How to Hit a Draw Shot in Golf

By Jim Bartlett

A draw is a shot that starts out to the right and then gently curves back to the left. It tends to fly lower and run more when it lands on the fairway. Drawing the ball to the left isn't that difficult. Many professional golfers play a draw as their bread-and-butter shot.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Step 1
Adjust your stance. In a "normal" stance, a line drawn across your toes would point straight at your target. To hit a draw, you need a "closed" stance, one that points a little to the right of the target. Draw your rear foot back a couple of inches so the line along the top of your toes points to the right of the target. Meanwhile, your shoulders should still be pointed and your swing directed down the line at the target. Closing the stance results in an "inside" swing plane, or one where the club goes back inside the normal straight-back-and-through pathway and, after hitting the ball, continues outside that same swing path. That's what puts the right-to-left spin on the ball that makes it curve.
Step 2
Strengthen your grip. To get a ball moving to the left, try turning your hands a little bit to the right on the grip of the club. This is called a "strong" grip position. With the hands adjusted in this way, the club face will tend to close on impact, which also helps promote the side spin that will curve the ball to the left.
Step 3
Release the last 12 inches. You can't be lazy and hit a draw. As your club approaches the ball, think speeding up for the last 12 inches before contact. By rolling your right hand over your left hand you release your hands into and through the ball. This helps ensure the club face closes and the side spin gets imparted in the right direction. Don't speed up the entire swing. Just think about releasing the hands quickly just before impact.
Step 4
Make sure your weight gets transferred. It's crucial for any good golf shot, and especially for one that draws in order to get your weight transferred from the back leg to the front during the swing. If your weight stays on the rear leg, the swing plane will drift outside and the club face will open. Result: slice.

A good drill for getting the weight through is the Gary Player step-through. As he hits the ball, he almost walks through it, with the rear foot coming around and stepping off down the tee as if chasing the ball. That step ensures that his weight moves forward and that the club releases. That's half the battle for hitting a good draw.

Tips & Warnings

Making any one of these adjustments will help you begin to draw the ball. Trying all three at once might be overkill! Work on these drills on the practice tee, experimenting with stance, grip and weight transfer until you've got a swing grooved with a ball flight you like.
Practice drawing the ball with a 6-iron. It has enough loft for control and to get the ball airborne, but it isn't so lofted that it will negate draw spin with lots of underspin.
Swing smoothly. The draw requires that the hands, arms and body all gently release through impact, even if the golfer is swinging at high speed.
It's possible to get hook-happy. With a very closed stance, a very strong grip and a good weight shift, you might start hitting duck hooks. These quackers--the mirror opposite of the banana ball--are uncontrollable shots that dive steeply to the left.
If you start overdoing it, gear back on one of the adjustments. Straighten out the closed stance a bit or weaken the grip a tad. You should soon be back to hitting controlled, right-to-left draws.

About The Author

James Y. Bartlett is a freelance writer, editor, and author. His work has appeared in Forbes Life, Hemispheres and dozens of national publications. He has worked as editor at Golfweek, Caribbean Travel & Life, LuxuryGolf and Our Place (second home magazine) and published nine books. He has a degree in journalism from Boston University and in international studies from Franklin College, Lugano, Switzerland.


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