Draw Vs Fade - Simple Tips To Shape The Ball

Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Alex Elliott shares some quick tips that will help you shape the ball left and right with ease

Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Alex Elliott shares his draw vs fade tips
Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Alex Elliott shares his draw vs fade tips
(Image credit: Future)

Understanding how to hit draws and fades has many advantages on the golf course, allowing you to access tight flags or find the optimal position on the fairway.

In this video and article, Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Alex Elliott runs through some simple steps to help you move the ball left and right with ease...

Alex Elliott Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach
Alex Elliott

Alex has a vibrant social media profile on YouTube and Instagram, supporting golfers across the globe with a variety of swing faults. Alex started out as a PGA professional following three years caddying on the European Tour, and has a wealth of experience in improving all areas of the golf swing.

Draw vs Fade – practice makes perfect

One of the first things you should consider when practising on the driving range is how you receive feedback. The one I use in the video above requires very little equipment, and gives you a great opportunity to assess your progress quickly.

Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Alex Elliott demonstrating an alignment drill to hit draw vs fade

(Image credit: Future)

All you need to set this up is two alignment sticks, with one lying on the ground pointing at your target, and the other stuck into the ground that you're going to shape the ball around.

How do I hit a fade in golf?

The first thing to focus on is, what needs to happen at impact to create this shape? Ultimately, you need an out-to-in club path - so one that’s travelling a little left of target - and a face that’s open to the path but not pointing right or your target. 

It is easier than it sounds, as a lot of the adjustments required can be made through your address position. It might seem obvious, but knowing how to aim in golf is essential, especially for shaping the ball, as when you are trying to hit a fade, you should be setting up a little left of your target. This will promote the desired path you are looking for.

PGA pro Alex Elliott showing how to grip the club when trying to play a fade

Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Alex Elliott demonstrating how to grip the club a little tighter with the ring and little fingers when trying to hit a fade

(Image credit: Future)

Then, when you grip the club, hold it a little bit tighter than you usually would in the top two fingers - that is, the ring and little finger of your lead hand. The reason for this is it will reduce how much the clubface closes through impact, meaning it is more likely to stay open to your path.

From this point, swing away and try to get the ball starting left of your target and fading. Don’t be afraid to get creative here and work on hitting some big shapes like Bubba Watson. It might sound daft, but the number one rule when trying to hit a fade is to make sure you hit a fade, either with more or less shape than you intended.

What is the easiest way to hit a draw in golf?

The draw is a shot that so many golfers wish they could hit. Adding it to your repertoire could help you cut your handicap in no time, and it isn't that difficult to master. Line your body up to the right of the target, which will encourage the in-to-out path required and set the club up closed to your body. Be careful to make sure the clubface is not pointing left of the alignment sticks.

Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach demonstrating how to hit a draw

Aim your body and club right of target when trying to hit a draw

(Image credit: Future)

Strengthening your grip slightly, and altering your ball position so it's further back in your stance than normal, will also help you create the desired shape as it will promote an earlier strike. This will make it easier to keep the path and face pointing right.

And again, don’t be afraid to exaggerate in order to make sure you get the ball moving right to left. Finally, you can release the hands and arms naturally through impact as you don't have to worry about holding the face open.

Alex Elliott
Top 50 Coach

Location: Mottram Hall 

Alex spent a great deal of time learning the game from fellow northwest golfer, Andrew Murray, who was a European Tour regular from 1979 to 1995. He spent three years on the European Tour caddying for Andrew’s son, Tom, before taking his PGA qualifications. His passion for the game and personality in front of the camera has helped him to create a thriving social media platform on Instagram and YouTube, where he offers a whole host of tips and advice to help viewers shoot lower scores.

Most significant influences on your teaching:

Mike Bender's book, 'Build The Swing Of A Lifetime', which I read during my PGA qualifications. He uses so many different tools to help students deliver the club better when hitting the golf ball. Andrew Murray, too. He helped form the way I interact with golfers and simplified what can be a complex game for a club golfer.

Advice for practice: 

I like to get students to work in sets of five golf balls – three drills shots to two course shots. The drill shots have no consequence, but with the two course shots, I ask the student to create a green or fairway and go through a full routine.

Greatest success story:

One of my students hadn’t played golf for ten years - he'd lost his love for the game. After watching my online Instagram and YouTube content, he came for several golf lessons and has now joined a local golf club. Knowing I've helped get someone back into golf... you can't beat that.