How much would learning how to hit a fade consistently make you a better golfer?
Let’s face it, most golfers know the slice all too well but with a few tweaks, you can reshape your slice into a strong, power fade.
Some of the best players in history chose a fade over a draw including Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and now Dustin Johnson. Needless to say, hopefully knowing that these iconic players choose a left to right ball flight will give you some incentive to learn this shot as well.
If you’re struggling with your slice or want a consistent shot pattern, look no further than power fade to help lower your scores. This move has the power to transform your game and the best part is that it doesn’t require a ton of work on your end.
Why You Need to Love A Power Fade
But here’s something you might not have thought of yet.
On your way to learning how to hit a draw, work backward on the spectrum from slice to power fade, to straight (if there is such a shot in this game), and then a right to left swing. This will make it easier to achieve your desired goal and also make you a more complete player.
A power fade starts left of the target and fading back 3-10 yards.
The amount of curve depends on what iron/wood you are hitting. The power fade is such a great shot because it won’t get you into much trouble like other ones.
Less trouble equals fewer hazards and lost balls, which should equal a lower score for you!
Plus, if you’re only shaping the golf ball 3-10 yards, it also makes it much easier to hit more fairways and put yourself in a better position for your approach. And let’s get real, who doesn’t want to hit more fairways?
So, why is the power fade such a reliable shot?
Simply put, it requires less work from you and your swing.
A power fade requires less timing and less wrist action – thus, making it a more consistent move.
I’ve played with some great players who drew the ball and could shoot 69 one day and 83 the next day.
Their swing was dependent on timing.
If you want to start lowering your scores and keep it in bounds, start playing a power fade. Who cares if a draw is getting you 5-10 yards more distance. Would you rather hit it farther or score lower on a more consistent basis?
If this sounds good, keep reading so you can learn the fundamentals of how to hit a power fade. IF you are still hung up on hitting a draw, read our detailed article on a fade vs. draw shot shape.
Setup to Hit a Fade Consistently
Let’s start with the basics…
First, to hit a fade you must have a slightly open clubface at impact. If the face is square, it will go straight. If the face is closed, it will curve to the left.
The more open the face at impact, the more left to right the ball will go (for right-handers). You simply can’t hit a power fade with a closed clubface as it will produce a pull or draw.
Here’s how to set up to hit the fade consistently:
How to Grip For a Fade
As with most shots in this crazy sport, it all starts with your grip. The first part of setting up to hit a fade consistently is to assess your grip.
Here are the two most common ways to grip the club:
1. Grip the club as normal, but apply more pressure with your left hand.
This will help you not roll your wrists over (which produces a draw) and help you feel like you are holding off the club at impact. Try this method first at the range as it’s easier than adjusting your grip.
2. Rotate your right hand to the left.
Normally, your right palm should be facing the target when gripping the club. But, if you want to hit a fade, start by rolling your right hand to the left, but don’t overdo it. By weakening your grip, it makes it much easier to fade it and not roll your hands over.
Some coaches teach one way, while others teach another method. Like so many other parts of this sport, there is no one way to do it. I suggest trying out both strategies and see what works best for you or even combine them too.
Pre Takeaway Position To Hit The Fade
Hitting a fade also starts with having a proper setup. Once you’re in a good starting position, use these tips to turn a weak fade or slice into a power fade.
Begin first by moving slightly closer to the ball. You want to feel like you are crowding the ball ever so slightly.
Once you’re “crowding” the ball, you will need to make sure you are aligned left of the target. Otherwise, with the ball starting left, you’ll miss fairways and greens to the right all the time.
Next, adjust your ball position slightly forward in your stance (I want to note, this shift is a very minimal amount). The amount depends on which club you are hitting but this will also help with.
Lastly, you want to be very specific with your alignment to the target. If you’re aimed right with an open clubface this can produce a big miss and even bigger scores.
Once this is correct and you have the right grip, all that you need to do is swing along the path of your feet and shoulders.
If you’re not sure if you’re aligned properly use an alignment rod or club on the range. Or, if you are playing, have a friend check for you the next time you’re out on the course.
4 Ways to Easily Hit a Fade
So, how do you fade a golf ball?
Now that you have the right mechanics, it’s time to do a few last minute checkups to make sure you can produce the shot on a consistent basis.
1. Check Your Equipment
The first step is to check your current equipment, which is simple, but I had to include it as so many players skip this step. Otherwise, you could be doing everything right to hit a fade and fail over and over again.
If your clubs, specifically your woods, have a draw setting, it’s much more difficult to execute the shot.
Start by checking your woods and make sure they are at a neutral or fade setting.
If you draw the ball a ton and want to hit the fade sometimes, switch the setting to a neutral position. If the clubface is closed at address, it’s going to make it difficult to produce a fade and could even create the dreaded double cross that could result in some big numbers.
This is why it’s important to check your current equipment before using the techniques in this article.
2. Use The Ball Flight Laws (Swing Path)
Remember, if you want to hit a fade with any club in the bag, your clubface must be slightly open at impact. As I discussed in the new ball flight laws, the clubface is much more important than your path to shape the ball either direction.
So many golfers still think swingpath is more important than the clubface. But in reality, the face plays a much bigger role (I would guess 85%).
3. Visualize the Fade
The third step to hit this one is to get a clear picture in your mind. I’d argue this is one of the most important parts of
You want to be very specific on your pre-shot routine on picking a target to hit the fade. If you have a 9 iron, it won’t be more than 2-4 yards. But a fairway wood or driver can be closer to 10. Make sure to commit to picking a target accordingly, as alignment is critical.
Once you commit to a target, use your practice swings to feel like you are hitting a fade. Don’t practice an inside, wrist turning draw swing. This just confuses your mind on what shot you are trying to hit. Instead, practice your new grip, and rehearse the swing that will give you a slightly open face at impact.
4. Open the Face
The last part is making sure the club is slightly open to the target.
Most golfers think to hit the fade they need to manipulate the backswing to open the face. This usually leads to bad tempo and a lot of other issues. In my experience, I’ve found this only adds too many thoughts and decisions to your game during a round.
Instead, at address, simply open the face slightly. The more you want to curve the ball, the more it should be open.
This allows you to not try and manipulate the swing and add unnecessary swing thoughts during the swing. Keep it simple so that you can execute it more often than not.
Watch this video to make sure you are setting up your alignment and clubface accordingly.
Bonus: How to Hit A Slice
As you know, this sport is all about your misses and what you can do to recover. Sometimes, we miss big and have to make some miraculous recovery shots to scramble for par.
If you miss to the right side of the hole, often times you need to hit a big cut… or even a full on slice. This is where your imagination comes in and how this sport is different from any other one out there.
Think of Sergio Garcia at 19 years old, hitting the unbelievable scissor cut with closed eyes at Medinah, as this type of shot. In case you don’t remember, here it is…
Sergio Garcia – Epic Save at PGA Championship
Tiger Woods – Legendary 9 Iron Bunker
Or, another great example is Tiger Woods slicing a 9-iron from a fairway bunker in 2019 in Mexico.
Step 1: Do Your Homework
Before anything, make sure to evaluate your lie, angle to the pin, potential trouble, ideal landing zone, and more. Just like normal, start by getting clear about what you can do (and can’t do) from the lie before deciding if this is the right option.
If the lie is bad, sometimes you need to chip out and hope to get up and down for a par save. But if things look good, advance to step two.
Step 2: Use An Extra Club(s)
Start by using one to two more clubs than you normally would, as it won’t travel as far (or roll out as far either). When you’re moving the ball this much left to right, remember that you will lose some distance.
Step 3: Adjust Your Stance
Next, choose the right setup position depending on what the shot requires. To work the ball right, having an open golf stance makes it much easier. If you are hitting it high, put it more in the front of your stance or hitting it low more middle to back.
Step 4: Out to In For More Curve
On a massive cut, you will need to also create a more outside to inside swing path.
On the swing, make sure to feel like you are limiting the release of the club through the shot. Imagine the heel of the club making contact first. Lastly, hold off the finish like Tiger has done so many times.
If done correctly, this will produce a big left to right shot that helps you save par or birdies and impress your playing partners.
FAQs About The Fade Shot
Do you have more questions about fading the ball? If so, check out our frequently asked questions and answers below.
Is it easier to hit a fade or a draw?
This is a great question that so many players want to know.
Ultimately, I don’t think it’s such a black or white answer. Instead, it depends on a number of factors, including:
Every golfer has their own tendencies, so make sure to test out which one works best for your goals!
Why can’t I hit a fade?
Usually, it’s not a mechanical issue but instead, a setup position issue. Without the right setup, it’s so hard to adjust your backswing or downswing to play it correctly. Focus on what happens before your backswing before anything else!
Then, if you’re still struggling, make sure to video one of your practice sessions. When you do, you can get instant feedback to see what’s working (and what’s not). When you video a session, make sure to record from both down the line and face on to get the full picture.
Then, revisit this article to implement new techniques!
Final Thoughts on Hitting a Fade
Hopefully, after reading this, you no longer believe hitting a cut is some advanced ballstriking technique you should fear. It’s a lot easier than you might think.
When you can add the fade to your game, it’s much easier to consistently shoot lower scores.
The biggest part about a fade consistently is what happens before you ever make a backswing. Without the proper setup (arms, feet, shoulders, ball position), it’s nearly impossible to execute the left to right flight.
As a reminder…
Make sure your grip is adjusted, aligned left of the target, and committed to hitting the shot. Once you’re aimed properly, adjust the clubface slightly open and swing along the line of your body.
Here’s to hoping you can finally hit the power fade consistently. And, if you do need to hit the Sergio hero shot, don’t pull a hammy running after it!