Just like anything in golf, you’ll find an enormous amount of advice on hitting a fade. Some of it is great, but a lot of it is complicated and more difficult than necessary. I’m going to walk you through a very simple method to show you how to hit a fade. A method that works with your driver and irons.
What is a fade in golf? A fade is when a golfer hits the ball with a slight curve at the end of its flight path. The curve is left-to-right for a right-handed golfer and right-to-left for a left-handed golfer.
How to Hit a Fade – Step-by-Step
- Tee your golf ball slightly lower than normal
- Aim your feet and shoulders left of the target
- Aim your club face left of the target, but to the right of your body alignment
- Re-grip your club with the face properly aligned as described in step 3
- Try to swing a bit more out-to-in
How to Align Yourself to Hit a Fade
For a right-handed golfer, it is important to align your body to the left of your target. The club face should be open a bit, aligned to the right of your body, but slightly left of the target line.
You’ll want to pay attention to your natural tendency to correct. When you line up, it’s likely you’ll feel a bit out of whack. I think this is largely due to the fact you’re looking at an open club face.
I usually need to take an extra second to trust that I am lined up correctly to fade the ball.
These steps are the opposite of hitting a draw.
Golf Swing to Hit a Fade
When hitting a fade, it’s important your swing path is a bit more out-to-in. You’ll want to tee the ball up a bit lower, this will help you come across the ball a bit.
Many golfers try to take an in-to-out swing path on every shot. If this is you, it will probably feel quite a bit different. Feel as if you are letting yourself swing slightly over the top.
What Causes a Fade
Ball movement in the golf swing is due to the face angle relative to the swing path. When the club face is open, this is going to cause the ball to move left-to-right (for a right-handed golfer).
The reason for this is side spin. When you hit the ball with a glancing blow, it is going to put side spin on the ball. As the ball travels through the air, that side spin takes over and moves the ball.
Think of a curveball in baseball, or adding some english in billiards.
You may be interested in this article for a deeper-dive into golf ball flight paths.
Why Hit a Fade
You will likely encounter plenty of situations on the golf course where hitting a fade could benefit you. One of the most common may be a dog-leg right. Perhaps there are some trees on the right side of the fairway and you don’t have enough club to get over them.
You can go around them instead! This will allow you to cut the corner a bit and set yourself up for a shorter approach shot. For some holes, it can make the difference between having a reachable distance with your second shot on a par 5.
Having a fade in your arsenal can significantly improve your golf game. You’ll have more confidence! You’ll also have the option to attack certain greens or fairways that may have been out of reach otherwise.
Most modern drivers on the market have the ability to help correct bad shots. This often times means there is an adjustable weight on the back of the club. Before trying to execute a fade, you might consider giving this a quick check.
If you have the weight in the heal to help correct a slice for example, this may reduce your ability to hit a fade.
Golf balls can also effect your ability to hit a fade. Some golf balls are designed to reduce as much spin as possible. This increases distance and can also improve accuracy from the tee.
These types of golf balls may be more difficult to generate side spin, which is necessary to effectively hit a fade.
Practice Hitting a Fade
As with anything, it’s important to get some practice. It’s one thing to learn how to hit a fade on paper, it’s a whole lot different to apply it.
I’d recommend going to the driving range and be sure to bring an alignment rod with you. Alternatively, you can simply use a golf club.
Pick a target in the distance
Set your alignment rod aiming a couple of degrees to the left of the target
Set your club face right of the alignment rod, but slightly left of the target
Practice several shots, getting a feel for it. If you are struggling to execute it, go back to the basics and go through each of the 5 steps and refer to the diagram at the beginning of this article.
Tip – If you are struggling to execute a fade, or any golf shot for that matter, focus on your swing tempo to reduce all of the “noise” in your head.
Mental Preparation and Pre-Shot Routine
Visualizing your shot prior to hitting it is a critical success factor for any golf shot. Seeing yourself perfectly executing a fade, feeling your body swing through and your swing come across the ball can help tremendously.
Simply taking a few seconds to visualize a perfectly hit fade prior to stepping up to the ball can build confidence. Your mind can actually trick your body into feeling like you had a physical repetition when done properly.
Here is a more in-depth look at mental training for your golf game.
It can be pretty rewarding to step up to the tee and perfectly execute whatever shot you’re trying to hit! If you want to hit a fade in golf, it only takes a little know-how and some practice. Learning how to hit any shot for that matter.
I hope this article has helped you learn how to hit a fade! Give it a try on the driving range and let me know if this helped you, I’d love to hear from you.
Good luck on the golf course!