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Advantages of the Golf Fade Vs. Draw

by
author image L.P. Biersdorfer
L.P. Biersdorfer has been writing about sports, travel and pop culture for more than 20 years. She has been published in "CosmoGirl," "Racing Milestones," "Florida Magazine," "New York Moves," "The Financial Playbook" and Motorsport.com. Biersdorfer also contributed to the 2004, 2005 and Silver Screen editions of "Trivial Pursuit."
Advantages of the Golf Fade Vs. Draw
Golfer finishing a swing on a golf course. Photo Credit warrengoldswain/iStock/Getty Images

When a golfer becomes proficient at the game, they can begin to add dimensions to their swing that will allow them to become even more accomplished. One of the most important things a golfer can do is learn how to "shape" shots off the tee and from the fairway. The two basic shot shapes, from the perspective of a right-handed golfer, are the fade and the draw. With a fade, the ball moves from right to left, and with a draw the ball moves from left to right. For a left-handed golfer, the movements are reversed. Each shot shape has distinct advantages when it comes to improving your score.

Natural Swing

Typical golfers will have a natural fade or draw when they hit the ball. Once a golfer becomes consistent with his swing, his learns to maximize his performance by properly aiming where he wants the ball to land with the natural fight path generated by their swing. The disadvantage with this strategy comes on difficult courses that require golfers to hit a variety of shots to score well. Some holes demand that the ball moves from right to left with a draw, or left to right with a fade. The inability to perform both types of shots can put the golfer in bad situations on the course.

Fade Away

Many golfers favor the fade because it's a more common for amateurs to hit it rather than a draw. A controlled fade has its advantages. The golfer aims to the left of the target to allow the ball to move from left to right, which creates backspin in the ball. This shot will not go as far as a draw, but it's much easier to control the ball when the shot calls from accuracy over distance. Too much topspin, common in a draw, can sometimes lead to the the shot rolling too far once it hits the ground, causing it to find long rough, a sand bunker or a water hazard. A fade sacrifices distances for control and can improve your score.

On the Draw

Golfers who champion distance over control favor hitting a draw shot. A right-handed player aims to the right of the target and plays a flight path that moves left and lands in the desired area. Because a draw creates topspin, the ball is likely to hit the ground and roll longer than on a fade shot. On courses that require great length in shots, a draw can be a great advantage. The downside of the draw as opposed to the fade can be a lack of control. Even a well-struck draw can travel too far and find hazard areas. A poorly hit draw shot will hook hard to the left and the ball could possibly end up out of bounds.

Comfort and Confidence

Every golfer wants to shoot the best possible score, but "going low" isn't easy and it takes a long time to achieve the necessary skill level to shoot in the 90s, 80s or even 70s. Amateur golfers should practice with their natural swing and see where the ball goes. Most amateurs will naturally play a fade shot and eventually be able to aim left and have the ball move right and land the shot where they want it. Once comfort and confidence are achieved, then it will be time to work on different aspects of the game like shaping each shot.

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