Close this search box.
draw vs fade golf

Draw vs Fade Golf:
The Difference and Tips For Each

The terms draw and fade refer to two different styles of golf shots, denoting the path the ball takes from when you hit it with the club to when it hits the ground.

The purpose of the draw and the fade is for the player to deliberately control the path of the ball and the shape it takes.

This comes in handy for golfers when they need to avoid obstacles such as trees, or just gain more command over their game.

Both the draw and the fade offer their own advantages for players, so it’s important to learn the differences between them.

What is a Draw?

A draw is a golf shot that has a controlled shape, this shape shot will differ depending on whether the player is right or left-handed. For right-handed golfers, the draw shot will move from the right to the left.

For left-handed golfers, the draw shot will move in the opposite direction, from the left to the right.

How to Hit a Draw?

Hitting a draw requires a few small tweaks to your typical stance and swing – providing that you have already mastered your everyday shot swing.

Get into your initial stance and position over the golf ball before making the first tweak. Then follow these steps:

aim your shoulder hips and feet

Pros of a Draw:

Cons of a Draw:

What is a Fade in Golf?

The opposite of a draw shot, a fade is a type of shot in golf that is characterised by a controlled curved shape that moves the ball left to right (for right-handed players.)

For left-handed players the ball fades from right to left.

How To Hit a Fade?

The fade in golf is a little more challenging than the draw, especially for right-handed golfers.

Right-handed golfers will need to follow these three steps (opposite for left-handed golfers):

Pros of a Fade:

Cons of a Fade:

When is The Best Time To Hit a Draw?

The best time to hit a draw will depend on whether you are a right-handed or left-handed player.

For right-handed players, they will want to try the draw shot on holes that dogleg left, providing a slight curve for your draw shot to spin and curve around.

If it’s a hole where the green is out of sight, a well-executed draw shot could put you in a much more favorable position on the fairway or approach shot compared to a standard shot.

It’s also a good time to hit a draw shot if there is a large obstruction, such as a tree, bunker or water right in front of your line of play that you need to avoid.

For left-handed players, they will want to hit the draw when a hole curves left to the right, or when they need to veer to the right around a large obstruction.

When is The Best Time To Hit a Fade?

Just like the draw, the best time to hit a fade differs depending on whether you are a right or left-handed player.

The opposite of a draw, the fade should be used by right-handed players on holes that dogleg to the right.

The shot allows the ball to spin round from left to right, leaving you with the chance of landing on the fairway or green on a hole that curves round a corner.

You could also use this shot to take a left-curving path around a large obstacle.

For left-handed players, you want to hit a fade on holes that dogleg from right to left, or around obstructions where you want to take a right-curving path.

Which Shot Shape is Easiest?

When it comes to shot shapes, many golfers find the draw easiest, while others find the fade easier. This could also depend on whether you are a left-handed or right-handed player.

The difficulty level will largely depend on the individual and their swing swing path.

For players that naturally lean into a more choppy-style swing, will have a natural fade.

However, for players that have a more round and wide swing they may find the draw shot will be a more simple addition to their game.

Pros have found that it’s more common for amateur golfers to struggle hitting the draw more than the fade.

Many theorize this is because the amateur swing tends to naturally produce a hook – the process of which is not dissimilar to the set-up of a fade.

The steeper plane slice-style shot of a fade makes it easier for the golf ball to project through the air, making it easier to play than a draw. is Best For Distance?

For players who can hit both a good draw and a good fade there will be little to no difference between the distance.

However, for amateurs just learning the techniques of draw and spin, it may be easier to gain extra distance with a draw.

The fade has more height and ball spin than a draw, meaning it naturally will travel higher and shorter. This is compared to a draw shot that travels lower and with less side spin, leading to more distance.

What Do the Pros Think?

Although most pros hit a decent draw and fade, an amateur golfer may find it comforting to know that not all professional golfers have mastered these techniques.

However, out of the players that do tend to use both draw and fade shots, pros are more likely to opt for a fade shot over a draw – especially from the tee box.

Some pros claim the fade gives them a more controlled shot from the tee, providing advantageous placement to play the rest of the hole. And yet, famous fans of the draw include Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.

All-time great Jack Nicklaus loved the fade and was his go to shot. As did Lee Trevino, who once said “If you want to win majors, a fade is the shot.”

Final Thoughts of Draw vs Fade Golf

So the draw vs fade golf shots, which one these two shots is better? This will ultimately come down to personal preference, and which shots gives you more control over the ball and your golf swing.

It’s a great idea to learn how to reliably perform both shots, giving you more tools to navigate the golf course.

However, most will find that the fade shot is easiest to master and will come in the most useful during the game.