How to Hit a Draw in Golf
As a golfer we’ve all faced this dilemma: Beautiful tee shot, middle of the fairway, sitting 140 yards from the hole but….the green is kidney shaped with the hole tucked in the upper left half protected by deep and gnarly bunker that you desperately want to avoid.
The shot calls for a draw over the fat part of the green, long enough to miss the bunker, high enough to land softly yet curling ever-so-slightly to a birdie opportunity 10-15 feet away.
But here’s the problem.
You don’t have that shot in your bag. Instead you stand over the ball, draw back your 8-iron and hit your patented fade, leaving the ball 60 feet from the pin, where you pray to the golf gods that you don’t three putt.
Make no mistake, being able to shape shots is the step that ultimately breaks 80. If you are stuck in that purgatory of an average score in the mid-80’s, then being able to address the golf ball and know with confidence that you can hit a draw is the next step in breaking through.
So where do we start? Where all great golfers spend hours: the driving range.
For our purposes you’ll need two clubs, one for to lay on the grass to mark your target line and the other is the club you’ll be using. I also suggest hitting with a club that has loft, like an 8-iron.
In the following paragraphs I will lay out a plan of attack that is simple but highly effective at helping you to hit a draw.
At the end of this lesson, if you follow these simple steps, you should learn the fundamentals to creating shots that draw to the target rather than fade away from it.
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How to Hit a Draw – Driving Range Set Up
The first step is to lay the an additional club on the ground to act as your target line. This is where we want the ball to finish.
If your range has stationery targets, like greens or yard markers, then I recommend using those to judge the quality of your shots. Don’t get lost in fine detail when setting your line.
We just need some sort of reference point so we can see how much draw your golf shot had after hitting it. If you’re drawing the ball too much or hooking it, check out this article on How to Fix a Duck Hook Golf Swing.
Also…if you can hit your 8-iron 140 yards and the green on the range is set for 160 yards, don’t go reaching for the 6-iron. We are only worried about the shape of the shot and finding the feel for the draw.
So after you set the club on the ground at the target line with the shaft pointing at the target, address the ball.
Put the club face square behind the ball facing the target, along your line your club is setting for you. Remember this club face position later when it is time to address the ball to hit shots. This is where our club face needs to be.
Okay, relax and step away from the ball. This is where the fun starts.
Hitting a Draw – Body Position
To shape the draw shot you must swing on an inside-to-outside swing path. This is done by closing the body to the target.
How we do that is we turn our body slightly away from the target. We square up our shoulders, hips and feet like normal but we leave the club face addressed to the original target. This is what is known as a “closed” position.
Be forewarned, this setup will feel unnatural. Your body will be telling you that you are aimed to the far right of the intended target.
This is why range time is so incredibly important. You need time to get used to this position and for what comes next: the swing.
So at this point our club face is square to the target and our stance is closed. Keep your front foot a few inches away from the club on the ground.
If you are properly positioned in the lower half of your body, your feet and hips should be aligned and pointing to the right. This is the swing path you will follow.
We want to take the club along this inside path, along the line our feet are providing. Everything about your backswing should feel normal. You should have the proper turn away from the golf ball.
Hitting a Draw – The Down Swing
Where most amateurs get in trouble is on the downswing.
With this unnatural stance there will be a desire to try to alter the path of the club in an attempt to make the ball go straight at the target. Fight this urge. It is a recipe for disaster.
Remember we are trying to impart side spin to the ball to make it draw to the target.
To do this we must bring the club back along the foot line and then finish the shot along the same path. This is where the “out” part comes in the swing equation. We want the swing to feel and exist outside the target line, but along the line our feet are providing.
If the ball is struck soundly then your ball should go well right of the target and draw back to the line the club along ground has established.
My favorite tip is to spend several minutes without a golf ball simply working the swing path. Let the club hover slightly above the ground when swinging. Just visualize the swing path because again it is foreign to you.
After a few minutes lower the club and try to clip the grass with each swing. Once you get the feel for the swing, then incorporate the golf ball.
Article to Read: How to Hit Down on the Ball
Common Errors When Trying to Hit a Draw in Golf
Briefly let’s talk about the most common error in attempting the draw.
One of the biggest mistakes I see from amateurs is using a very strong grip with the dominant hand. For example, for the right handed golfer, the right hand constructs the bottom of the grip. It has a significant impact on the draw shot.
If the right hand is too strong on the swing be prepared for low duck hooks. This is a mental obstacle. Your body is telling you that you are aimed way to too far to the right and you need to compensate. Again, fight this urge!
A proper grip with an inside-out swing are two essentials that have to be maintained.
After you feel comfortable making contact with this unorthodox stance I encourage you to work on making slight adjustments to your setup.
This experimentation will allow you more comfort and confidence along the way. By experimenting you will see that an adjusted setup will give the ball different flights, different spin and different trajectory. You need to have these tools in your arsenal when you are trying to break 80.
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