Friday, August 31, 2007, 07:40 PM - Draw - Fade ShotsIf you learn how to draw and fade a golf ball you will have added two extremely useful shots to your armory. Not only that, but it will give you an insight into how to control or cure a slice, should you ever develop one. The slice is the bane of any golfer’s game, yet the draw and fade are nothing more than deliberately played controlled hooks and slices respectively.
Imagine a situation where you have a shot into the green, perhaps 200 yards or so, towards a pin that has a trap or a water hazard just in front of it. You won’t be able to pitch and run the ball up to the flag, and to try and stop the ball dead would a bit risky. If you undercook it you are in trouble, and if you don’t get the spin right it could run on right off the green.
Imagine also that you have a pretty straight shot to the green, but there is a massive tree right in the way. What do you do? In both of these situations your ideal shot could be a fade or a draw, and which you use would depend on a number of factors including wind direction, the angle you want to approach the flag from and your own preference. The draw is a shot that curls right to left, just like a controlled hook, and the fade is left to right, like a controlled slice.
Your choice of a draw or fade might also be influenced by the fact that a draw is normally higher, and travels 15 – 20 yards more than a fade in windless conditions. So how do you decide and how do you play each shot? The decision is sometimes personal and sometimes dictated by conditions and circumstances. However, let us assume that you have decided on the shot. How do you play it?
Many golfers have looked in awe at pros who play the draw or slice at will as it suits their position. Many even play the curved shot as their preferred form of drive, unless a straight shot is essential. How do they manage that? In fact it is very simple, and if you have ever had a hook or slice that you have had to cure, then creating a draw or fade is just the opposite in many cases. You are best to practice these shots on the driving range since they take a bit of practice to control, and you can play both types of shot with the same club.
First play a normal straight shot, so that you know you have no inherent hook or slice in your game. If you do, then you will have to get it cured before you can do the same thing in a controlled fashion! However, assuming that your swing and drive are OK, then for the draw adjust your stance so that your feet are pointing to the right of the target. Then adjust your grip slightly round to the left, or counter-clockwise on the shaft. When you drive towards the direction of your feet, i.e. right of target, your adjusted grip will cause the club to close early so that when it hits the ball it will do so at an angle to the direction of the target.
As you drive through the ball this angle on the club will impart a counter-clockwise spin on the ball. The dimples on your golf ball will exaggerate the effect of the drag this spin creates so that there is more air pressure on the right hand side of the ball, the side rotating into the direction of travel than on the other side, rotating away from the direction of travel. The end result is that ball curves from right to left.
For a fade, you do the opposite. Aim your feet to the left of target, and adjust your grip clockwise on the shaft. This closes the club face late, so that a clockwise spin is imparted on the ball, and ball will curve out to the right. These curves are not immediately apparent, and could take about 100 yards or so to become visible, but they rapidly develop and can become quite severe if not properly controlled.
Although that is one way of spinning a golf ball to achieve the effect that you want, any other means of imparting a sidespin will do the same job. Lagging your chest behind your shoulders, or bringing it over the ball quicker than your shoulders will also spin the ball, and different golfers have their own way of achieving a draw or fade shot.
Knowing how to play such a shot deliberately is also useful in the event of you developing a hook or a slice since the cure is the exact opposite of what you do to manufacture the shot. If you have a slice, as many golfers do, simply aim your feet directly to the target and then turn your grip slightly clockwise. This will close the clubface quicker so that it is straighter to the direction of the target when you hit the ball.
This is true of many swing problems. If you learn how to control it, you can sometimes use that knowledge to your advantage in the event of being faced with a difficult shot that needs more that just a normal swing.
By: Andre Sanchez
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