How To Hit Draws and Fades | Swing Surgeon - Don Trahan Peak Performance Golf Swing

How To Hit Draws and Fades

Sat, 09/28/2013 - 12:00 -- Don Trahan

Everyone would like to be able to work the ball. Purposely hitting a draw or fade can help you on certain holes as well, but you should only try working the ball if you can already hit the ball consistently straight.

If you have a hard time hitting the ball straight at your target, you probably shouldn't think about trying to draw or fade a ball. Bruce sent in a short, simple question asking how to hit draws and fades, so I'm going to give a basic explanation on how higher level golfers can achieve this goal.

Hi Surge,

Can you demonstrate how to Draw and Fade on your daily videos using the PPGS.

Regards,
Bruce

Instead of trying to roll your wrists more or less at impact, the easiest way to work the ball is to manipulate the clubface before you even take a swing. If you want to hit a draw, shut the clubface down a little bit and aim a little bit right to draw it back to the target. If you want to fade a ball into a target, open the clubface up and aim a little left to facilitate the left to right movement the ball will have.

This is just a basic idea to get you started. If you really want to learn how to move the ball (especially if you consider yourself an advanced player), check out Working The Ball. It's a full length video I put together that reveals all of the tools I employ when working the ball. It's a must have for any Surgite!

Just visit Surge's Shop to learn more or click here to preview the video.

Keep it vertical!

The Surge

If you can't view the YouTube video above try CLICKING HERE. You must allow popups from this site for the link to work.

Comments

JKPassage's picture

Submitted by JKPassage on

Thanks, Surge, for this video. Keeping the ball in play for most of us is vital. And that comes from honing our PPGS golf swings to the point they become almost automatic. It's important to have a swing we can trust time after time. Draws and fades have their place, but they can be very risky shots for me, at least.

On the other hand, fades and draws can be "easy" shots to hit, based on either our body setup at address and/or clubface angle and/or swing path. Surge always says "Setup determines the motion." Hitting fades and draws are based on our setup.

Surgites, your comments please. JKP

bige@me.com's picture

Submitted by bige@me.com on

On a solid shot there is only back spin. When the ball is tilted it will curve. I needed to learn draw and fade to hit a straight shot. I hate it when my ball curves. Studying D plane theory can help hit a straight shot.

terry-gibson@hotmail.com's picture

Submitted by terry-gibson@ho... on

Todays vidio was one of the best ever very clear and to the point with very sound advice

JKPassage's picture

Submitted by JKPassage on

Terry - I agree. The Surge keeps it basic and so should we.

Dave Everitt's picture

Submitted by Dave Everitt on

Just to play the Devil's advocate here, I have a problem with Surge's method to draw and fade. I don't have the talent to make a swing with a closed clubface and hit a draw. I think that the reason for this is the natural tendency when setting up with a closed clubface is to try to open it through impact. Conversely setting up with an open clubface is going to encourage an aggressive closing of the face through impact. My other problem is that changing body alignment to curve the ball is a bit of a fool's game for me and totally changes the feel of the swing.

Getting back to trying to hit it straight, I have been experimenting with something that has helped me hit the ball a lot straighter. I've always had a tendency to have a bit of a loop in my swing like Jim Furyk. This has been producing too many cut shots lately. My takeaway was always a bit outside the line. I needed a way to start the club back a bit inside the line.

I found that by presetting my shoulders slightly closed to my foot stance, the line of the takeaway was good and the loop disappeared and the ball striking with all of the clubs, in particular the driver was much improved.

I know that closing the shoulders slightly isn't strictly kosher but for now, it's working very well. I'm still not doing any more than the 70 degree shoulder turn and the rest of the swing feels the same. Presetting the shoulders a bit closed makes it a lot easier for me to impact the ball from an inside path and requires no alignment changes for the rest of the body to hit a straight to slight draw shot..

This small change has also increased my swing speed more than 10 % if the SwingRite settings are anything to go by. It's going to be a problem for a while figuring out club distances because everything is going further with the more efficient swing.

I'd be very interested in any comments.

JKPassage's picture

Submitted by JKPassage on

I also have to be aware of my shoulders. I have a tendency to open my shoulders prior to impact, and that leads to a massive over the top move and the dreaded slice. Thanks to PPGS, I now know that my shoulders are mostly square during the swing, if not slightly closed.

I still have a lot to learn with PPGS, and it is much easier to learn on your own than any other swing methodology. But I do plan on getting some hands-on assistance in early 2014.

Steve Smith's picture

Submitted by Steve Smith on

If the club face is open to the swing path at impact the ball will fade.

If the club face is closed to the swing path at impact the ball will draw.

If the club face is square to the swing path at impact the ball will be straight.

The club face at impact will predominately dictate the starting direction of travel over the direction of swing path.

There are major differences between what golfers used to think happened at impact and what actually happened. Unfortunately some people still go by the old ball flight laws. Good golfers know both instinctively and from trial and error that they need to make adjustments from the old ball flight laws.

I found out very early on that I needed to create a swing path well outside of any obstacle because the club face determined the starting direction (and not the swing path direction). Of course I didn't know why and still used the old ball flight laws as a guideline if I was telling somebody how to work the ball. I also almost always added that "you need to give yourself extra room).

For any that are unfamiliar with the new ball flight laws this article covers it pretty well.
http://perfectgolfswingreview.net/ballflight.htm

If you want to do unnecessary things to arrive at any of those positions it's up to you (many people do). I prefer to keep it simple and predictable without having to rely on perfect timing of fast rotation at impact.

ldeit163's picture

Submitted by ldeit163 on

Ball does not start on the aiming line, it starts off the clubface angle as stated above. 8:39-8:50 is the opposite of the current ball flight laws. To hit a DRAW, aim the clubface in the direction of your start line and swing more to the right of the start line. This way the clubface will be closed to the path and the ball will draw back to your intended target.

Kevin McGarrahan's picture

Submitted by Kevin McGarrahan on

If I aim 10 yards right of my target and have the clubface aimed at the target, the clubface is closed to the swing path (my aiming line). If I then swing down the aiming line with the same swing I use for hitting a straight shot, the ball will, in fact, draw back to the left, as Surge describes. I practice this, and the fade, on a regular basis and know that it does work. I can actually hit intentional hooks and slices using the same principle. The only requirement, which needs lots of practice, is matching how far I aim right and how much I close the clubface. I have a tendency when trying to hit a hook or slice to "over-cook" it a bit. Regardless, what Surge describes works exactly as he describes.

Steve Smith's picture

Submitted by Steve Smith on

Your next to last sentence describes what happens when you don't take the "New Ball Flight Laws" into account.

The club face determines the starting direction over the swing path direction by 85% to 15%.

Dave Everitt's picture

Submitted by Dave Everitt on

Tom Watson does an interesting segment on playing in the wind and working the ball on the golf channel. He mentions 2 ways of working the ball...the first is Surge's method and the second is a method taught to him by Byron Nelson.

http://www.golfchannel.com/media/school-of-golf-top10-moments-no6-tom-wa...

If anybody is looking for a very cheap and effective training aid, I have a suggestion. I was recently looking for something to do the swoosh drill with and found it in the local Walmart store. It is a fairly short, blue, $4.99 all plastic push broom with a brush that is a little more than a foot wide attached. The head is very easy to thread on and off.

When the head is on and either vertical or horizontal to the floor you get two different degrees of wind resistance. This gives an effect similar to the "Swing Fan" strength training device with the added benefit of being able to see the squaring of the broom head through impact.

When the head is off you can do the swoosh drill with the light plastic handle anyplace where there is adequate clearance to avoid hitting something.

If you set the end of the handle about an inch from a wall you don't care about ( in my case a concrete wall in the garage) or a long cardboard box it is easy to see takeaway and downswing arc, with a slow motion swing, because of the length of the handle. It's also a good way to practice alignment.

I get a very good arc away and through impact by presetting the shoulders slightly closed while loading PLHR and assuming the master setup position. If I setup with everything, including the shoulders square I can see that the takeaway is too much along the wall and the swing path back to the wall is not inside enough with a slow motion swing.

A full speed swing while setting up to a long light cardboard box would be the safer option to avoid any wrist injuries.

TinaB's picture

Submitted by TinaB on

I'm wondering if while you THOUGHT your shoulders were square to the toes, they were open, and when you "closed" them you actually squared them up, allowing them to hit solid straight shots??
I found a few years ago that while deliberately trying to hit a fade, that I hit it dead straight (where I was aimed) almost every time, with a much more solid hit. Turns out my shoulders were better aligned when I THOUGHT they were open...
I disagree with Surge; I don't think you need to wait to try to hit fades and draws; you may find in the process that your usual alignment was off, and you might find a way to start hitting the ball better than you were before!

Dave Everitt's picture

Submitted by Dave Everitt on

Hi Tina,

My shoulders are definitely closed to the foot line. I know that I've gone far enough if my back feels a little turned towards the target. It seems quite easy to do this while going into the master setup position. In the past, with my former rotational swing I played some with this closed shoulder setup with limited success. I talked to a golf pro about this the other day and he said something that I agree with from experience. He thought that presetting the shoulders closed was much more compatible with an upright than a flat swing. The nice thing now is that by presetting the start of the shoulder turn the feeling is that the rest of it just happens while focusing on doing the lift to the top.

Dave

TinaB's picture

Submitted by TinaB on

Wow, Steve, that was DETAILED. I was good until he got into the 3-D plane stuff and the rest of it. Too much thinking for me!!
But the article did confirm what I learned at Golf-tec: to hit a slight draw, the clubPATH needs to be slighty right (about 6 degrees) of the target line (in to out) and the clubFACE also needs to be needs to be right (open) 3 degrees to the target line, but which makes it CLOSED slightly to the PATH, leading to a nice little draw. And who said we would never use all that science?? :)

Steve Smith's picture

Submitted by Steve Smith on

Fortunately most us found out the first time we dead centered a tree that we were trying to go around that we had better aim more outside of the tree than we thought.

JKPassage's picture

Submitted by JKPassage on

Tina / Steve - we could debate for a long time on the theories of hitting draws and fades. I am friends with high-profile Trackman users. They say the ideal draw is one where the club swing path is 6* to the right of the aiming line and the club face is 4* to the right of the aiming line (or 2* closed to the path). What they are reticent to discuss with me is HOW a golfer is going to know DURING THE SWING that he/she is doing exactly that. THEY CAN'T KNOW! It's essentially guess work and trial and error, maybe even a lot of luck.

Which leads the Surge to caution us about trying to hit draws and fades when we can't consistently hit straight shots and keep the ball in play. For a lot of Surgites, concentrating on hitting straight shots is the best thing to do.

Steve Smith's picture

Submitted by Steve Smith on

6* and 4* at impact is about right for a draw. You are right that none of us can KNOW exactly what either the swing path or the club face angle was at impact, but understanding the ball flight laws can save us from going on some wild goose chases.

For instance, if someone hits a pull-draw and they don't understand the ball flight laws they automatically assume their swing path was from out to in when in fact the swing path may have been straight or even in to out, and still produce the pull draw because the club face was closed.
(Or the opposite for a push fade).

Robert Fleck's picture

Submitted by Robert Fleck on

JK, It seems to me that part of your argument is based on not using certain terms the same way Surge does. If you have and watch the "Working the Ball" videos, you'll see that what you're calling the aiming line, Surge calls the target line. The aiming line, in PPGS instruction, is ALWAYS the line on which you intend to swing the club. It is the line to which you set your toe line parallel.

In PPGS terms, to hit a draw, you set your aiming line right of the target (use 6* for your example) and set the club face between that aiming line and the target line. The ball will start slightly left of the aiming line and continue to move left toward the target.

JKPassage's picture

Submitted by JKPassage on

Robert, thanks for helping me get educated with the proper terms. Because the Surge always speaks of parallel left in setup, I was equating aiming line with target line. The aiming line as you define it is what I would simply call swing path. If there is a place within the "Surge World" where I can become better educated on terms and application of those terms, please direct me. And thanks again, JKP

Robert Fleck's picture

Submitted by Robert Fleck on

I think a PPGS glossary of terms would be a great idea.

In general, when setting up, the aiming line and the target line are the same, because we intend to hit the ball straight.

Not getting your toes parallel to the aiming line, but keeping them parallel to the target line, when trying to hit a draw is one reason many people fail to hit a draw. Your body is now open to your swing path, which will naturally create a rightward spin, counteracting the leftward spin from the closed club face. :)