade shot or draw shot, you can then proceed to learn other shots.
There are several options you can take, so we recommend trying out each strategy until you find one that suits your style. If your shots often lead to a ball flight to the right, you can try two adjustments. The first adjustment begins with positioning yourself the way you always do.
The difference, however, is that you must close the clubface at the address as you perform your usual swing. If this doesn’t minimize the right curvature of your shot, you can try the second option: Aim the clubface toward the target and swing with a closed stance. Thus, your shoulders, feet, and hips must face the right of the target line.
If none of these steps work separately, you can combine them and see if there are any improvements. Likewise, you can opt to improve your grip and hope that this will move your shot slightly to the left. You can even try a specific grip style: First, rotate your left hand until three knuckles instead of just two are visible. Next, place your right hand slightly below the club shaft. It won’t work for everyone, but it’s worth a shot.
While it does require practice to hit a draw, it will also help if you comprehend how the shot is made in the first place. One common belief is that the clubface must point to the left of the target upon impact.
A second belief is related to the initial direction of the golf ball. Some think that this is determined by the path of the golf club as it reaches impact. However, both of these have turned out to be erroneous – at least according to research conducted using TrackMan.
Instead of being primarily determined by the path of your swing, the initial direction of your shot is significantly shaped by the clubface position upon impact. Thus, you should point the clubface to the right of your target if you want the initial direction to be right. This means making the face open as you conduct the first step in hitting a draw.
However, this does not mean that the swing path should no longer be taken into consideration. The point here is that its importance isn’t as huge as we once thought. In other words, the swing path is only as influential as the ball spin and the lie you are playing from.
We now know that the initial direction of your ball is determined by the position of the clubface. To make the shot curve or hit a draw, however, we need to go back to the swing path. Specifically, the swing path needs to be more to the right of the target than the clubface position.
Of course, the golf club you are using will affect how much the swing path should point to the right of the target. For example, if you are playing with a 6-iron, the ratio should be 2:1. If the clubface is pointing 3 degrees to the right of the target upon impact, the swing path must be at an angle of 6 degrees to the right of the target line. Having the same angle would prevent the ball from curving while having too much of a discrepancy wouldn’t result in a gentle draw.
If you want to use a club with a higher loft, you must understand that it will be more difficult to hit a draw. When you use a wedge, the ratio should move from 2:1 to 3:1. On the other hand, using a golf club with a lower loft requires a ratio of around 3:2 instead. No matter the club and the loft, what matters is that the clubface is open to the target while being closed toward the path.
Apart from getting the right swing path and clubface position, how you position your body is also important. When you know how to adjust your body every time, you can improve your consistency in hitting draws. Instead of having the same body position before and when you make your swing, you should change it.
Here, you need to practice the forward shift. Your position at impact should change to the point that the clubface is a bit open. Likewise, the club shaft should lean more toward the target at this stage compared to when you were at address. You achieve both of these minor yet essential changes when you conduct a forward shift. This is when you laterally position your hips toward the target.
It will take a lot of practice, but you will eventually get the hang of it. Take a look at these steps to help you in making a lateral shift:
Here is a video of hitting a draw in golf:
We hope that our guide helped you to hit a draw on the golf course. You might naturally perform this well, but don’t be worried if you cannot hit a draw consistently.
It’s perfectly normal for your natural swing to be more of a fade than a draw. With a little bit of practice, you’ll learn what adjustments to make at address and at impact. In time, you can quickly get the ball out of obstacles on the golf course by hitting draws.
If you have any queries, feel free to send us a comment.
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