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Differences in Swing Mechanics Working Hitting a Fade and Draw
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Published: February 18, 2014
For most amateur golfers, hitting a controlled draw is their ultimate goal. This is usually because they tend to slice and miss everything to the right, so a nice controlled draw seems desirable.
While it is an easy to shot to learn how to hit using the one plane swing, it shouldn't be any golfer's life long goal to learn how to play a draw. If you hit a fade and can control it consistently, don't think you need to learn how to hit a draw to become a better golfer, it's simply not true.
A draw is the most difficult shot to control overall because you are playing with the timing of the release of the club, and playing with timing is like playing with fire, you're bound to get burned some time.
It's true, you can keep the clubface shut throughout the swing and close your stance and learn to hit a draw that way, but you will struggle a great deal just to hit the ball straight consistently and will have a very difficult time fading the ball.
The best way to play golf is to go with whatever your natural ball flight is and try an make it as neutral as possible. If you tend to hit a draw already, try to keep it under 5 yards of right to left movement in general. The more it is moving right to left (for righties) the more you are releasing the club or keeping it shut and closing your stance and the more difficult it will be to hit the ball straight or fade it.
If you can keep your swing fairly neutral, working the ball in either direction becomes a very simple matter and very few modifications are necessary in order to work the ball.
Observe the picture below. In the picture on the left I am hitting a 3 yard fade and the picture on the right I'm hitting a 3 yard draw.
Note that my swing has remained exactly the same, nothing changed other than the angle of my clubface. I've clearly held on to the release in the picture on the left and this has not only imparted a cut spin on the ball but launched it on a higher trajectory as well when compared to the shot where I hit a draw.
As I come into the finish, you can clearly see the angle in the clubface is significantly different.
The one on the left is much more open as I have worked to keep the clubface open through the shot and the one on the right is more square or slightly closed.
You can also see again the difference in trajectory here, the ball on the right is still significantly lower than that the one on the right. When comparing these two swings (as I've done in this swing comparison ), you can see that very few changes are necessary for me to work the ball in either direction and that gives me the most flexibility in my overall shotmaking ability.
Checkpoints for Practice
- In the Rotary Swing we don't manipulate the path of the club because that's what gives us our consistency
- To work the ball we change the release through impact
- Allow the arm to work slightly away from the body & the club to release slightly closed to hit a draw
- To hit a bigger draw, set up a little more closed & let the club release more through impact
Video Transcription: How to Hit a Draw
When working the ball right to left there are two things that we have to understand that cause this ball to spin right to left or work right to left.
The first thing is the angle of the club face as it comes into impact. If we look at the angle of the club face here, going straight down the target line, and my club face is square and the path of the club is traveling in square, then of course the ball will go straight.
If I bring it dramatically from the inside with a square club face to my target line, then of course it's going to impart this hook spin, or this right to left spin, and if I swing it in dramatically from the outside in with a square club face to my target line, then the ball will work left to right.
In a one plane swing we don't want to manipulate the path of the club because that's part of what gives us our consistency in the golf swing, is that the path of the club is always very square to in, so we never have to manipulate the path of the club head.
When we want to work the ball, what we have to change is how the club head releases through impact. As we make impact in a one plane swing, as we come into impact and our club head is traveling very square - it's square to the target line and it's in here and the club face is square - our left arm is more into our chest.
We don't want this dramatic release with the arms and hands and everything releasing away because we're controlling and squaring the club face with our body.
When we get to the point where we're actually wanting the ball to work right to left, what we need to do is let this club head start to release slightly through impact. It's a very small change that we're trying to do.
If we make our normal baseball swings at the ground, we swing everything back and we rotate into impact, the club face is square here but my arm is still into my chest. That's kept the club head from releasing.
If I start to rotate and I let my arms slightly start to rotate or swing slightly away from my body and let this club head start to release very gently, you notice that as I come into impact the club head is going to be slightly closed.
It's a very, very slight change. I'm just letting my arm work slightly away from my body a tiny amount and letting my watch on my hand rotate slightly. That's what's going to allow the club head to rotate slightly closed through impact.
When we go into making this golf swing, nothing else changes in our swing. Everything is working back on the same plane. We're working back everything through, rotating our body through impact, but we are starting to let this club head release slightly through impact.
Rather than squaring everything and keeping the arms back a little bit more through impact, we're letting them start to release just a tiny bit. It's such a small increment it's hardly even noticeable on film, but it's a feel thing that you're doing.
You're learning to let this club head release through impact and letting the arm start to work slightly away from the body and release through the shot.
What that looks like, as I come into impact, instead of being here with my arms much more back, I want to let my arms start to slightly release, let this club head, the toe of the club, start to release over the shot.
I'll hit about a three yard draw here.
All I did there was I made my normal swing but I let the club head start to release through the shot. It's such a small amount, but it allows the ball to work right to left.
Now when we go to hitting a big hook, or we need to hook it around a tree or a big hook into a fairway that's working right to left and you have to work it dramatically, all we do is slightly increase that.
We're simply going to allow this arm to slightly release a bit more. Rather than, if we had the head cover under my arm, it's going to start to cut to the point where it would almost fall out of my arm. It's not that dramatic, where I'm releasing everything that much to let the club head release.
I can still keep a club head cover in here, but I am letting this club head start to rotate through and release through a bit more. This time I'll set up a little bit more closed because I'm going to work the ball a little bit more, and I'm going to let the club head release even more this time.
That was about a 10 yard draw. I started that out about 10 yards right of my target, and I ended up at my target. All I did there was just simply let my wrist and everything release.
Again, I'm not letting this arm swing way out away from my body. It's simply letting this club head start to release just a tiny bit, letting the face of my watch rotate slightly shut through impact, and that will naturally create a right to left shot.