It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced golf player, or someone who’s only just getting to grips with the sport, knowing your way around each and every swing is crucially important not only so you can get an idea of what kind of player you are, but also so you can make the right adjustments depending on the distance of the hole and the club you are using.
One of these swing techniques is the fade, and while it is one of the most common, it still requires a good amount of practice to pull off effectively.
Here is all you need to know about a fade in golf so that you can start practicing your swing to perfection.
What Is A ‘Fade’?
A fade is a ball flight that shapes left-to-right for right-handed players and is right-to-left for lefties. A fade is therefore when the clubface is open to the swing path through impact.
The fade can commonly be mistaken for a slice, however, the major difference is a fade is a lot more controlled and won’t cover as far of a distance.
To put this into perspective, if a right-hander were to hit a tee shot that moves a few yards from left to right, then they will have performed a fade, however if the shot moves a lot more wildly to the right, this would be a slice.
How To Hit A Fade
Since a fade needs a very precise amount of power and precision, it often requires a good amount of practice in order to pull it off at will.
The key point to remember when powering up a fade is to always make sure your clubface is only open to its swing path, rather than also being open to the target line.
This is because if you do keep the face open to both, the ball would start weakly to the right before gradually curving a bit further which would be a slice.
You also need to make sure you have the correct grip otherwise it can prevent the ball from curving around as it should.
You’ll want to make sure that your grip is slightly weaker than normal when hitting a fade so your top hand is rotated counterclockwise only slightly.
If you’re struggling with the grip, try holding the club more in the palm of your hand rather than your fingers and rotate your bottom hand in the direction of your top hand, however always be sure that your bottom hand is not too far onto the top of the club since this can result in a slice instead.
In terms of stance, keep your feet parallel to the target line and always aim slightly to the left of your target so that it can curve around to it.
While you can hit a fade with your swing path, most golfers will open the clubface in order to hit a fade while carefully rotating the toe of the club just slightly away from the ball.
Always be careful about how much you open the clubface since if it is too open, the ball can start drifting to the right upon hitting, so you always want to be aiming to the left (For right-handers) and opening the face just enough to curve gradually from the hit.
As mentioned before, this does take practice, but once you get accustomed to the stance and grip it can be performed fairly easily.
When Should You Hit A Fade?
If you only rely on hitting a ball straight, you’re going to put a ceiling on your game, so it’s always crucial to know when to hit a ball a certain way to reach a hole quickly.
One situation where a fade will be most effective is when the hole is shaped either to the left or right of the tee.
These are sometimes called ‘Fade holes’ by professional golfers and are the opposite of draw holes where the ball moves from right to left.
Another good time to hit a fade is when the pin is located on the right side of the green.
A lot of the time, the pin can be tucked into the right side which is when a fade will be most optimal since you can aim toward the center of the green before hitting a fade and curving the ball slightly to the right so that it is as close to the pin as possible.
Finally, since a fade has much more control with each swing, it can be the better option when you’re struggling for accuracy with a draw.
While this can cost you a few yards since fades will often travel a shorter distance, if you’re getting closer to the hole it can be an easy way to have more control over the landing.
What Is A Push Fade?
The push fade is a little different to a regular fade since rather than the ball curving from left to right, a push fade starts to the right of the target and continues moving further right through the air.
This means the club face should be open to your target (see also: Why Do Golfers Yell Fore? )and your path at impact.
When hitting a push fade, you would therefore need to aim reasonably straight so that the ball can curve far to the right.
This is the most powerful fade, specifically because the club travels into the ball on a shallower, inside-out path which means the clubhead generates much more speed upon impact.
As a golf player, you need to expect the unexpected since you never know how far a hole is going to be once you reach the greens or if there will be any sudden turns or obstacles that you will be required to navigate.
This is why a fade is so useful since it is one of the most versatile ways you can hit a golf ball and is well worth practicing so you can feel confident next time you need some curvature on a ball.