Draw vs Fade Shot: Which Should You Use?

fade shot

Beginners or professional golfers can agree on one thing: hitting a straight shot is the most challenging trick one can pull off.

Golfers tend to have shot shapes for several reasons. These might be what you call a draw or a fade. In this article, you’ll learn about the difference between draw vs. fade and how they can help bring out your best shot in this article.

What Is a Draw?

These are the key points when hitting a draw:

Simple enough? Let’s take a closer look below.

Setting up a Draw Golf Shot

With a draw, you’ll hit the ball on a shallow plane from inside and then swing it out. Swinging from the inside lets you create a more powerful strike as you stand further away from the ball.

draw shot

To draw your shot, remember these simple steps:

  1. Place the ball in the opposite direction of your left armpit.
  2. Keep your body in a closed position relative to the target. A line between your front and back foot must point to the left of your target.
  3. Swing along the path while ensuring the face is aimed at your target during impact.

Sometimes, you need a stronger grip to hit a draw better. That is, your left hand must be more visible than your right hand to hit and rotate the head quicker.

What Is a Fade?

A fade is the opposite of a draw. What that means is:

fade shot

Setting Up a Fade Golf Shot

With a fade, you place a spin on the ball as you put the club face slightly open relative to the swing path, not to the target line.

If you swing the right way, you’ll see that the club head returns to the same impact position as you set back the toe from the golf ball. If you had the clubface open relative to the target line, expect your golf shots to be way off your target.

Setting up a fade is the complete opposite of setting up a draw. You want a steeper plane with fades to achieve an upright swing plane.

setting up fade shot

You can do this by standing closer to the ball at the address, forcing your club back. If you’re a tall player, you’ll notice you tend to make a natural fade more often.

To fade effectively, follow these steps:

  1. Aim the face at your target with a normal grip, but rotate your right hand towards the left.
  2. Open your stance with your feet at the left of your target.
  3. Swing along the path of your feet while you can consider placing the ball slightly forward in your stance.

Benefits of a Shot Shape

Whether you hit a draw or a fade, you’ll end up finishing your shot off-center. Both shot shapes put a bit of sidespin on the ball. You’ll notice it’s better most of the time than a straight shot.

Shaping your shot can help you from setting up in the tee box to getting your approach shot.

shot shape

Shaping Your Golf Shot off the Beaten Path

When aiming for a dogleg left hole, you’ll get closer to the pin with a draw or fade than hitting the ball straight. A draw or fade curves your ball left or right, making it reach further towards the pin.

Overcoming Bottlenecks

You’ll also find a draw or fade helpful in avoiding hazards or obstacles along the ball’s travel path.

While you can hit the ball straight to avoid coming up short in an obstacle, a draw or fade can help you get closer to the pin while avoiding all the obstacles.

Are Draw and Fade Always Better Than a Straight Shot?

When comparing these two, this question always arises.

Simply put, it depends on the golf play. You can hit a fade or draw to avoid obstructions in the path, but you want to keep your golf shots straight on more fairways that are too narrow to cross.

draw shot playing

When to Hit Fades or Hit Draws?

Should you draw or fade your shot? First, there are some things you need to consider as a golfer.

Only a robot can hit the ball straight down its target. In fact, golfers tend to either draw or fade a shot during a golf game.

Beginners test first if they can better hit a draw or hit a fade on a golf course. If you can draw and fade a shot, you’re off to a good start.

There are various benefits of having draw and fade shots. Let’s see what a draw or fade can offer.

Drawing a Golf Ball: When to Use It

When hitting a draw, expect the ball to have a lower trajectory and pronounced topspin. With that, your shot gets an extra roll and covers more distance closer to your target.


In theory, you’ll cover the same distance with both draw and fade. That is, if parameters such as ball speed, launch angle, and spin rate are the same.

Yet, you’ll find that a controlled draw goes further than a fade in reality. This observation is inevitable, considering that you get fewer spins when you hit a draw.

Setting up the Approach

Draw shots can improve your play on dog-legged holes by putting your tee shot in a good position to the green with a clear approach.

Then, you can opt to run the ball to the green’s back. Otherwise, you can land the ball with a controlled fade if the pin is near the front.

Cons of Draws

You need more control in hitting draw shots to avoid problems like a duck hook. Make sure you get the right tempo on your golf swing to score a good draw.

playing draw shot

Getting further than the target can cost you an extra shot to your scorecard as you find it more difficult to recover.

You want to avoid excessive sidespins on your ball, so it won’t land on hard greens and dry fairways. Also, draws can be challenging for right-handers when dealing with right dog-legged holes.

Fading a Golf Ball: When to Use It

Most golfers prefer fades over draws for several reasons.

For one, a fade produces a higher trajectory and backspin. With that, you could expect the ball to land more gently and settle a bit faster with less rollout.

In general, a fade will travel a couple of yards shorter than a draw will do. It could be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on the circumstances.

playing fade shot

What Do Golf Enthusiasts Say?

Golfers who hit the ball over long distances tend to fade shot because it’s easier to control.

You might’ve heard about a power fade, referring to a tee-ball flying high and long until it drops down immediately to the right.

Amateur golfers can attest to this truth as they find it easier to control fades than draws. It’s easier to fix a ball going airborne with fades than a low hook struggling to get off the ground.

playing golf

You’ll also find more professional golfers use fades more often over draws like Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus, and Dustin Johnson. Yet, some players like Tiger Woods can manage to hit a draw and fade to win majors [1].

Cons of Fades

Like draws, you’ll also face some challenges when you hit a fade.

To avoid a slice, make sure the face touches the ball at the right angle. Also, you should avoid fading in draw-friendly dog-legged holes as it can hamper your shot from reaching a green in regulation.


This draw vs. fade shot comparison has shown that it’s still up to your judgment which shot better suits your demands, capabilities, and overall play.

But before heading off to your next game, watching a few videos online on fading or drawing can help you significantly. Things like swing path or obstructions like a dogleg are still key factors to when a golfer should hit fade or draw.