A draw is the most sought-after ball flight in the amateur game. Every golfer wants to know how to hit a draw.
Golfers stuck with the dreaded slice stands in awe and envy when a golfing partner hits a high draw soaring through the air, and with a slight curve returns to the safety of the fairway then rolls out for miles.
For many beginners and high handicap golfers, a draw is what they dream of but lack the confidence that they too can attain the heights of hitting a draw with a driver off the tee. More experienced golfers lack the consistency to be able to draw the ball at will.
What is a Draw?
A draw starts with a ball flight away from your body towards the edge of the fairway on the side you were looking toward at the address and slowly curves back towards the middle of the fairway. Once it lands, unless the fairway is extremely soft or waterlogged, the ball will roll out for several yards.
The curve of a draw is generally around fifteen yards from the outer edge of the curve to the landing zone.
Compared to a fade, you can expect to gain between 5 and 10 yards with a draw.
What Must I do to Hit a Draw?
You have read all available material, watched 100’s of YouTube videos from experts, and spent hours on the driving range, but a consistent draw still eludes you.
Yes, you may even meet with success a few times and that keeps bringing you back for more effort in attaining that elusive goal of hitting a draw at will.
You crush the ball off the tee, starting it fifteen yards or so out to the right, and wait for it to swing back into the middle of the fairway.
But the movement never comes.
I experienced this a few times and one particular instance that stands out in my mind is when I played at the Gary Player Country Club in South Africa.
Standing on the 18th tee I wanted to draw the ball to land closer to the water for a shorter approach shot. I let rip with the driver towards the right edge of the fairway wanting to draw it back to the middle or left side of the fairway.
The ball just carried on straight right until the caddy in pure desperation shouted at the ball “Come Back, All is Forgiven!!!!!”
The lack of a draw on command is not due to a lack of ability.
Some equipment has a fade bias and that will make it extremely difficult to hot that soaring draw you want. Have the equipment assessed to determine if it is holding you back.
Your understanding of what is required to hit a draw may have been clouded by the many articles and videos you have absorbed on the subject.
In your interest, it is necessary to have an open mind and follow the steps in this article without thinking about other instructions that you have encountered.
Clubhead Position vs Swing Path
Originally the prevalent belief was that your swing path at impact determines the path of the golf ball. This has changed since the launch of golf launch monitors.
Research has shown that the position of the clubface at impact determines the path of the ball while the swing path determines the amount of curve.
As with all clubs, the neutral grip is the preferred grip for shaping your shots. A weak grip will leave the clubface too open while a strong grip creates a closed clubface.
The stronger grip will assist you in hitting a draw but make it more difficult to control the curve.
The golf ball must be teed up in line with the instep of your leading foot.
It is ideal to impact the golf ball on the upswing of your driver. The tee height will be determined by whether your swing is shallow or steep.
As mentioned earlier the position of the clubhead at impact plays a determining role in the direction of the ball flight after impact.
Find your landing area target, point your clubface right of the target to produce a draw
Your body position plays a significant role in the swing required to produce a draw. Aim your feet, hips, and shoulders further to the right than the clubface.
This will in effect close the clubface in relation to the swing path thus generating spin toward the outside of the ball creating a draw.
To exaggerate the inside-out swing path you can drop your right foot back an inch or two at the address.
Just remember that the clubface is the biggest factor in the direction that the ball starts. However, the swing patch determines the curve on the ball.
This implies that an open clubface will direct the ball to the direction required for a draw, depending on your trailing hand.
The swing path will determine the amount of curve that you generate. Your swing path must be outside of the direction that the clubface is pointing.
You should not make wholesale changes to your swing to hot a draw.
The swing you have built is sufficient, the alignment of your body and the clubface will be the factors that generate the draw ball flight. Shallow out your driver swing.
An error that occurs during the swing, especially, with the driver, is that golfers take it back too steep and are not able to flatten it during the downswing.
This results in a steep downswing making it extremely difficult to generate the inside-out swing path required for a draw.
Initiate the backswing with your upper body, not your arms. Rotate your upper body, pushing your trailing hip back and upwards. Do not sway toward the trailing side.
The rotation of the upper body will push your leading shoulder back, tucking it in under your chin. This will furthermore assist in creating a flatter backswing and prevent an over-the-top or outside-in swing.
Beware of opening the clubface at this stage since you require a closed clubface to hit a draw.
A critical part of the transition process is the weight shift, not sway.
Lack of weight shift to your leading side will result in your body hanging back and create a weak shot. Moreover, this will produce a more open clubface at impact negating the alignment process.
The downswing is initiated by the lower body pushing your hips slightly forward without swaying, transferring your weight to your leading leg, and rotating your hips.
Keep your shoulders back as long as possible to prevent the upper body from spinning toward the target and shifting to the back foot.
Minimize forearm rotation through impact as excessive forearm rotation toward the target creates a closed clubface prior to impact.
The key factor for starting the ball in the right direction is that the clubface points to the right at impact.
You do not stop the swing at impact. You need the momentum to release your club and complete the swing. Keep your arms fully extended after impact until approximately 45 degrees in front of your body.
The swing will pull your body around your spine and finish with your chest facing slightly upwards and towards the target. Also, feel like your arms just swung around your body, and the club didn’t stop moving until it lost all its momentum.
Finishing strong is a terrific way to ensure that all the preparation and build-up culminating in a strong, proud, and balanced finish.
Keep to your normal swing and keep the tempo going. There is no need to swing and faster or rush the swing. Your normal swing speed, tempo, and path are all you need.
The direction of the ball is managed by the clubhead angle and your body alignment.
Trying to change factors that need no adjustment will cause loads of frustration when assessing the reasons for not hitting a draw.
Visualize a Draw
The mental aspect of golf is highly underrated by amateur golfers. Professional golfers visualize their shots and the shape they want to achieve. This relates to all aspects of the game including putting.
Part of your pre-shot routine includes swinging your club to “feel” the shot. This is a perfect time to visualize the ball flying on the path that you have in mind. This will create the confidence that you can execute the draw successfully.
Please watch this YouTube video for more information on hitting a draw
Hitting a draw is high on the priority list of many golfers, and they frequently try without much success. This is not due to the lack of ability, rather the lack of understanding of the steps required.
The amount of instruction available on the internet can be extremely confusing and hamper your progress.
Stick to your refined swing, work from a stable base, flatten your swing, shift your weight, close your clubface, and swing in-to-out.
It sounds like a lot to remember but it’s not much different from what you would normally do, except for the closed clubface and body alignment.
Work on squaring the face to the target through impact, not in the direction of your swing. Practice makes perfect.
Happy swinging and drawing.
- How To Grip a Golf Club. A Visual Guide & Different Grip Options
- How to Increase Clubhead Speed (And Hit The Ball Further Than Your Mates)
- How to Put Backspin on a Golf Ball: Golf Instruction
Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.