When To Hit A Draw In Golf? (3 Key Situations)

Many amateur golfers struggle with the slice.

They spend years trying to straighten out their slice, but many never do.

Ideally, the golfer reaches a point where they can not only straighten out their slice, but also start to hit a draw.

As a junior golfer growing up, I worked hard to learn to hit the draw and envied those that hit that beautiful stock shot draw on just about every shot.

I have now reached that part of my golf journey where the draw is my stock shot and I refeclty that if I knew then, what I knew now, it would have been much easier. (visit here to learn how to hit a draw in 5 simple steps)

Once you can hit a draw, then the question becomes when to hit a draw.

There are 3 key situations on when to hit a draw.

When To Hit A Draw in Golf?

There are 3 key situations when a golfer will want to hit a draw in golf.  They include:

  • When the hole is shaped from right to left
  • When the pin is on the left side of the green
  • When a golfer is seeking some additional distance

Before we dive in, let’s first talk about whether a golfer should work the ball both ways.

There are two different camps in the golfing world on whether a golfer should work the ball both ways or settle in on a stock shot and stick with that shaped shot.  I find myself playing golf both ways depending on the day.  

I naturally draw the ball on a normal swing, but there are days when the power fade feels wonderful.  On those days, I will shape the ball both ways.  These are days when my swing feels in tune and I can send the ball curving in either direction.  

On the days when I am struggling, I will stick with my stock draw shot and play the course.  When I am able to work the ball both ways, more pins become accessible and I am able to place my tee shots and maximize the distance due to being able to work the ball.

Check out my top drill and top tip to help you hit a draw on demand!

Situation #1: When the hole is shaped from right to left

Rarely in golf do we have a perfectly straight hole.  Most holes will bend one way or the other, which is actually advantageous for the golfer that can hit the ball both ways.  This allows the golfer to aim to the wider part of the fairway and turn it over to maximize distance and placement.

When the hole bends from right to left, the draw is the perfect shot most often.  What a gofler will often face is a bunker at the point where the hole starts to turn or bend. Being able to aim just inside that bunker and turn one over from right to left will leave you in prime shape.

The more drastic holes often are called doglegs as they bend hard one way or another.  On the right to left holes, the ability to draw a ball hard and work it right to left will leave you with a shorter approach shot into the green.

Overall, the golfer is able to shorten the hole by cutting the corner and leave themselves in a prime area to possibly make a bridie or an easy par.

Resource: How to hit a draw with your driver (5 keys)

Situation #2: When the pin is on the left side of the green

We have all heard that we should aim for the middle of the greens.  While I believe this to be true, ideally, we are able to aim towards the middle and then work the ball towards the pin without ever over working the ball.

When the pin is sitting on the left side of the green, the option to aim in the middle of the green and hit a slight draw towards the pin is a way to maximize your score, but eliminate the big number of the unexpected bogey.

If you can only fade the ball, aiming right at the pin is not ideal, but is an option.  We would prefer to have our start point be at the center of the green in case the ball does curve as much as expected.

The best in his prime at this skill and maybe ever was Tiger Woods.  

His ability to play the safe route with the option to curve the ball towards the pin helped him just pick apart golf courses.  While he might be better known for his original swing speed and power that he brought onto the scene in 1997, the true work of his greatness was when he was controlling his distance on his irons and working the ball both ways. 

He had many different shots with his irons.  High, low, fade, draw and any combination of those.

Resource: Draw vs Fade (overview)

Situation #3: When a golfer is seeking additional distance

Let’s face it, we all want to hit the ball just a bit further!  The draw can add some distance for you, especially when you are playing courses where the ground is firm and will roll out.  The draw is often more of a lower, penetrating shot vs the power fade, which seems to fly a bit higher and land softer. 

While the power fade is amazing or hitting plenty of fairways and eliminating the hook shot, the draw helps you achieve the greatest distance.

When you reach that wide open par 5, where you would like to hit the green in 2, setting up for the draw and executing is the way to go!

The golfer who is able to hit both the draw and the fade with the driver and the irons is able to set themselves apart and provide the greatest amount of options.

Here is a great video by Shawn Clement on hitting both a draw and a fade:

BONUS DRILL: Stock Shot Drill

If you are someone that only wants to work the ball one way, you can work on this excellent stock shot drill.  If you are someone that wants to work the ball both ways, just simply adjust the one alignment stick in this drill and work on both the fade and the draw.

  • At the driving range, set up an alignment stick about 6-8 yards in front of you, straight down your target line.
  • If you have a second alignment stick, set the stick 1-2 yards right of the first stick (for a draw) or left of the first stick (for a fade).
  • Complete your initial assessment see how many times out of 10 you can start the ball to the right or left of your target.  Pick one side and measure your game at this point.
  • The goal is to eventually get 7 out of 10 shots to start to the correct side and draw back towards the target.

Here is the drill being explained by Kyle Morris:

My Favorite Tip For Working the Golf Ball Both Ways

Use Your Vision and A Target Off in the Distance!

Have you ever played a certain hole where you just can’t seem to find the fairway?  Golf can be a strange game and we often can get lost in the visualizations and the difficulties of the hole.

Maybe it is the fear of hitting one out of bounds, or hitting it into a hazard or the trees on a specific hole.  Whatever it might be for each specific golfer, there are some simple steps to take to maximize your visualizations and ensure you are aimed properly for the stock shot you are trying to hit.  Here are some simple steps:

  • Determine the stock shot starting point and ending point.
  • Pick a target off in the distance (it might be a tree 350 yards away).
  • Draw an imaginary line from that target starting point all the way back to your ball.
  • Along this line, about 1-4 feet in front of your ball, pick an intermediate target.
  • Commit to the shot.
  • Send the ball flying down that target line, keeping the ball flight laws in mind if you are struggling and consider what adjustments are needed.

Sticking with this routine will give you the best chance to hitting the shot you need.  Oftentimes on these difficult holes, we can get lost in all of the danger or we try to steer the ball out into the fairway.  The key is to stay relaxed, commit to the shot and make your best swing possible.

Resource: How to get the most out of your golf swing!

Assess Your Game: Work on These Drills

I use my own portable launch monitor to check for spin axis and the amount I am curving the ball and to ensure I am maximizing my distance and controlling my start lines and curve.  

While many won’t want to spend the money on a Trackman, there are some viable options in the 500 to 2000 dollars range that provide the following data after every shot:

  • Ball Speed
  • Spin Rate
  • Spin Axis
  • Launch Angle
  • Carry and Total Distance

What I find most helpful is the shot tracer and the spin axis information.  I am visually able to check the flight of my ball as I work to build my stock shot and have the reliable shot I can count on in any situation.

Here are the top 3 options to check out:

This technology is a game changer as the golfer can build a stock shot using the information while expanding a golf season where the golfer can practice 365 days a year.  Whether the golfer goes all out and builds a home simulator or simply sets up a net and mat in their garage, the possibility of improving the swing and being able to practice or play 365 days a year is a game changer!

A true game changer for the golfer who loves the game and wants to practice/play often!

Take Action – What You Can Do Today to Get Better

What does this mean for you?  I believe in the following recipe to get better:

1 – Improve your motion in the golf swing by identifying a golf instructor.  Here are some options:

Here is a list of golf instructors that we have reviewed:

2 – Train to swing faster and improve your swing speed.  Here are some options:

Looking to gain more Speed and Distance in your swing. Two Options:

3 – Understand course strategy and work to break through your next barrier.  Here is a series on breaking through:

We have provided guides on how to break 100, 90, 80 and 70. Check out more below, if interested.

4 – Practice Frequently

Did you know that I build a golf simulator in my garage and have played over 500 rounds of golf on my SkyTrak system?  It has been a game changer and one worth checking out. Here are some of my other posts on golf simulators frequently asked questions:

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