Draw vs. Fade: Which Way Should You Shape Your Golf Ball?

By Todd Mrowice

draw and fade lines from ball

While most players would love to hit a straight ball, the reality is that most golfers naturally have either a draw or a fade shot shape. Sometimes it happens intentionally, sometimes it just happens. Is there an advantage to hitting a draw versus a fade? Here are some reasons, and situations, where having both shots can be beneficial for your game.

What is a Draw?

A draw, for a right-handed player, is a shot that shapes from right to left in the air. For a left-handed player, it moves left to right. A draw typically travels slightly farther than a straight shot, with much of this extra yardage coming in roll after the ball lands. The common miss when attempting to hit a draw is a hook.

What is a Fade?

A fade, for a right-handed player, is a shot that shapes from left to right while in the air. For a left-handed player, it moves from right to left. A fade typically does not travel as far as a straight shot or a draw. The common miss when attempting to hit a fade is a slice.

Course Situations and Layouts

There are certain situations and hole layouts on the golf course where you want to hit a draw or a fade. Here are some examples.


For longer hitters, dogleg holes present the opportunity to cut off yardage if you’re able to hit a controlled draw or fade that follows the fairway around the corner.


If you find yourself blocked out by trees on one side, being able to hit a shot away from those trees and having the ball track back into your target can be beneficial.


If you're playing on a windy day you can find a draw or fade shot to be particularly helpful in combating the wind. It’s recommended on windy days to try and play the ball lower, so being able to execute a low draw or low punch could be very useful.


Shaping shots around hazards such as water or waste areas can be useful if executed correctly. A draw or a fade that’s hit to avoid the edge of a hazard can pay dividends.

Which is Better?

It’s difficult to say whether a draw or fade is the better shot because it truly is dependent upon the individual player. However, if you were to ask amateur golfers which they would prefer the most likely answer would be a draw.

When comparing draw vs. fade driver numbers on a launch monitor, the draw would more often have higher clubhead speed, ball speed, and total yardage. In addition, spin rates on a draw are likely to be significantly lower than a fade, which is why a draw results in more roll out than a fade.

How Can You Master Both?

Players who have a natural fade or draw should try to master their tendency instead of fight it. If you would like to try and simply hit controlled draw and fade shots it takes plenty of practice and on-course experience to make sure you execute each shot correctly.

About the Author

Todd Mrowice is a Staff Writer for GolfLink. His experience spans over 15 years and he has covered all aspects of the game including travel, products, business, and professional tours. Todd has also put his deep knowledge of golf equipment to work as a club fitter and in several marketing roles in the golf industry. He has a hole-in-one on his playing resume and appropriately gave his son the middle name “Ace.”