How To Hit Draws And Fades

Kevin Craggs explains how you can learn to hit draws and fades to become a more complete player

A golfer at the top of his backswing hitting a tee shot on the 14th hole at Royal Troon
(Image credit: Future)

Shaping a shot to a target just how you imagined is undoubtedly one of the greatest feelings in golf. Having this ability also gives you a real advantage over your competition at whatever level you play at. So, in the video and article below, renowned coach Kevin Craggs explains the theory and demonstrates how you can hit draws and fades like the pros.

Thanks to the shot tracing technology that has become such a pivotal aspect of the TV coverage, fans can now get a real sense of how the world's best shape the ball. Even with the current crop of the best premium golf balls that are harder to curve than those used by previous generations, there are still some shots that leave us viewers awestruck.

So, how can you learn to hit draws and fades and add another dimension to your game? The theory, at least, is actually quite straightforward.

A lot of it comes down to the set-up. By making small alterations to your address position, you'll be able to work through the nine different shot shapes - something made famous by Tiger Woods in his pomp.

These consist of high, low and medium-flighted shots that draw, fade and stay straight. But we're going to focus only on draws and fades here.

Ultimately, it all comes down to the correlation of the face and path. Where the ball starts is dictated by where the clubface is pointing at impact, and the swing path relative to that will control the curvature.

Hitting a fade

It's a shot that is seemingly becoming more and more popular among the world's best who are happy to sacrifice a few yards for the added control. Even Rory McIlroy, who ascended to the top of the game by overpowering courses with his delightful draw, has added this shot to his locker in recent years.

For right-handed golfers, this means starting the ball left of target with an out-to-in swing path which is 'more left' than the clubface.

To achieve this, you'll want to get your feet, knees, hips and shoulders aligned left at address. The club should also be aiming this way but you want it to be open relative to the rest of your body.

When practising, use alignment sticks to make this process easier, placing one in front of your feet to inform your set-up and another pointing at your target. This will help you get into the proper address position and give you a visual aid to make sure you're swinging out-to-in.

Hitting a draw

In order to hit a draw, the opposite applies. To get the ball moving right-to-left through the air, you want the club to be working from the inside with a clubface that is open to the target but closed to the path.

Use your alignment sticks again to get your body into position and aiming right, which will encourage the in-to-out swing direction required. With a clubface that is pointing right of your target but left of your body, the ball should draw nicely. If you struggle with a slice, working on this will help you learn how to stop cutting across the golf ball.

It's not something you should take to the course until you've spent some time practising, but providing you trust the path, trust the position of the face and execute the shot confidently, the ball will draw. And likewise with the fade.

You won't be able to see it on the big screen like the pros, but pulling off one of these shots exactly as intended is one of the best feelings in golf.

Andrew Wright
Staff Writer

A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.


Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.


As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.


What's in Andy's bag?

Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)

3-wood: TaylorMade M1 (15°)

Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)

Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1