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Learn to hit a draw in 2 easy steps



For most club golfers, a ball that curves from left to right is common, but most golfers would prefer to move the ball the other way, or what’s described as a “draw” shot. By definition, a draw is when the ball starts to the right of the target line and curves left toward the target (for a right-handed golfer).

Photo 1

To really understand how to hit this shot, a golfer should know two things: club path, and what’s called the face-to-path relationship.

  • Club path: This is the direction that the club head is traveling through impact in relation to the target line. The variations are in-to-out (moving right of target), out-to-in (moving left of target) and neutral (moving straight at the target).
  • Face-to-path: This is the direction that the club face is pointing in relation to the club path at impact. To hit a draw, golfers need to produce an in-to-out club path (rightward) with a club face that is pointing leftward, or closed to the club path.

A good analogy I like to use for hitting a draw shot is imagining a right-footed soccer player bending a ball around a wall. As the player strikes the soccer ball, the foot will be traveling in a rightward direction in relation to the goal. The part of the foot that is striking the ball, however, will be pointing to the left of this in order to create the curve.

That’s the science! Now for two easy steps to help you start hitting draw shots.

Step 1: Creating a face that is closed to an in-to-out club path

The first thing to do is place a headcover in the position shown in the picture below (note: the photo is setup for a right-handed golfer). With the headcover in mind, strike some golf balls without striking the headcover. A careful positioning of the headcover will encourage you to deliver the club head on an in-to-out path.

Make an out-to-in delivery, and your headcover will be flying down the range!

Photo 2

Continue to hit balls while avoiding the headcover, while at the same time attempting to create a ball flight that is curving from right to left. Once this is achieved, you can be pretty sure that you are delivering a club face that is closed to an in-to-out club path.

“But sir, I don’t want to hook it,” you might be saying. I don’t want you to either, so here comes the next step.

Step 2: Controlling club face alignment

From modern day launch monitors, we have learned that the club face is the main influence on the starting direction of the ball. This changes slightly at times, but for simplicity let’s say that the ball will start pretty much where the club face is aiming at impact. Assuming centered contact, curve will then be produced as a result of the relationship that the face has with the club path. In this case, the closed relationship with the club path will create a right-to-left curve.

A draw shot starts right of the target line, and this means that the club face must be pointing to the right of the target line at impact. It sounds counterintuitive, but yes, a draw shot needs a club face that is OPEN to the target line at impact.

To practice this, place an alignment stick in the ground and attempt to hit balls that start to the right of the alignment stick and curve back to the left, toward the target. This exercise will help you explore the relationship of an in-to-out path with a closed face, with specific attention to starting the ball to the right of the target.

Photo 3

An important concept to understand

In both of the shots below, the club path is moving 5.2 degrees to the right (in to out). However, the key difference is the face angle.

Shot 1

Photo 4

In Shot 1, the face angle is pointing 1.2 degrees left of the target line (meaning the ball starts left of the target line).

Shot 2

Photo 5

In Shot 2, the face angle is pointing 2 degrees right of the target line (meaning the ball starts right of the target line).

In both shots, a closed face-to-path relationship was created. The key in the second shot, however, was that the club face was pointing right of target at impact, thus allowing the ball to start right and curve back toward the target.

What are the advantages of this exercise?

You may notice that ZERO technical information regarding positions or movements has been given. Instead, examples of task constraints have been provided.

“A task constraint is a boundary That encourages the learner to emerge with certain behaviors.”

Although that may sound complex, in simple terms the constraint of the headcover and alignment stick allow golfers to self discover how technique evolves from the exercise, as opposed to deliberately thinking about it. Within motor learning research, there is a ton of evidence for this type of constraints-led learning.

Unfortunately, your friends may not allow you to place your headcover by your ball in your Saturday match. With this in mind, try not to become reliant on the constraints and vary between using and not using them in practice.

Before you hit the range, remember: Club face pointing to the right and the path pointing farther to the right!

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Thomas is an Advanced UKPGA Professional and Director of the Future Elite (FUEL) Junior Golf Programme. Thomas is a big believer in evidence based coaching and has enjoyed numerous worldwide coaching experiences. His main aim to introduce and help more golfers enjoy the game, by creating unique environments that best facilitate improvement.



  1. Dave Dudus

    Sep 5, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Works for me! Thanks.

  2. Phillip Akers

    Oct 15, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Class article, clear, concise and a change to read some factual information which is backed up by evidence….contrary to some ‘established’ coaches.

  3. Pingback: Learn the draw in 2 easy steps

  4. Wayde

    Oct 2, 2015 at 10:14 am

    A good tip is to buy a pool noodle (they’re dirt cheap); cut it in half, put one half over your alignment stick to protect it from the golf ball , and use the other half on the ground to form your swing path. It makes for a very strong visual.

  5. Shakers97

    Sep 26, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Whatever you do don’t have your club face open to the club path or you’ll be in a world of sh………

  6. KK

    Sep 25, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Great article, great summary!

  7. AJ

    Sep 25, 2015 at 11:45 am

    What about Angle of Attack? How does that play into hitting a draw? Is this to assume the AoA for the drills is 0? If I hit up with a driver vs hitting down with an iron what difference does this make? I hear so much about AoA, I’m curious how this plays a role into hitting a draw. Thanks.

    • Thomas Devine

      Sep 25, 2015 at 12:19 pm

      HI AJ…great question (and references the D plane). In theory, your swing direction could be zero and with a negative AoA, an ‘in to out’ path could be achieved. Does that make sense? The reason for the headcover in this exercise is due most slicers having a swing direction that is excessively left. In order to change, it is advantageous to attempt to move the swing direction rightwards.

  8. Jan

    Sep 25, 2015 at 6:33 am

    Hi, thanks for a great article. I’m struggling with the club face part. Feel that I can’t “leave” it open compared to the target line and in the same time have a free release. I have to hold it so to say… If I release the club freely, I hit a pull-fade. Could it be a problem with my grip, that it’s too strong?

    Best regards
    Jan from Sweden

    • Thomas Devine

      Sep 25, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      Hi Jan….I would not like to comment on your grip without seeing it. However, practising with the alignment stick should help you achieve the desired impact alignment for a draw. One exercise I would try is trying to start the ball as far right as possible to still curve it back leftwards. This will allow you to explore the necessary movements to achieve an open to target line club face with a path that is further right!

  9. John-Michael

    Sep 24, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    I’ve been working on trying to hit a draw lately. The way I’ve been practicing hitting a draw is by closing my stance and swinging down my bodyline. Is practicing the way you detailed in the article a better method in learning how to hit a draw?

    • Rickard

      Sep 25, 2015 at 5:58 am

      This might produce what looks like a draw but in reality is a pull-draw (most of the time). It’s a bit old school, but hey, whatever works!
      I find these types of draw shots tend to lack the height and softness compared to a proper/modern draw, i e clubface relative open and altered swing path i relation to target line.

      The forward press also should be used, moving the ball backwards to promote inside path (relative to ball) should increase forward shaft lean as you open the face.
      Ball further back, more open face and hence more forward shaft lean, to create desired curvature and launch direction.

      Does it make sense? 🙂

    • Thomas Devine

      Sep 25, 2015 at 12:11 pm

      Hi John-Michael….sure what you have mentioned can help you achieve and ‘in to out’ path with closed face….however just remember that if you return your club head aiming towards the target (at impact), then the ball will start online and curve left…using the alignment stick will for sure help you return the club face open to the target 🙂

  10. Tom

    Sep 24, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    This is my natural ball flight. Next article can you do how to hit a fade(cut) shot of which I can’t manage to save my life.

    • JMcDonough

      Sep 24, 2015 at 4:43 pm

      I second that.

    • Jack Slicer

      Sep 24, 2015 at 5:55 pm

      you take the same drill and do it in the opposite direction…

  11. DatSliceDoe

    Sep 24, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Been working on this all season with my teaching pro. Have yet to consistently get this to work with longer clubs. I get the sensation of an in to out path, but leaving the face open is something I’ve struggled with. I just feel that I need to flip my arms over to hit a draw. Guess opposites attract, so I’ll need to practice on leaving the face more open.

    • Thomas Devine

      Sep 24, 2015 at 5:00 pm

      If you are confident you are achieving an in to out path, then the alignment stick will for sure help you with your face control. Spend some time starting it to the right and trying to bring it back. Good luck!

    • Rickard

      Sep 25, 2015 at 6:07 am

      Make sure that as you move ball back in stance (and path) you apply an appropriate forward press, ideally with an open face.
      I stuggle a bit with this as well and for me it is my fear of forward press will result in pull hooks.
      But with a soft inside path, a little bit closed body setup at impact (relation to target line, to keep away the pull) and open face it actually produced a high soft draw, even with a 3-i.
      When I manage to sequence it correctly, that is! 🙂

  12. Steve Whitehead

    Sep 24, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Had a lesson with Tom recently and he had me hitting a real nice draw shot with a good clean contact on the ball by the end of the session. Great coach and highly recommended.

  13. Fred

    Sep 24, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    This clear presentation is quite helpful. And I assume doing just the opposite will result in a fade starting left and moving back to the target.

    • Thomas Devine

      Sep 24, 2015 at 4:58 pm

      Absolutely Fred…change the positioning of the headcover for the fade. We want to create the opposite club path (out to in). And then go through the same process, however look to start the ball to the left of the stick and curve it right 🙂

  14. Tom Stickney

    Sep 24, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Good work

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The Wedge Guy: My top 5 practice tips



While there are many golfers who barely know where the practice (I don’t like calling it a “driving”) range is located, there are many who find it a place of adventure, discovery and fun. I’m in the latter group, which could be accented by the fact that I make my living in this industry. But then, I’ve always been a “ball beater,” since I was a kid, but now I approach my practice sessions with more purpose and excitement. There’s no question that practice is the key to improvement in anything, so today’s topic is on making practice as much fun as playing.

As long as I can remember, I’ve loved the range, and always embrace the challenge of learning new ways to make a golf ball do what I would like it to do. So, today I’m sharing my “top 5” tips for making practice fun and productive.

  1. Have a mission/goal/objective. Whether it is a practice range session or practice time on the course, make sure you have a clearly defined objective…how else will you know how you’re doing? It might be to work on iron trajectory, or finding out why you’ve developed a push with your driver. Could be to learn how to hit a little softer lob shot or a knockdown pitch. But practice with a purpose …always.
  2. Don’t just “do”…observe.  There are two elements of learning something new.  The first is to figure out what it is you need to change. Then you work toward that solution. If your practice session is to address that push with the driver, hit a few shots to start out, and rather than try to fix it, make those first few your “lab rats”. Focus on what your swing is doing. Do you feel anything different? Check your alignment carefully, and your ball position. After each shot, step away and process what you think you felt during the swing.
  3. Make it real. To just rake ball after ball in front of you and pound away is marginally valuable at best. To make practice productive, step away from your hitting station after each shot, rake another ball to the hitting area, then approach the shot as if it was a real one on the course. Pick a target line from behind the ball, meticulously step into your set-up position, take your grip, process your one swing thought and hit it. Then evaluate how you did, based on the shot result and how it felt.
  4. Challenge yourself. One of my favorite on-course practice games is to spend a few minutes around each green after I’ve played the hole, tossing three balls into various positions in an area off the green. I don’t let myself go to the next tee until I put all three within three feet of the hole. If I don’t, I toss them to another area and do it again. You can do the same thing on the range. Define a challenge and a limited number of shots to achieve it.
  5. Don’t get in a groove. I was privileged enough to watch Harvey Penick give Tom Kite a golf lesson one day, and was struck by the fact that he would not let Tom hit more than five to six shots in a row with the same club. Tom would hit a few 5-irons, and Mr. Penick would say, “hit the 8”, then “hit the driver.” He changed it up so that Tom would not just find a groove. That paved the way for real learning, Mr. Penick told me.

My “bonus” tip addresses the difference between practicing on the course and keeping a real score. Don’t do both. A practice session is just that. On-course practice is hugely beneficial, and it’s best done by yourself, and at a casual pace. Playing three or four holes in an hour or so, taking time to hit real shots into and around the greens, will do more for your scoring skills than the same amount of range time.

So there you have my five practice tips. I’m sure I could come up with more, but then we always have more time, right?

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The Wedge Guy: Anyone can be a better wedge player by doing these simple things



As someone who has observed rank-and-file recreational golfers for most of my life – over 50 years of it, anyway – I have always been baffled by why so many mid- to high-handicap golfers throw away so many strokes in prime scoring range.

For this purpose, let’s define “prime scoring range” as the distance when you have something less than a full-swing wedge shot ahead of you. Depending on your strength profile, that could be as far as 70 to 80 yards or as close as 30 to 40 yards. But regardless of whether you are trying to break par or 100, your ability to get the ball on the green and close enough to the hole for a one-putt at least some of the time will likely be one of the biggest factors in determining your score for the day.

All too often, I observe golfers hit two or even three wedge shots from prime scoring range before they are on the green — and all too often I see short-range pitch shots leave the golfer with little to no chance of making the putt.

This makes no sense, as attaining a level of reasonable proficiency from short range is not a matter of strength profile at all. But it does take a commitment to learning how to make a repeating and reliable half-swing and doing that repeatedly and consistently absolutely requires you to learn the basic fundamentals of how the body has to move the club back and through the impact zone.

So, let’s get down to the basics to see if I can shed some light on these ultra-important scoring shots.

  • Your grip has to be correct. For the club to move back and through correctly, your grip on the club simply must be fundamentally sound. The club is held primarily in the last three fingers of the upper hand, and the middle two fingers of the lower hand. Period. The lower hand has to be “passive” to the upper hand, or the mini-swing will become a quick jab at the ball. For any shot, but particularly these short ones, that sound grip is essential for the club to move through impact properly and repeatedly.
  • Your posture has to be correct. This means your body is open to the target, feet closer together than even a three-quarter swing, and the ball positioned slightly back of center.
  • Your weight should be distributed about 70 percent on your lead foot and stay there through the mini-swing.
  • Your hands should be “low” in that your lead arm is hanging naturally from your shoulder, not extended out toward the ball and not too close to the body to allow a smooth turn away and through. Gripping down on the club is helpful, as it gets you “closer to your work.
  • This shot is hit with a good rotation of the body, not a “flip” or “jab” with the hands. Controlling these shots with your body core rotation and leading the swing with your body core and lead side will almost ensure proper contact. To hit crisp pitch shots, the hands have to lead the clubhead through impact.
  • A great drill for this is to grip your wedge with an alignment rod next to the grip and extending up past your torso. With this in place, you simply have to rotate your body core through the shot, as the rod will hit your lead side and prevent you from flipping the clubhead at the ball. It doesn’t take but a few practice swings with this drill to give you an “ah ha” moment about how wedge shots are played.
  • And finally, understand that YOU CANNOT HIT UP ON A GOLF BALL. The ball is sitting on the ground so the clubhead has to be moving down and through impact. I think one of the best ways to think of this is to remember this club is “a wedge.” So, your simple objective is to wedge the club between the ball and the ground. The loft of the wedge WILL make the ball go up, and the bounce of the sole of the wedge will prevent the club from digging.

So, why is mastering the simple pitch shot so important? Because my bet is that if you count up the strokes in your last round of golf, you’ll likely see that you left several shots out there by…

  • Either hitting another wedge shot or chip after having one of these mid-range pitch shots, or
  • You did not get the mid-range shot close enough to even have a chance at a makeable putt.

If you will spend even an hour on the range or course with that alignment rod and follow these tips, your scoring average will improve a ton, and getting better with these pitch shots will improve your overall ball striking as well.

More from the Wedge Guy

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Clement: Don’t overlook this if you want to find the center of the face




It is just crazy how golfers are literally beside themselves when they are placed in a properly aligned set up! They feel they can’t swing or function! We take a dive into why this is and it has to do with how the eyes are set up in the human skull!

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