If you ask any golfer of any skill level what type of shot they would ideally like to be able to hit 100% of the time, the answer will always be the same – a draw.
Drawing the ball has naturally become associated with good golf because it is the go-to shot for most professional golfers as it gives them both consistency and distance off the tee.
One also can’t deny the sense of beauty and awe you feel when you hit a baby draw or when you watch the pro-tracer on TV shoot out to the right and gradually curve back into the middle of the fairway – it is truly something to behold!
While a consistent draw can do wonders for your game, it is important to not get too caught up with trying to achieve one at all costs. Most people tend to have a natural shot shape as a result of their swing and it’s not a bad idea to stick to that shape and work on it to improve accuracy and consistency in ball striking.
That being said, consistently hitting a draw, or being able to when the need arises, is a useful skill that can be attained with some quick drills and some important tips.
How To Hit A Draw
The long-held belief that in order to hit a draw, you need to close the clubface to the target and swing normally is dangerous and usually results in snappy hooks.
The first principle, which has been proven by modern technology such as Trackman, is that the path of the club needs to be more to the right than your clubface in order for a draw to be achieved. The second principle is that the starting direction of your shot is determined by the position of your clubface and not your club path.
Bringing these two things together, you can see that to hit a draw, the path of the club has to go more to the right than the face is pointing.
How much further to the right depends on what club you hit, with the rule of thumb being the longer the club distance, the fewer degrees between path and clubface you need. Maybe 0.5 degrees for your driver and 3 degrees for your wedge.
To make things simple, keep this simple phrase in your mind when over the ball: The clubface must be closed to the path of the club, not to the target.
Set-up To Hit A Draw
Knowing that the clubface must be closed to the path of the club, there are a few key points in your set-up that will help you achieve the combination necessary to hit a draw.
To start, aim your clubface directly at the target or wherever you want the ball to end up.
Next, aim your feet directly at, or just to the right of the target as this will help start the swing on an in-to-out path needed to create the draw movement.
Finally, grip your club as you normally would, but slightly rotate your right hand clockwise around the grip so that your thumb is sitting at about the 1 o’clock position.
Strengthening your grip like this allows your arms and hands to release and roll over on the downswing, letting your clubface square up to the target in the position where it needs to be – closed to the path of the club.
The last part is probably the hardest, but without it the clubface will end up square, or even to the right of the path, resulting in a much dreaded block or slice. Try to avoid flipping your wrists over too much as this will start the ball to the left and result in a hook!
If you’re out on the range or playing a casual round, this drill can help groove the feeling of generating a club path to the right of the clubface – it’s very simple.
Imagine a clock face on the ground with your ball in the very middle. Let 12 o’clock point to the target. To hit a consistent draw, aim your clubface at 1 o’clock and swing the club through 2 o’clock. The basic principle of a closed clubface to the path will result in a draw shape. Take note of where the ball starts and ends and adjust your aim slightly to accommodate. For some people, aiming at 12 and swinging through 1 works the best while others may prefer the 1 and 2 combo.
Putting a few tees in the ground in front of your ball may help you visualise the different ‘times’ and target lines and can help you feel what the swing should be like. Try and get club moving over the tee to the right after you strike the ball for a feeling of where the path of the club should be heading.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will hitting a draw make me hit the ball further?
The answer to this common question is two-fold: technically the answer is no, but in reality it seems as though it is yes. The reason behind this is that most beginner golfers tend to hit a fade without much distance, but as they progress and their whole game improves, they learn how to hit draws and their distance increases. Whether this is down to the ball flight or just to their improved skill will depend on each golfer. Most golfers who can hit both a fade and a draw can hit them equally far.
I slice the ball, should I try hit a draw?
I would say no. Curing a slice by forcing a draw is hard and not recommended. First build up consistency and accuracy before trying to change your natural ball flight.