Written By: Andrew Rice

Yes, yes, we all know that draws go further than fades. The burning question is why?

Why would a ball curving one way in the air go further than a ball curving the other way? After all, if we conducted a test in a very controlled environment and all the factors other than curvature through the air were the same, we would find that draws and fades travel the exact same distance.

The fact is, however, that in real life those other factors are seldom the same. There always seems to be something that makes a draw go further than a fade and the purpose of this test was to gain a better understanding of what those factors might be.


The results from this test will not change whether or not you try to hit draws (you should!) or how you try to hit them, but it will show you how and why draws travel further than fades.

Test Parameters

  • I tested 12 golfers (all right handers) who each had a fairly predictable shot shape pattern at the time of testing
  • Each golfer hit numerous shots with their own driver until I had five decent shots that fit their typical pattern (fade or draw as determined by Spin Axis)
  • This meant that this test evaluated 30 fades ( 6 x 5 shots) and 30 draws (6 x 5 shots)
  • All the golfers were fairly good – they ranged from a 12 handicap male to an LPGA tour golfer
  • Club speeds ranged from 86.2 MPH to 103.4 MPH
  • The test was conducted over several days using Titleist NXT Tour Practice balls
  • The data was normalized to 75 degrees at sea level with a premium golf ball




When adjusting for the difference in speed, if the faders and drawers both had club speeds of 100 MPH, the fades carry 222 yards with a total distance of 249 yards and the draws carry 224 yards with a total of 258 yards. I found it interesting that the carry distance was very similar, yet due to the lower spin rates for the draws, the total difference was a more substantial 9 yards.

I noticed that several of the fade shots had their particular shape due a heel sided strike on the clubface. This would be indicated in the fact that the average clubpath for the faders was slightly in to out – a requirement for hitting draws as long as the strike is centered. These heel sided strikes effectively added spin, which kept the carry numbers fairly close, yet limited the roll out once the ball was on the ground.


I was somewhat surprised at the fact that the attack angle for both camps was ascending. I would perhaps attribute this to the fact that all the golfers tested take lessons and understand the importance of hitting up on the driver. I was not surprised that the drawers had an elevated attack angle over the faders.

I was surprised that the spin loft numbers were as close as they were for each camp – 13.5 (fade) to 12.3 (draw). I do believe that this was in large part due to the fact that there were several toe strikes that led to draws and numerous heel strikes that led to fades. TrackMan reports Spin Loft in the middle of the impact interval and as a result the heel strikes, which often tend to be low on the face due to shaft droop, deloft the face and narrow spin loft, while toe strikes tend to be high on the face and this widens the spin loft gap. I believe that with purely centered strikes the drawers would have a substantially narrower spin loft and thus transfer more energy to the golf ball. This effect was already in evidence with the difference in smash factor from 1.43 to 1.45.

The Takeaway


Draws go further than fades! Wow – you knew that already, but why? This test shows that the primary reasons appear to a reduction in spin rate, a more ascending attack angle with a draw biased swing, and better energy transfer from club to ball.

Just imagine if you could convert from good fades to good draws – you would have one less club into every green on the course! And I know you’re better with a 7 iron in your hand than a 6 iron.

That doesn’t even account for an upgrade from inefficient fades to effective draws….