There are a lot of misconceptions about driving and tee shots in golf, especially among beginners and casual players who don’t have the experience or knowledge of just how complex and nefarious different course layouts can be.
Golf is quite a unique sport in that players, although competing against each other, are actually primarily competing against the course itself and its layout, as well as battling the conditions that prevail over that particular day of play – not to mention their own body and mind.
A lot of players see hitting a straight and true shot off the tee as the pinnacle of golf performance, and many players spend hours practicing how to get as straight a tee shot as possible, maximizing their distance and accuracy.
While it’s true that a lot of the time a straight shot in golf will serve you really well and get the ball where it needs to be, there are more advanced techniques that players can use to get even more control over the ball and provide more options and opportunities to exploit the course layout and get an upper hand over it and other players.
One of these techniques is the draw, which is a golf shot where the ball flies slightly from right to left in a controlled manner (for right-handed golfers).
A lot of the time, players hit draws without actually meaning to, causing their ball to fly into the rough or get lost due to the draw taking the ball away from where it needs to be.
If practiced and harnessed correctly, however, the draw can be a powerful tool in any golfer’s arsenal, opening up new opportunities for taking strokes off your game or negotiating your way through particularly difficult holes and fairways.
In this guide, we’re going to look at the basics of how to hit a draw on purpose, so that you can begin practicing and honing your control over this shot to be able to use it to great effect when the opportunity arises in open play. But first, let’s describe what a draw actually is.
What Is A Draw?
A draw is a type of shot in golf where the trajectory of the ball swings out from the stoke, before curving back inwards to create a curved trajectory which can allow golfers to avoid and clear all sorts of obstacles, such as trees, water, sand traps and rough, as well as allowing the stroke to counteract factors such as wind and rain.
A lot of golfers hit draws without intending to, and a lot of the time golfers try to actively avoid hitting this type of shot. Being able to hit it purposefully however is a great skill that will open a lot of doors for you and allow you to put yourself in a great position on the course. But how do you hit a draw?
How To Hit A Draw With Your Driver
In certain situations, a draw is a perfect shot to get you out of trouble or keep you out of trouble. Learning the proper way to manage and control a draw takes a lot of practice and will require you to break some of the rules and techniques you would typically use during a stroke, so let’s look at how to hit a draw in a step by step process.
While it’s really a mix of conditions that create a certain environment for the correct sidespin for a draw, here are the basic components to keep in mind as you’re looking to practice this shot.
Position The Clubface
Executing a draw requires you to ensure that the clubface doesn’t open too much during your stroke, or when your club hits the ball, as this will likely lead to a fade, which is a different type of shot that curves the trajectory of the ball inwards and then outwards (left to right, for a right-handed golfer), the reverse of a draw shot.
Keeping your clubface slightly closed is critically important to ensuring you make the right contact with the ball and facilitate a draw instead of a straight shot or fade.
As with all strokes, swing technique is crucially important. When hitting a draw, you should attempt to swing from the inside to the outside as this will create the trajectory and spin on the ball, as well as the contact you need to force the ball into the trajectory you need.
This will often require a lot of practice and adjustment as many golfers have a default outside-to-inside swing path, and it may take many repetitions to change this. It can be a much more trying adjustment than closing the clubface, which is often something that can be done with a change in grip and ball positioning.
Following through is really important for almost every golf shot, but for hitting a draw it’s even more important, as a strong follow-through is what enables you to maintain the closed clubface position through the contact and prevent the ball from fading, and ensuring that you draw the ball out then inwards.
Fluidity of motion is key in golf, and forcing shots is a sure-fire way to sacrifice accuracy and power, as well as cause yourself an injury.
Whether you’re hitting a fade or draw, keeping your fundamentals and using a fluid, consistent stroke is the best way to ensure your draw doesn’t become too dramatic, and allows you to adjust incrementally as you practice to find the sweet spot, balancing your position against the amount of draw you need and finding ways to subtly increase the draw without losing your form.
Hitting a draw is something that all golfers should try to learn at some point, as learning to control your trajectory is a part of developing your skills and is essential to reducing your handicap. The inside-to-outside swing path will make you a much better golfer whether or not you decide to stick to a draw as your shot shape long-term.
Finding consistency and being able to adapt and use draws, fades and other types of shots is what marks good golfers from great ones, and being adaptable and flexible in your style of play is what will allow you to handle almost any situation on the course.
Just like anything else with golf, practice makes perfect, and developing your understanding of the draw at the driving range is a great way to hone in on what works for you before you come to need to use the shot during play.