The joy and beauty of a finely struck golf shot is immeasurable. If you are like me, you strive for the shot to gently curve towards the target as a draw. The most coveted shot in golf is the draw, and most amateurs struggle to hit it. I fell into that category for a long time, but now, I consistently draw the ball.
Hitting a draw is similar to breaking a bad habit. It is difficult the first few times, but after a while, it is second nature. I drink Dr. Pepper daily. I know if I tried to cut that caffeine out of my system it would be a struggle, but after a few weeks, I would be fine. I had the same experience learning to draw the ball.
After playing golf a few years, I finally took a lesson. My instructor painted a great picture for me related to swing plane. He used the baseball analogy and taught me to hit the ball to “1st base”. I worked on that move for a while, and it seemed to work. I found a similar youtube video online from Brian Crowell that is a great refresher:
Unfortunately, I got busy and stopped working on drawing the ball. I didn’t play much golf for a few years, and I ended up coming from the outside again. During a winter right after I started playing significantly, I went for a driver fitting. An instructor in our area guarantees increased distance from either better fit club or better swing. He bluntly told me I lose distance because the club comes from the outside. Without a formal lesson, he told me I had to come from the inside to get better.
I began the next season determined to hit a draw. I spent a full day on the range hitting half punch shots to the right. I remembered the baseball analogy and forced myself to start the ball extremely right. After a few range sessions, it worked. I could start the ball way right. I then worked on squaring the clubface to get the draw, and that worked. In less than 2 months, I consistently hit draws. I use draw loosely because they were more like planned duck hooks, but the ball rarely crossed the target line. Video of my swing showed the club came from the extreme inside. Hank Haney has a good video illustrating a technique to get that path:
The best golf of my life followed. I hit longer shots and more GIRs. I was on Cloud 9. However, reality started to set in that my shot shape was extreme and my distance wasn’t consistent. I believe drawing the ball is the best shot shape for amateurs, but watch out for quick fixes without more instruction. After another session with the pro who fit me, he loved the swing plane, but he noticed huge flaws produced my draw. I cupped the left wrist throughout, so my clubface was closed at the top. He joked that I could serve drinks from the clubface it was so flat. To compensate, I didn’t release the club through impact. I held on hoping it didn’t turn over more and go too far left.
I loved the golf I played, but a problem arose when I didn’t play as often. My timing got too far off and I missed both directions. I worked to try to flatten my wrist and release, but I became inconsistent. I signed up for GolfTec, but you can read my previous post about how poorly that went. I continued to drift farther and farther away from the draw.
I hit the breaking point this summer. I am focusing on weight shift, but I have a difficult time moving my hips independent of my shoulders. As I got better shifting my weight, my club progressively moved more outside the target line in the downswing. Since my weight shift is good, I am now working on adding the proper inside-out plane with the weight shift. The focus reintroduced the closed club face in my backswing. The continued dance of reacting to the new flaws brings me back around to near where I began. Just like riding a bike, I have the draw back. The goal now is a happy medium between 30 yard hooks to the target with lower trajectory and no stopping power and a high, short, stopping fade. The following video is a great tool to force the inside-out swing:
Comment on the best tips or videos you use to create the gentle draw of your dreams.