Hitting a draw with your irons is something that every golfer needs to add to their game to lower their scores. It allows you to start hitting more greens, create more birdie chances, and get closer to tucked pins.
By starting the ball right of your target and working the ball purposely from right to left as a right-hander (left to right as a lefty), you can shave strokes off your score, feel more confident over the ball, and master any course you find yourself on.
Being able to hit a consistent draw can also help you in your ability to scramble and save your score after errant tee shots. Shaping your shots around trees and other hazards can open up a whole world of scoring opportunities that take bad holes from double-bogeys to single or even pars!
Regardless of what you feel comfortable hitting at this point in time, adding a reliable draw to your repertoire is key to working towards your goals on the golf course.
Table of Contents
- So how do you hit a draw?
- The Takeaway – How to Hit A Draw With An Iron? (A Fail-Proof Guide)
So how do you hit a draw?
- Aim right of the target
- Swing on an inside to outside swing path
- Close the face relative to the path
- Swing smooth and make solid contact
The Science of a Draw
Simply put, a draw is a shot that uses side spin to move right to left in the air, sorry lefties (I am one myself) but we’ll look at this from a right-handed point of view for simplicity.
To create this spin you need to swing the club on an inside to outside swing path with the face of the club closed relative to the path, not the target. This combination will create an arcing shot that starts just right of the target and finishes at your target.
While the swing path and clubface must work together to achieve your desired draw, it’s important to know what affects what. Recent updates in golf swing tracking technology have allowed us to completely understand what aspects of the golf swing produce what results.
The simplest explanation of the mechanics of any golf swing is the face sends it, the path bends it.
But what does that really mean?
Your face direction at impact has the largest influence on the initial direction of your golf shot. When hitting a draw you want to start your shot right of the target, meaning your clubface needs to be facing right of the target.
The path, on the other hand, is what helps you spin the ball back to your desired target. The inside to outside swing path is what is needed to move the ball right to left.
When you put these two ideas together, an inside to outside swing path in conjunction with a closed club face, you get a textbook draw.
Sure, that sounds easier than it is, but when you combine this knowledge with lots of practice to develop your own feel, you’ll be hitting consistent draws in no time.
Adjustments at Address
To help you obtain an inside to outside swing path, it can be beneficial to slightly close your stance. What this means is placing your front foot slightly closer to the ball then your back foot. This forces you to close your shoulders to the target, which helps you start the ball on the correct line and frees up space in your backswing to feel comfortable coming inside to outside.
In conjunction with a closed stance, it can also help to put the ball ever so slightly further towards your back foot at address. This will ensure you hit the ball on your downswing before your path straightens out or starts to come outside to inside.
As you get more comfortable hitting a draw and really get a feel for where your hands are in the swing, you might be able to minimize or even skip these two steps. But when you’re just starting out, they will both help you achieve a consistent and reliable draw.
How Loft Affects Your Draw
While the key to a draw with irons (or any club for that matter) is the relationship between your swing path and the face direction, the exact ratio you need between the two varies depending on the loft of your club.
Simply put, the higher the loft on the club, the more variance between path and face angles you need to get the ball to draw.
According to Sean Foley at Golfdigest.com, with a 6-iron you need a 2-to-1 (path to face angle) ratio to achieve a draw. This means that a four-degree in-to-out swing path with a two-degree closed face (relative to the path) will give you the desired result. That means with a wedge you need it to be closer to a 3 to 1 ratio.
While the above numbers are accurate, you do not need a trackman to learn how to hit a draw, just remember to come more inside to outside and close the face just a little more when hitting a higher lofted club.
How Equipment Affects Your Draw
While you can hit a draw with any combination of ball and iron types, there are a few things that may hold you back.
The piece of equipment that has the largest effect on your ability to shape the ball is, well, the ball. Cheaper two-piece balls almost always have a lower spin rate than the more expensive three-piece balls. (to learn more about the different types of golf balls and how they can affect your game, see this article.)
This difference in spin rate can help you hit the ball straighter when you’re a higher handicap but as you start to develop your game, the higher spin rate balls will help you shape your shots exactly how you want to.
If you’re newer to the game and are using super-game improvement irons, or even standard cavity back irons, you may not be able to get quite as much spin on the ball. This is because these irons are specifically designed to add forgiveness to your swing.
This means they have a larger sweet spot and put less spin on the ball to minimize the effect of poor contact. As a side effect, this does hinder your ability to put spin on the ball, intentional or otherwise.
Upgrading to blades will help you work the ball consistently and effectively, but will also make miss-hits far more evident. A good rule of thumb is to not even consider switching to blade-style irons until you’re consistently shooting in the 70’s and feel like you need more control on your iron shots.
It’s important to fully understand the difference between blade and cavity back irons before purchasing either type of set.
When To Hit a Draw
How often you hit a draw with your irons ultimately is up to you. Some people hit a draw as their standard shot to provide consistent performance, while others turn to it only when there are pins tucked behind greenside hazards.
Hitting a draw often helps you achieve more distance on your shots thanks to the top spin on your ball as it hits the fairway. This makes draws a great option on firm links-style courses with longer irons when you want the ball to land short of the green and release forwards.
Drills to Help You Hit a Draw
Like anything in golf, you need to practice a lot to create a repeatable draw. Closing your face is fairly simple so this drill focuses mostly on getting the feel of a shallow inside to outside swing path.
There are probably hundreds of drills to achieve this feel but I’ll explain to you my favorite because it’s simple, effective, and you can do it with the equipment you already have in your golf bag.
Start with a mid-lofted iron, something around a 7 or an 8. From there, pick a target on the range and use a longer iron to align your feet just right of the target. This guide will make sure you’re lined up without making you think about it.
Next, take a driver cover and put it just outside the ball so that you’re forced to swing inside to out, if you hit this cover, you’ll know you swung over the top. As an added guide you can put a ball behind your backfoot as a visual cue to bring your backswing just a little further inside.
Now that you’re set up, take relaxed and smooth swings making sure your clubface is closed. You should start working the ball from right to left. Experiment as you do it – sometimes try and hit a hook and other times try to hit it straight to get a feel of how slight changes to your swing can get the ball to react differently.
If you’re more of a visual learner the drill below is a great alternative:
The Takeaway – How to Hit A Draw With An Iron? (A Fail-Proof Guide)
Hopefully the above tips and explanations will help you add a draw to your repertoire of shots. Working the ball right to left into greens (or vice-versa for lefty’s) and around hazards will have you shaving strokes off of your score in no time.
Next time you’re standing over the ball with an iron needing to hit a draw just remember:
- Aim right of target
- Close your club face
- Swing inside to outside
- Make solid contact
- Grab your putter and stroll to the green
As you start to work this shot into your game you’ll have to experiment to find out when it most benefits you to play it. You might find it becoming your go-to mid-iron or even wedge shot shape, or you might only use it when there is a tucked pin or tree in your way. Either way it’s sure to help you shoot lower scores and impress your playing partners!
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