The Easiest Way to Draw or Fade

There are so many ways to hit a draw or a fade. I want to give you probably the easiest way to hit either shot. They both involve your right thumb (left thumb if you play left-handed).

In his book Five Lessons, Ben Hogan said:

“School yourself when you’re taking your grip so that the thumb and the adjoining part of the hand across the V–the part that is in the upper extension of the forefinger–press up against each other tightly, as inseparable as Siamese twins. Keep them pressed together as you fix your grip, and maintain this airtight pressure between them when you fold the right hand over the left thumb.”

He said the reason is that it lets the right hand be strong where it should be strong (which is not in the thumb and forefinger, in his opinion).

This pressing of the right thumb against the side of the hand has another effect which no doubt pleased Hogan but that he didn’t mention. It is an anti-hook move.

The pressure between the two freezes up the right wrist somewhat so it cannot unhinge freely through the hitting area and close the clubface. It actually delays the closing of the clubface to produce a fade, the shot Five Lessons was all about creating.

And it’s true. The next time you go to the range, press your right thumb against your hand and see what happens.

Now if you want to hit the opposite way, a draw, loosen the connection between the thumb and the hand. Place your thumb on the shaft so there is a gap between the thumb and the side of the hand. The wider the gap, the looser your wrists.

The pictures below show my normal grip, draw grip, and fade grip.


Try that and see what happens.

You will have to adjust your aim to account for the curving of the ball, but that’s all. Your swing stays the same. Just a little movement of the thumb one way or the other is all it takes.

You can use this technique to your advantage to stay away from trouble off the tee. Move the thumb away from the trouble to ensure the ball doesn’t curve toward it.

For example, if there is trouble on the right, move the thumb on top to the left to produce a right-to-left shot. Hold the club a bit looser than usual with the same hand.

To avoid trouble on the left, move the thumb on top to the right and hold the club a little tighter than usual with that hand.

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