Luke is an avid weekend-warrior golfer from the East Coast who plays golf more than he cares to admit.
A crucial element to improving your game and not restricting your skill ceiling from getting any higher is learning and eventually perfecting different ways to hit a golf ball, with one of the most important techniques being a fade.
Fades enable you to curve the ball around a course so that you can reach areas that would be much harder to hit if you resorted to using a straight shot or even a draw, which is why it’s crucial to learn for when you need some curvature on the ball.
So that you can get practicing and perfecting this shot in no time, here is all you need to know about how to hit the perfect fade when using a driver.
When Would You Need To Use A Fade?
Fades are often referred to as cut shots because of the way they are struck, and rather than a draw that curves from right to left, a fade instead directs the ball from left to right which is very similar to a slice, but not as wild and much more controlled.
The ball is able to curve like this because the slightly open clubface gives it a good amount of spin once the club strikes.
There are a few reasons you may want to hit a fade, however the most common one is to navigate the ball around an awkward bend or a crooked dogleg.
A straight shot can use up a few of your swings when you encounter these sorts of areas, however a well-executed fade has a chance of traversing this distance much easier since the ball can curve around to its objective.
How To Hit A Fade Using A Driver
Hitting a fade with a driver is virtually the same as with an iron, so you will also be able to use the same technique when you want to use an iron to get a little less loft on the swing.
While hitting a fade can be a little tricky to begin, remember that the main factor to always keep in mind is that the clubhead should always be slightly open so that you can get a good amount of spin on the ball which will allow it to curve.
Step 1: Adjust Your Grip
Take a slightly weaker grip than you would normally and make sure your left hand is slightly rotated counter-clockwise so that you can only see two knuckles rather than three.
For your right hand, which should be at the bottom, rotate it just slightly in the same direction as your top hand and always keep it fairly low on the club as lifting it too high can easily cause you to hit a slice rather than a fade.
Finally, try and rest the driver on the palm of your top hand rather than the fingers since this will allow your swing to be a little softer which is crucial for executing a fade.
Step 2: Take Your Stance
Just like when hitting a straight shot, with a fade you will want to make sure your feet are parallel to the target line, however unlike a straight shot, you will want to adjust your body so that you are aiming slightly to the left of the hole since it’s going to curve once you swing.
Try and position your feet, arms, hips and shoulders further to the left than your club face since this will give the club an open position relative to the swing path which is what imparts the spin onto the ball.
Step 3: Leave The Clubface Slightly Open
When you have taken your stance and are aiming slightly to the left of the hole, rotate the toe of the club slightly away from the ball so that it opens up.
This doesn’t need to be too open as opening the face too much can cause the ball to fly to the right which can make for a much more wild shot.
You want to instead open the face just slightly as any amount will be enough to add some curve to the ball once it takes flight, which is part of the reason why experimenting and practicing with this swing takes so much time, however once you get it down, it can be replicated time and time again.
Step 4: Attack The Ball From Outside-To-In
When you go to hit the ball, use a slight outside-to-in motion in your swing so that you strike it to the left upon impact.
If your clubface is still open and your stance is aiming to the left while maintaining a fairly soft grip, this type of motion will allow the ball to fly left before slightly curving towards the right.
Always try to remember to attack the ball from a degree or two outside-to-in since if the driver comes down from too far outside and ends up cutting across the ball, this can cause you to instead hit a slice, so you don’t need to lift the club that far away when attacking the ball.
Tips For Opening The Clubface To Hit A Fade
Since the clubface is often the hardest part of hitting a successful fade shot, being able to keep a mental note of the sweet spot for hitting the ball is usually the part that takes a lot of practice, however you can easily adjust this by watching the entire flight of the ball and observing how it turns.
If it’s automatically moving to the right, then you will need to open up less of the face.
Golf tracking monitors are also an incredibly helpful tool that can monitor your speed, grip and distance of the ball once you make impact that can make learning a fade far easier.
While it does take a good amount of practice to get good at, a fade is one of the most useful shots in golf that is essential to learn for any golfer who wants to expand their skill ceiling for when they need a little more curvature on a ball.