For so many golfers, hitting a draw is a lifetime pursuit – something they see the pros control with ease, but find to be a frustrating impossibility when trying it themselves on the golf course.
This has always surprised and confused me, as many people I have seen play – even people with very low handicaps – lament their fade, despite the fact they play pretty good golf with it.
Now, it goes without saying that excessive left or right movement in the form of a slice or hook, no matter how consistent, is undesirable (we all know that one player who aims up the left tree-line only to carve it into the right rough).
But if you are a lifelong slicer looking to find that elusive draw, learning how to hit one may do wonders for your game.
Playing a draw can be beneficial for several reasons, the most appealing usually being distance.
If you’re desperate to kiss that fade goodbye and master the draw, read on below.
Table of contents
How do you hit a draw?
To hit a draw you need to do two things: keep the club face closed and create an ‘in-to-out’ path. If you implement a strong grip, this can also help you to hit a draw more consistently, but may make it harder to hit a fade when required.
While there is no silver bullet to make your swing ‘slice-proof’, grip, path and club face are the three things that will promote or hinder a draw.
Master your control of these technical elements and it’s likely you will be able to pull off a draw more often than not.
Let’s take a look at each in more detail.
Draw tip 1: Strengthen your grip
Hitting a draw will be made easier by using a strong grip.
This is a grip that causes the club to come through and impact the ball in a more closed position, sending the ball to the left if you are a right hander.
This video from GG SwingTips explores the difference between strong and weak grips:
Draw tip 2: Create an in-to-out path
The path your club takes on the backswing and through the ball can have a huge impact on whether the resulting ball flight is a draw, fade or dead straight, but works in conjunction with club face alignment.
Assuming your club face is aligned straight towards your target at contact, an in-to-out path will impart sidespin on the ball, causing it to mover from the right-to-left.
An out-to-in club path will likely have the opposite effect on ball flight, producing a left-to-right fade for a right-hander.
Whether your club face is open or closed will work in conjunction with your path, sometimes accentuating a particular ball flight, and in other circumstances, mitigating it.
For example, if you hit the ball with an in-to-out path but your club face is open at address, you might end up with a relatively straight shot.
While incorrect actions in your swing aren’t necessarily ideal, many people play for years with multiple compensations and idiosyncrasies that still allow them to play solid golf.
Draw tip 3: Close your club face
As mentioned earlier, club face alignment at impact will cause the ball to draw, fade, or travel in a largely straight direction.
If your club face is closed – angled to the left of your target at impact – then the ball will likely spin off to the left (depending on path).
Sometimes, combinations such as an in-to-out path and a closed grip can lead to interesting ball flights, such as a trajectory where the ball shoots out to the right before aggressively hooking back to the left.
The image below provides an excellent visualisation of how the above factors interact to determine ball flight.
Where do you aim when hitting a draw?
In general, if you are trying to hit a draw you should aim to the right of your target. This will allow the ball to start out to the right before curling back towards your target line.
Aiming right in order to hit a draw does come with some added actions though, as aligning feet, body and club face out to the right may just see you end up hitting a straight right shot (otherwise known as a block).
In order to bring the ball back around to the left with a draw, the face needs to be slightly closed, too.
As Mark Crossfield explains in the video below, aiming out to the right can help you swing in a more in-to-out manner, promoting a draw.
However, even with this path, if your club is facing out right at impact, you mightn’t see the level of right to left moving you were hoping for.
Aiming to the right and getting that in-to-out path, in conjunction with closing the face through impact, will be more likely to get that much desired drawing shape.
How do I hit a draw with my irons?
Hitting a draw with your irons is focused around three main things: grip, path and face alignment. A stronger grip will help the ball draw from right to left, but be wary of strengthening this too much as it will deloft the club and cause a lower ball flight.
To hit a draw with your irons, it’s recommended you focus on club face alignment through impact, and path.
As stated above, a strong grip can help promote a draw, but the downside to this will be a delofted club face.
Turning the shaft anticlockwise in your hands to strengthen the grip takes loft off the club, and what you might find is that your draw becomes a problematic low draw – even a duck-hook.
This will affect your distances too, because if your 7-iron normally has 34 degrees of loft and your change in grip delofts it to 30 degrees, it may now travel the same distance as your 6-iron.
While this will produce that extra distance so many of us desire, it could also throw your club selection out of whack and make it harder for you to hold greens with clubs with which you previously had no issues doing so.
For these reasons, many golf instructors recommend developing a draw by focusing on creating an in-to-out path with a slight closing of the club face through impact.
Follow this link to watch a great alignment stick drill where you can practice your takeaway to encourage a draw path (from the 4-minute mark).
How do I hit a draw with my driver?
To hit a draw with your driver, focus on aiming just right of your target and swinging slightly from the inside, with the ball teed up next to your front foot – this will encourage an in-to-out path. It can also be helpful to strengthen your grip, as this will help to promote a closed club face.
Now it is important, even with the driver, not to close the face too much as excessive rotation of the hands and wrists could lead to extremely damaging duck-hooks.
The reason I say stronger grips aren’t as damaging with the driver boils down to one thing: the tee.
Hitting off a tee gives you enough extra forgiveness when compared to off the ground that you can allow for a little delofting of the club, yet compensate with an upward strike.
As explained in this video, the optimum way to draw the ball with driver is to focus on your alignment at set up.
Choose a point in front of your ball in line with your target, then shift your shoulders and feet just slightly to the right.
Pair this with an in-to-out club path and a slightly closed face through the strike, and the ball should curve from right-to-left.
The key here is to make sure you don’t just stop at alignment.
While this is the easiest part to do since it all comes prior to the actual shot itself, parts two and three are vital, as out-to-in swings or neutral-to-open club faces will see the change in alignment cause blocks (or even block slices) if this is where the adjustment ends.
How do you set up to hit a draw?
To set up to hit a draw, you need to adjust your alignment. Pick a point between your target line and the ball, and close your feet and shoulders to be pointing just right of target. This will help create the in-to-out path needed to draw the ball.
Some pros may not argue for a shift in alignment to hit a draw, so long as other fundamental aspects of a draw swing are followed, but this will depend on the golfer and any mental demons they may have.
If you are trying to tame a slice and the first thing you are told is to aim to the right, the anxiety presented by this may be too much for any average hacker to handle when trying to implement swing changes.
As YouTube golf instructors Rick Shiels and Dan Whittaker discuss, setting up with the ball slightly back in your stance will help you hit a draw that avoids over-rotation of the hands through impact – something that will see the ball start left, and continue to go left and miss greens and fairways.
Like anything in the golf swing, it all just comes down to practice, feel and possibly even some time spent with a recommended pro who will fine-tune these elements of your game in a personalised way.
How do you hit a low draw?
To hit a low draw, you want to focus on an in-to-out path, coupled with a slightly closed club face and the ball being positioned back in your stance. Moving the ball back at address will help deloft the club and make the shot come out low and drawing.
The key here, by far, is the ball back in your stance, causing you to make contact with the club shaft while it’s leaning forward.
Pair this with a standard in-to-out path and a closing of the face and the result will be a draw that comes out low.
To play around with the height and ferociousness of the draw, I would do two things: move the ball farther back in the stance and strengthen your grip.
The further back the ball is in your stance, the more loft you will take off the club, hence the lower the trajectory.
A strengthened grip will further deloft the club and cause it to be closed through impact – just don’t go too far, as your draw could become a hook and run farther and farther away from your target.
If you’d like to know more about controlling trajectory, read our in-depth guide on manipulating ball flight.
Why can’t I hit a draw?
You can’t hit a draw for one of several reasons: path, grip and club face. If your grip is too weak or you swing with an ‘over the top’ path, it is likely you will hit a slice instead of a draw. If your club face is open at impact, this will also make it very hard to draw the golf ball.
If your club comes ‘over the top’ during the downswing – which is a common name for an out-to-in path – it will impart sidespin on the ball, causing it to go left-to-right.
The fix for this is to create an in-to-out path, which should have the opposite effect.
You may also present with an overly weak grip that causes the club face to be open at impact.
Try strengthening your grip to close this off through your shots.
Many golfers obsess over a draw, traditionally seen as the optimal golf shot.
Nowadays, this really does feel like an old myth, with many of the PGA Tour’s top players gaming a fade (heard of Dustin Johnson, anyone?).
Only a few weeks ago a friend told me that his golf pro – who plays off +4 – was trying to turn his draw into a slice to gain softer landings on the green.
Despite stories like this, there will always be people out there that just cannot see past the appeals of hitting a draw – if you fall into this category, then the tips above will hopefully help that dream become a reality.