Want to hit draws *and* fades? Start by changing this 1 thing

sarah stone demonstrates swing tip to GOLF editor zephyr melton on a tee box

In today's edition of Play Smart, Top 100 Teacher Sarah Stone shows us an easy way to manipulate your shot shapes.


Welcome to Play Smart, a regular GOLF.com game-improvement column that will help you play smarter, better golf.

Being able to shape the ball in both directions is a hugely important skill. If you can work the ball both ways, it helps attack holes from all kinds of angles.

But working the ball both directions isn’t easy. Everyone has a predominant shot shape, so hitting the ball in the opposite direction can be a difficult skill to learn (and especially master). If you want to become an elite ball-striker, though, it’s important to understand how to shape the ball both ways.

Shot shapes are affected by two main things: the club path and the face angle. Learning to manipulate these two things in the correct way is crucial if you want to hit draws and fades on command. And according to GOLF Top 100 Teacher Sarah Stone, all you have to do is change one simple thing in your setup.

How to shape the ball both directions

If you want to hit a draw, you need a path that’s in-to-out and a face angle that’s slightly closed. While if you want to hit a fade, you need a path that’s out-to-in and a face that’s slightly open. An easy way to manipulate these two factors is by changing your ball position at setup.

“One of the most misunderstood concepts is that every driver should be played off the forward foot,” Stone says. “That usually doesn’t create the shot shape that people are looking for.”

Instead of always having the ball off your inside foot with a driver, position the ball based on the shot type you want to hit.


To hit a draw, you want to play the ball more in the middle of your stance. This ball position will promote a more in-to-out path, allowing you to hit the inside portion of the ball. Then all you need to do is make sure your clubface is slightly closed at impact.

“That will give you an opportunity to get that golf club coming in from the inside,” Stone says. “This gives you a chance to square the clubface and work it right-to-left.”


For a fade, you’ll want to play the ball farther forward in your stance. With this ball position, your shoulders will be more open and you will swing more out-to-in. Then if you keep the face open just a touch, the ball should work with a left-to-right shape.

“Wherever you feel like your shoulders are is going to be where the path of the club is going to travel,” Stone says. “And that’s going to create the start direction of the golf ball.”

Zephyr Melton

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at zephyr_melton@golf.com.