Ideally, you should strike the back of the golf ball on point directly aligned with the target, right? Not necessarily.
It’s better to hit the ball on a spot slightly inside the target line, or closer to your body. This happens when your swing path travels from inside-to-out, as most professionals and better amateurs swings do.
An inside-out swing is required to hit a draw (right-to-left shot), a more powerful flight than the left-to-right fade. In inside-out clubhead path also transfers maximum power from your body to the club and into the ball.
If you struggle to draw the ball or make an inside-out swing in general, try focusing on a point on the inside of the ball, then hitting it. Your body will do its best to produce a swing that matches your visualization.
Why Is It So Important to Hit the Inside of the Golf Ball
If you take the time to have a formal golf lesson with your local teaching pro, hitting the inside of the golf ball is likely going to be one of the very first things that they preach to you. Using an inside out golf swing to strike the ball from the inside with power and consistency is a mark of a good player, and one who is likely to lower their scores in the near future. While it is possible to play decent golf hitting from the outside, it is not a strategy that you want to try to use intentionally. Your goal should always be to attack from the inside because that is where the best transfer of energy from club to ball is going to occur.
Assuming you have played golf for some time now, you have certainly seen players on the course that have a beautiful inside out golf swing. They are the ones who seem to be in control of the golf ball, and can generate power even though it doesn’t look like they are swinging very hard at all. That ‘easy’ power comes from the efficient transfer of energy that you can when attacking form the inside.
So what is meant by hitting the inside of the golf ball? Basically, the ‘inside’ of the ball is the side closest to you at address. When you stand over the ball to get ready to hit your shot, the half of the ball closest to your feet is the inside half. Striking this side of the ball is the best way to hit power draw golf shot and add distance to your shots overall. Hitting too far from the inside can create a hook, which is obviously not a good thing – so you need to find just the right balance in order to generate a reliable ball flight.
For some golfers, hitting from the inside will not be much change – if any at all. If you are already playing a draw on most of your shots, you are likely hitting nicely from the inside. However, if you are hitting a fade, or a slice, you may have some mechanical issues that need to be fixed before you are able to hit power draw golf shot on a regular basis. Making this change is certainly possible, it will simply require some hard work and attention to detail during your practice sessions.
Before getting started, it is important to note that the instruction below is based on a right handed golfer. If you happen to play golf left handed, please be sure to reverse the directions.
Using Your Whole Body
One of the things that professional golfers do so well – and many amateur golfers do so poorly – is to use their whole body to power the swing. If you have ever wondered why professionals are able to hit the ball so far with seemingly little effort, a lot of it has to do with how they use their bodies during the swing. Instead of just throwing their arms at the ball and hoping for the best, a professional will wisely use their whole body to help build speed and attack the ball from the inside.
You can’t hit the ball from the outside and still use your whole body effectively because your arms have to get out and away from your torso to hit from outside to in. This disconnection between your arms and the rest of your body robs you of power, along with making it more difficult to achieve solid contact. Most players who struggle with a slice have the problem of getting disconnected during the downswing. In order to hit your most powerful shots, you are going to need to stay connected as much as possible all the way through impact.
If you have been trying to figure out how to draw a golf ball, it all has to do with this ‘connection’. As you turn away from the ball during the backswing, your arms should stay close in to your sides while the club wraps around your back. As you turn back toward the ball, you have two options – keep your arms in tight and lag the club behind you, or throw the club to the outside and let your arms move away from your body. Obviously, the first choice is going to the be the right one. You aren’t going to figure out how to draw a golf ball consistently until you learn the proper connected feeling in the downswing.
One of the most exciting moments you can have as a golfer is when you finally learn what the mechanics of a draw feels like, and you hit one perfectly down the fairway. The feeling at impact when you are hitting from the inside out is a powerful one, and one that you won’t forget anytime soon. Any good golfer will tell you that when done correctly, it almost doesn’t even feel like you hit the ball – it just explodes off of the club face in an instant. This is an addictive feeling, and you will want to work harder to make sure you can make great contact as often as possible.
While many golfers do prefer playing a draw from this powerful inside position, there are also plenty of good golfers who play a fade on most of their shots. So does this mean that they are hitting from a weaker, outside position? No, not necessarily. That is the case for many amateur players, but quality professionals that you see hitting a fade are almost certainly still hitting from the inside. The ball flight you achieve is a result of the position of your club face relative to the path of the club – so you can still hit a fade from an inside path as long as your club face is open to the target relative to the path of the club. This explains how some of the longest drivers on Tour can hit fades more than 300 yards down the fairway. They are still playing from a powerful, connected position at impact.
If you get the chance, have a friend record your golf swing so you can watch how your arms and body work throughout the swing. Hopefully, you will see that your arms stay well-connected to your torso and that the rotation is coming powerfully down into the ball from a good position. However, you might find that your arms are getting too far away from your body, and leaving you in a weak position. For players who struggle to reach the distances that they would like, this is often going to be the case. Fixing the lack of connection in your swing should be your top priority if you would like to add distance and consistency to your ball striking.
Since hitting from the inside of the ball has so much to do with this idea of staying connected in your swing, let’s look a little closer at how you can make that happen. Just by doing a couple simple drills and hitting plenty of practice balls, you should be able to solve this swing problem in the end.
The first step in this process is for you to commit to not hitting any of your long clubs for a short period of time. It is far harder to stay connected with your driver, for example, than it is your pitching wedge. So, at first, you are only going to want to hit short irons at the driving range until your technique improves. From there, you can move up gradually until you are hitting powerful shots with your driver. It might take a little bit of time to get from here to there, but no real improvement comes easy in golf.
Following are two drills for you to work on at the driving range to get started improving your ability to stay connected throughout the swing.
- Glove in the armpit. This might be the most popular connection drill of all, and for good reason – it really work. Rarely will you find a drill that is this simple and still so effective. To start, get your pitching wedge and a few practice balls to hit. Take an extra golf glove from your bag and place it under your left armpit. You want to lower your arm so that the glove is trapped in your armpit when you take your stance at address. From here, all you need to do is make your normal swing and hit the shot. If you are having connection problems, the glove will fall to the ground at some point during the swing. The goal is to keep the glove in place all the way through impact and beyond (if it falls out when you reach your finish position, that’s okay). Most likely, you will struggle with this drill at first until you make the necessary adjustments to the position of your left arm throughout the swing. You can use the moment when the glove falls as a good hint regarding where your swing is going wrong – if it is early, look to your takeaway, and if it is later in the swing, look to your transition.
- Towel drill. This drill is similar to the previous one, but you won’t actually hit shots in this case. With the towel drill, you are going to take a small golf towel and roll it up into a long cylinder. Next, take your normal golf stance and place the golf towel under both armpits, running across your chest. With the towel trapped in place, make some abbreviated practice swings and feel the sensation of keeping both arms down close to your side. You might not be able to quite make full swings, but that is okay. What you are looking for is the feeling of swinging through impact while moving from the inside-out. As long as the towel is in place, you will know that there is no way you allowed your arms to lift away from your body during the swing.
Those two drills won’t take more than a few minutes to complete, but they can change your swing forever if you do them correctly. At first, the connection between your arms and your torso is likely to feel restrictive. However, the more you work on these drills and the more practice shots you hit, the better you are going to feel with this type of swing.
Drawing the Ball with a Driver
If you want to know how to hit a draw in golf with your driver, it is probably because you would like to hit the ball farther. It is true – solving the riddle of how to hit a draw in golf with your driver will almost certainly lead to more yards off the tee because you will be hitting through the ball from a much more powerful position. Also, the trajectory of a draw moves through the air better than a fade and offers the additional benefit of more roll once the ball lands. While there are plenty of pros who are able to bomb long drives while playing a fade, it is going to be the best choice for the majority of amateur players to opt for a draw when trying to maximize their distance.
To make the change from hitting a fade with your driver to hitting a draw, you should start by working on the drills that are listed above. Mastering those drills will go a long way toward helping you get the driver in the right position to attack the ball from the inside and improve your distance. There is a good chance that just working on those drills for a period of time will lead you down the right path toward hitting a reliable draw.
However, those drills alone might not get you all the way to your goal in terms of driving the golf ball. To help put the last few pieces of the puzzle into place and find that draw you have been looking for, make sure to pay attention to the following points.
- Ball position. You need to get the ball position right with your driver in order to hit a draw regularly. When the ball gets too far forward in your stance – which is a common mistake among amateur players – you won’t be able to reach the ball in time to strike it while the club is still coming from the inside. If anything, you want to error on the side of having it too far back in your stance so you can be sure you are still moving the club from inside-out at impact. Over time, you should be able to experiment with various ball positions until you find the perfect spot to set up with your driver.
- Flat swing plane. It is difficult to hit a consistent draw when you have an upright swing plane with your driver. While proper connection will go a long way toward putting you on the right plane, you can also improve your chances by taking a good stance over the ball. Instead of hunching over from the waist with straight legs, try to engage your lower body with flexed knees and keep your back relatively straight. As long as you take this stance – and keep your arms properly connected to your torso during the swing – you shouldn’t have much trouble finding a good swing plane that will produce a draw.
- Let it go. Even if you do everything else right in your swing leading up to impact, you can still lose your opportunity to hit a draw right at the last moment if you restrict the release of the club with your hands. You don’t need to consciously release the club with your right hand through impact, but you do need to allow that release to happen. That means not having a grip pressure that is too tight, and not getting nervous that the shot is going to be off line. Once you start your downswing, there is very little that you can do to ‘save’ the shot if you think something is wrong – so just let it go and have confidence that the ball is going to draw right down the middle of the fairway.
In a perfect world, you would be able to hit a draw or a fade off the tee depending on the hole you are playing. However, golf isn’t that easy for most people. More likely, you will need to choose one ball flight with your driver and use it for the majority of your tee shots. You will probably be best served to make that ball flight a draw since it offers added distance and better performance in poor weather conditions. Use the instruction above to work on your ability to hit a draw with the driver.
Drawing the Ball with Your Irons
Just like with the driver, there are plenty of great reasons to want to hit a draw with your irons as well. Of course, many of the same fundamentals apply to your swing, and the swing that you make with your irons should be as similar to your driver swing as you can make it. The more consistency that you can have in your swing throughout the bag, the better your performance will be from the first tee to the last green.
Let’s go over a few specific tips that can help you to find the answer to the question of how to hit a draw with irons.
- Ball back in your stance slightly. This point is even more important with your irons than it was with the driver. You need to make sure that your club head is moving both down and inside-out at impact, so not letting the ball position get too far forward is critical. With all of your irons except for the 3-5, you should be taking a divot after you hit the ball from the fairway. If you aren’t doing that consistently, there is a good chance that you have the ball too far forward in your stance. Make the adjustment to your ball position and you should find that the ball flight quickly improves.
- Proper aim. It might sound obvious, but part of hitting a draw with your irons is simply making sure you are aimed correctly in the first place. If you plan on hitting a draw, you should obviously be aimed out to the right of the target at least a few yards. When you fail to do this, your body will sense that you aren’t aimed correctly and you might subconsciously adjust your swing to compensate. Pay attention to the exact point of your aim at address to give your draw plenty of room to move.
- Eyes on the ball. One last tip on how to hit a draw with irons is simply to keep your eyes down on the ball until after impact has occurred. Lifting up out of the shot to see where the ball is going is a common mistake, and one that could turn a draw into a push quite quickly. When you pull your head up and out of the shot too early, the club might not be able to release fully and you can be left with a ball flight that sails wide right of the target. Keep your eyes on the ball and watch the club rip through impact before you look up to watch the beautiful draw you just hit.
Hitting the inside of the golf ball is all about developing power and consistency with your ball striking. While playing a draw on the majority of your shots might seem like a dream at this point, it actually can be a lot close to reality than you think. Work on the fundamentals included above and you should be able to develop a controlled, powerful draw that will serve you well on almost any golf course.