How to Hit a Draw in Golf: 3 Simple Steps to Master the Shot

By Nick Heidelberger

Golf draw shot arc

A draw in golf implies two things: first, that the ball starts to the right of your target (for a right-handed golfer), and second, that it curves back to the left towards your target as it descends. If you’d like to add a draw to your golf repertoire, follow these three simple steps to guarantee your draw starts and finishes exactly where you drew it up.

The Physics of a Draw

To understand why hitting a draw is so simple, we need to understand what influences the ball’s starting line, and what makes it curve. Thankfully, we live in the launch monitor era and can prove that the clubface angle has the biggest impact on a shot’s starting line, and that swing path has the biggest impact on curve. With these factors in mind, to hit a draw you simply need to hit the ball with your clubface open to your target line and closed to your swing path. A clubface open to your target line will start the ball to the right of your target, and a face that’s closed to the swing path will generate the spin needed to draw it back.

golf draw swing physics and angles

Image: Adapted from colematt/iStock via Getty Images

All of this can be accomplished by making just two adjustments to your setup and using your normal golf swing.

The Three Simple Steps to Hitting a Draw

Here are the three simple steps to hitting a draw. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll use three degrees as our baseline for clubface and swing path adjustments, but the amount you adjust your setup will ultimately depend on the club you’re hitting and other swing characteristics, so experiment on the driving range to find the setup that works for you with a variety of clubs before taking your draw to the course.

Step 1

Square your club to your desired start line - three degrees right (for a right-handed player) of your target line.

Step 2

Align your body — including your feet, hips, and shoulders — three degrees right of the club face, and six degrees closed to your intended target line.

Step 3

Swing the club square to your stance like you normally would.

If you’re set up properly and don’t manipulate the club face during your swing, you’ll deliver a strike with a club face that’s open to your target and closed to your path, the recipe for a draw. Watch as your ball starts out gently to the right and falls back to the left towards your target.

The physics of hitting a draw is the same for your irons is the same as it is with your driver, however, the recipe for how much clubface and swing path adjustment is needed will vary depending on the club, as face angle has a greater impact on starting line with a driver than it does with an iron.

Honing Your Draw

Now that you know that face angle impacts the direction the ball starts, and swing path dictates curve, you can diagnose your draw throughout your practice. If you’re hitting shots to the right of your target for a draw but don’t back, you know that your club face is open to the target, but not closed to your swing path, and you’re left with a push.

Conversely, if you begin hitting shots that start straight and curve to the left, your path is good but your club face is square to your target line at impact instead of a couple degrees to the right.

Image: Adapted from Witthaya Prasongsin/Moment via Getty Images

About the Author

Nick Heidelberger is the Editor of GolfLink. He has a degree in journalism from the University of Idaho and has been an avid golfer for more than 10 years. In the years prior to joining GolfLink, he worked for the New England Section of the PGA of America.