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Golf Lessons in Ocala: What is the Difference Between a Draw and a Fade?

Of the 25 million Americans who played golf in 2021, how many are confident about shaping their golf shots? It's a good question, and the answer is likely to be a low number. Being able to step up to a shot, see the best trajectory of the ball, and execute what you are planning is often incredibly difficult.

If you are a beginner golfer, you may simply be content with hitting your ball straight, getting it up in the air, and towards the target. However, for improving and more experienced golfers, it's important to know how to shape shots. Golf lessons in Ocala are your best friend here and the Country Club of Ocala is your premier choice for professional golf lessons.

In this blog post, we are going to focus on the difference between a draw and a fade. Listening to golf commentators, you'll likely hear these phrases mentioned over and over, but what do they actually mean and how can you hit these different shots? Let's take a closer look.

Understand Draw vs Fade

Simply put, both a draw and a fade put a slight amount of sidespin on the ball. This results in the shot finishing slightly off-center. Generally speaking, too much sidespin is not a good thing, however, a slight side-to-side movement is often seen as optimal for many shots.

Every golfer swings the club differently and so you may notice that you have a natural draw or fade. More experienced players will also have the ability to purposefully shape their shots, choosing a fade or a draw as necessary.

The actual difference between a draw and a fade is very simpleit's the direction that the ball travels. For a right-handed player, a fade travels slightly left-to-right, while a draw travels slightly right-to-left.

Why Is Shot Shaping Important?

If a golf hole was completely straight and had no bunkers or other hazards to worry about, and the green was flat with the hole cut in the center, shot shaping probably wouldn't be very important. However, that's not the case! Having the ability to shape shots has benefits both from the tee box to the fairway and from the fairway to the green.

Understanding the Draw

To give you an example of these benefits, let's look at a few different hole setups. Consider a dogleg left hole, which starts out straight but makes a turn to the left on the approach to the green. For a right-handed golfer, the optimal shot shape here is most often the draw, as it curves the ball around that leftward bend closer to the hole.

Hitting a fade on this hole increases the likelihood that you will find the right rough. Simply hitting the ball straight does give you a good chance of finding the fairway, but your ball will likely be further away from the pin, making a more difficult second shot.

Understanding the Fade

Let's take a look at another example. This time, imagine that you are hitting your approach shot to the green, with the flag over on the right side and protected by a greenside bunker. Hitting the ball straight for the flag is risky given the bunker and with a draw, you are limited with the amount of green to the right of the flag.

Therefore, the best shot to hit here is a fade. It allows you to bring the ball in from left to right and play safe, while also getting closer to the pin than you would by hitting a straight shot to the center of the green.

Another point worth highlighting here is that both a fade and a draw increase the overall spin on your ball, meaning that it is less likely to roll off the green on approach shots.

How to Hit a Draw or Fade

The best way to learn how to hit a draw (and a fade) is to take in-person classes. Here, we will simply break down the main steps golfers take when hitting these kinds of shots.

  • Use a strong grip
  • Aim to the right of your target
  • Draw an imaginary line to shoot with a rounded swing
  • Straighten your right arm out immediately on the downswing

These are the basic steps for hitting a draw.

  • Use a weaker grip than when hitting a draw
  • Aim slightly to the left
  • Hit with a slightly open face
  • Avoid over-swinging (this encourages a slice)
  • Off the tee, tee the ball lower and line up the center of the ball with the driver's sweet spot

Now that you understand the basic, you will be able to understand the reasons a professional golfer choose a certain type of shot the next time you are watching an event on TV or in person. Notice, too, how certain players tend to prefer a draw or a fade.

Sign Up for Golf Lessons in Ocala

The absolute best way to improve your game (and master both the draw and the fade) is to sign up for golf lessons in Ocala. Here at the Country Club of Ocala, our golf lessons are customized to your needs and help you to see improvement in the game.

Whether you are a beginner setting out on your journey through golf or an experienced player looking to perfect a part of your game, we are here to help. Click here to learn more about our golf lessons. See you out there!