Drawing the Ball: Explaining the Draw Shot in Golf

Illustration of draw show, curving to the left for a right-handed golfer
The draw ball flight - curving to the left - for a right-handed golfer. about.com

"Draw" or "draw shot" are terms that describe a flight path of the golf ball in which the ball curves to the left for a right-handed golfer. (For a left-hander, a draw curves to the right, but we'll be using righties in our examples.)

You can think of a draw as a less-severe version of a hook. While hooks are usually the results of mishits, and are shots golfers typically hate, the draw is a ball flight that some golfers produce naturally and that other golfers want to produce.

Draws are often played intentionally, in other words. For example, if the front of a green is guarded by a bunker on the left side, a golfer can aim a little out to the right and "draw the ball" back to the left, thus avoiding having to play over the bunker.

A draw shot is the opposite of a fade. Golfers talk about "playing a draw" or "hitting a draw" or "drawing a shot."

How to Hit a Draw Shot

There are a couple ways to get the ball to curve to the left in flight. You'll probably need to experiment to see what method works best for you. If your normal ball flight is a curve to the right (a fade or slice), then you'll have to exaggerate the draw methods or combine them. Mix and match both in methods and in how much or how little you need to do the following things to produce a draw:

  • Try setting up with your normal stance, but close the face of your club at address and make your normal swing.
  • Or try setting up with your clubface aimed at the target, but with a closed stance - your feet, hips and shoulders pointing to the right of the target line.

As we said, experiment with how exaggerated you have to make these moves - or with combining these moves - and watch the results.

Another method for producing a draw is to simply strengthen your grip and otherwise set up and swing as you normally do.

Tom Watson likes this method: When you place your left hand on the club (for right-handed golfers), rotate your hand so that you see three knuckles rather than two. Then turn your right hand a little more under the shaft. We're not fans of this method, frankly, because we don't like recommending that golfers alter their grips from shot to shot. But some golfers may find this method to be their preference.

For more, see the draw page in our Ball Flights Tips and Tricks feature, or watch this video:

  • 3 Ways to Hit a Draw

You can also browse draw shot tutorials on YouTube to find many more videos about hitting a draw.