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How to Eliminate One Side of the Golf Course

Updated on January 15, 2012

You hear it all the time, golf professionals telling you to eliminate one side of the golf course in order to shoot better scores. But what does that mean?

Eliminating one side of the golf course, like most things touring professionals make seems easy, is harder than it sounds. In order to eliminate one side of the course, you have to develop a go-to shot shape off the tee - either a draw or a fade - that way, you can depend on a certain outcome, and therefore aim away from either the left side or the right side of each and every hole.

Therefore, it is important to understand the basics to hitting a draw or a fade.

How to hit a draw

There are many ways to develop a draw shot shape into your arsenal. However, there are a few basics to ensure that your draw is controlled and effective - and that it doesn't develop into an enormous hook.

When placing your club head behind the ball, it is important to toe the club in a bit - which means you turn the club so that it is facing left of the intended target - effectively, closing the club face. It is important not to turn the club face too much as this will turn your controlled draw into an uncontrollable hook. You only need to close your club face a tiny bit to get that draw you're looking for.

The second thing to do when playing for a draw is to close your stance slightly. This means you line up for feet so that they are aiming to the right of your intended target. The combination of your feet aiming to the right, and you club face aiming to the left, will mean that everything is effectively aimed straight again.

If you are able to develop a consistent and controlled draw shot shape, then you will be able to trust that you can eliminate the right side of the golf course whenever you step up to the tee. Once you've got a draw, you can now aim to the right of the fairways and greens and trust that the ball will turn away from your target and fall to the left.

You'll never have to worry about hitting the ball out-of-bounds right, ever again.

How to hit a fade

The fundamentals to hitting a left-to-right shot, or a fade, are just the opposite of hitting a right-to-left, or draw, shot. Instead of aiming your clubface to the left of your target, now you're going to aim it to the right. Instead of aiming your feet to the right of the target, you're going to aim your feet to the left. Hitting a face is a lot like hitting a bunker shot - in that you've imparting more of a slap to the golf ball at impact than a draw where you may even visualize hitting a top-spin tennis shot.

One of the benefits of hitting a fade as your go-to shot is that amateurs tend to hit fades naturally as they are learning the game. The left-to-right shot is the easier of the two shots as it requires a lot less timing and skill to hit.

Also, the left-to-right shot tends to travel less in the air and on the ground as a draw, which means that the chance of something going dramatically wrong is less. The fade is more controllable for more golfers than the draw, making it the shot that is more recommended when learning to eliminate one side of the golf course.

If you've got the fade going as your go-to shot, you can not aim to the left of the fairway, and trust that the golf ball will fall to the center or right side of the fairway - essentially eliminating any chance of losing the ball out-of-bounds to the left.


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