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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Sean Foley on Playing Draws and Fades Easily

The instruction in this Golf Digest article by Sean Foley isn't new, but Foley explains it better than most and -- because he has video shot from a different angle than the photo -- some of the confusing issues are made much clearer.

First, here's the photo from the article:

Setups for draws and fades

Now, here's the video:

I think most players get the fade setup mostly correct. They may aim the club face wrong, but they generally get the foot and ball position close to what they want. I think that's just because fades seem a bit more natural to most of us.

The same can't be said of draws, however.

Please note that, although the instructions for the draw say you should set the ball about the middle of your stance for an iron, the view in the video looks as if the ball is all the way back at the inside of your trailing foot. But if you look at the photo, you can see that the ball is centered if you look at your toe line (the blue line) while it appears to be way back in your stance compared to your aim line (the dotted line).

You may be tempted to think that Foley's draw setup is too exaggerated. (And let's face it, most people have beat up on Foley quite a bit since he and Tiger worked together.) But I can assure you that this is the time-tested way to do it.

In fact, if you go all the way back to Harry Vardon's book The Complete Golfer (published in 1905, after he'd won 6 majors, and available free online at Project Gutenberg), you'll find this photo of the setup for a draw with a driver or brassie (that's a 2-wood), a shot which he calls a pull. Note the diagram in the upper right-hand corner. The ball is even farther back than in Foley's photo.

Vardon's setup for a draw

BTW, Vardon's measurements assume your driver is 42" long, roughly a modern 7-wood. If you're just over 5'9" tall, you'll find he's reaching for the ball just a bit. (Yes, he gives all those measurements in the book.) For our purposes, just note that his lead toes are over 21" from that white ball line while his trailing toes are only 4" away.

Be sure to check out Foley's article if you've been having trouble getting a draw, Your problem may be the result of a poor setup.

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