Draw Vs Fade In Golf – What’s The Difference And What’s Better

Shaping your shots is an art that requires significant practice and patience. The ability to work your ball can increase your control around the course and help you escape tricky lies.

One question mid to high handicappers often ask us is what is better between a draw vs fade in golf? In this post, we address the question and help you identify which shape is best for your game.

Draw Vs Fade Overview

A draw and fade refer to the shape that your ball travels from the time you hit it to the time it lands. Both these shapes are controlled versus a hook or a slice.

Players induce a draw or fade to gain more control over their shots. Or to navigate around obstacles like trees.

What Exactly Is A Draw In Golf?

For right-handed golfers, a draw is a shot that shapes from right to left. Conversely, left-handers will move the ball from left to right.

It is a controlled shape, but players do run the risk of hooking their ball if it doesn’t come off right.


What Are The Benefits Of Hitting With A Draw?

A draw can help you dominate dog-legged holes by enabling you to put your tee shot into position for a clear approach to the green.

Furthermore, a consistent shot shape gives you the confidence to repeat your swing and set it up for every shot.


What Is The Downside Of A Draw?

The challenge with playing a draw is that it can induce a duck hook if you don’t get your tempo right on the swing.

Furthermore, the excessive sidespin from your draw can be problematic when landing on dry fairways and hard greens.

Finally, if you are a right-handed player and the hole doglegs to the right, a draw may put you in a position that makes it impossible to reach the green on your approach.


What Is A Fade In Golf?

A fade is a shot shape that moves in the opposite direction to a draw.

Therefore, if you are a right-hander the ball moves from left to right. Conversely, left-handers will move the ball right to left.


A fade is an excellent shot to have in your arsenal to work around trees and put yourself into a favorable position on dogleg holes.

Furthermore, it gives players consistency and control over their game, enabling them to set up, aim and swing the same on every hole.



Playing a fade can prompt a slice if the face makes contact with the ball at the wrong angle.

Furthermore, on dogleg holes that are draw-friendly, a fade may prevent you from reaching a green in regulation.


How Do You Hit A Draw?

The deciding factor in the shape of your shot is the angle that your clubface connects with the ball. And the path of your clubhead after impact.

Move your backfoot an inch or two at address to promote an in to out swing path. Aim your clubface a few degrees to the right of your target for right-handers.

Next, prompt your hands to move around your body rather than upwards to induce the draw shape.


How Do You Hit A Fade?

Right-handed golfers that are looking to hit a fade should focus on three elements. The first is to aim to the left of the target.

The second is to ensure that the clubface is slightly open but angled a few degrees left of the target.

The final element is your angle of attack. To pull off a fade you need to attack the ball from a steep angle.

This helps you get your hands passing through the ball to start it left and move it right.

Left-handed golfers simply need to aim to the right of their target and follow the remaining steps as is.


When To Hit A Draw?

If you are a right-hander, a draw is useful to hit on holes that have a dogleg left. Left-handers should pull this shot out when the hole doglegs right.

Furthermore, it is advisable to hit a draw if you have an obstruction in your line and need to get creative to circumnavigate it.


When To Hit A Fade?

Similar to a draw. Right-handers should use a fade if the hole doglegs right.

While this shot suits lefties on holes that dogleg left. A fade is also helpful to get out of trouble when obstacles hamper your line.


Is A Fade Easier To Hit Than A Draw?

That depends on the player. Some players may find that their game makes it easy to fade a ball. However, others find it easy to induce a draw.

In my experience, amateur golfers have less trouble hitting a solid fade over a draw. When players are learning to hit a draw, they tend to roll their hands across their body excessively, prompting a hook.

A fade offers new golfers more forgiveness in terms of the ball going airborne. A draw gone wrong can result in a low hook that struggles to get off the ground.


Does Hitting A Fade Or Draw Cost Distance?

Golfers who hit a solid fade and draw will find that there is little difference in distance.

However, for many of us amateur’s a draw tends to deliver more distance due to the lower spin versus a fade.

In a test conducted by Trackman, they found that golfers that hit a 10.5-degree driver gained 5 yards more with a draw over a fade.


Draw vs Fade for Lefties

As is the case for right-handers, a draw or fade can be used by lefties in different scenarios.

To prompt a draw, left-handers need to aim to the left of their target and work the ball from left to right.

Conversely, a fade for Left-handers requires the ball to start right and work it left towards their target.

For more details on how exactly to hit a draw and fade, you can refer to the early section in the article breaking that down.


Draw Or Fade Vs Straight Shots

Personally, I have always found that I hit a fade when I am playing my best golf.

The reason for this is that I can develop consistency. I aim, set up, and swing the same way every shot, which does wonders for my confidence.

With that in mind, is a draw or fade better than a straight shot? The answer is no. The reason for that is it depends on the lie of your ball.

If you have obstructions in your path, the best approach you can take is to shape your ball left or right. If you have a narrow fairway, you will want to keep your shot straight to avoid any possible trouble.


Draw Or Fade Vs Slice And Hook

Simply put, a slice and a hook are draws or fades that did not come off.

A slice follows the same shape as a fade, although it travels more across than forward, diminishing your distance.

A hook takes the same path as a draw. However, it snaps from right to left for right-handed golfers.


Do More Pros Hit A Fade Or Draw?

Most pros can hit a fade and a draw. However, according to Golf WRX’s Paul Liberatore, tour players prefer to hit a fade off the tee rather than a draw.

This is further backed up by World Number 1 Dustin Johnson, who says a fade gives him more control off the tee.

Regarding the fade shot, the great Lee Trevino remarked, “if you want to win majors, that is the shot you’ve got to use.”


Pros That Hit A Great Fade

Pros That Hit A Great Draw


How To Stop An Accidental Draw Or Fade?

The way I combatted unwanted shapes was to shorten my backswing and grip down on the club.

This swing promotes a fluid motion that sends your clubhead on a straight path, back and through.

Shortening your backswing increases your chance of connecting the ball with a square clubface and sending it straight rather than left or right.


Tips For Improving Your Draw And Fade Shots

Earlier in the article, we touched on how to hit a draw and a fade. These tips will lead you on the path to improving your ability to shape your shots.

The rest is up to you. It takes years to build up sufficient confidence to play a perfect draw or fade.

So much so that it took former World Number 1, Martin Kaymer, two years before he was comfortable playing a draw.

My advice to improve these shots is to spend your time on the range working on them instead of smashing bombs with your driver.


Conclusion On Draw vs Fade In Golf

In concluding our review of a draw vs fade in golf, the question is which is better? Following on from the advice of Lee Trevino, it is evident that a fade offers golfers more control than a draw.

However, it is a personal preference and depends on which shot a golfer is more confident in playing.

In an ideal world, you will know how to play both of these shots. It will go a long way in helping you to navigate any obstacles.

But, if you need to pick one, I would suggest focusing on the fade to enjoy more control from your shots.