What is a Fade in Golf (How to Guide with Examples)

What is a Fade in Golf

Have you ever hit a golf ball that seems to have a mind of its own? I certainly have – more times than I’d like to admit. As someone who’s been playing golf for years, I can confidently say that understanding the different types of shots you can hit is crucial to improving your game. That’s why I’m here today to answer the question on every golfer’s mind: What is a fade in golf?

As I’m sure you’re aware, plenty of golf terms can leave beginners scratching their heads. But once you get the hang of them, you’ll be able to use them to your advantage on the course. 

A fade, for example, is a type of shot that, when executed correctly, can be one of the most impactful tools in your arsenal. In this post, I’ll be diving into the details of what exactly a fade is, how to hit one, and when it’s most effective – all with a healthy dose of humor and expertise, of course. So let’s tee off and get started!

What is a Fade in Golf | Explained

A fade in golf is a shot that curves slightly from left to right (for right-handed golfers) in the air. It is the opposite of a draw shot, which curves from right to left. Think of a fade as a controlled slice. It is not a mistake – rather, it is a deliberate shot that is used to avoid obstacles on the course or to hit a target that is positioned to the right of your starting line. All in all, there is a big difference between a slice and a fade.

How to Hit a Fade in Golf | 5 Steps

Before attempting a fade golf shot, it is important to bear in mind that it is not a shot for everyone. The fade shot requires a certain level of clubhead speed and control to execute accurately. Moreover, the technique takes time to master, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work out the first time.

Step 1: Aim to the Left

The first step to hitting a fade is to prepare your stance. Start by positioning your body to the left of your target. This position will help you get into the right fade swing path, essential for executing the shot. Aim the clubface at the target like you normally would with any shot.

Step 2: Hold the Club Lightly

The next step is to grip the club lightly. The fade shot requires a loose grip to give the clubhead room to move freely through impact. Hold the club with your lead hand and place your trailing hand lightly on the club’s grip. Ensure that you maintain the club’s face angle throughout the swing. To know more about the effect of grip position on golf driving accuracy & distance, read the study.

Step 3: Open Your Stance

Opening your stance is vital when trying to hit a fade golf shot. Your feet should be positioned about shoulder-width apart, and the front foot should be moved slightly toward the target. This position will help you to swing on an outside-in swing path.

Step 4: Swing On An Outside-In Path

The outside-in path is the key to executing the fade shot. Start by bringing the club back on your backswing along the line of your body. Ensure that you rotate your hips and shoulders to help keep your clubface slightly open. Then, as you begin your downswing, aim to come down on a slightly steeper angle than usual. Your club’s head should move from outside your body towards the ball at impact. This position will promote an open clubface and a left-to-right spin on the ball.

Step 5: Follow Through

The last step is to follow through on your fade swing path, keeping your head still. The right hand should release slightly in the follow-through, which will help to close the clubface and give the ball a slight fade spin.

I vividly remember the first time I tried to hit a fade in golf. I was on a tricky course, with a tight fairway lined with trees on both sides. My usual shot, a draw, had resulted in too many shots landing in the rough. I took a deep breath, adjusted my grip and stance, and tried to execute the fade golf shot. 

To my surprise, the ball sailed down the center of the fairway and curved slightly to the right, landing perfectly in the middle. Since then, I’ve added the fade to my arsenal of shots, and it’s saved me many strokes on the course.

By following the step-by-step guide outlined above, you can master this shot too, and take your game to the next level. 

How to Hit a Power Fade in Golf?

a female golfer hitting a power fade

The power fade shot is a useful tool in the arsenal of any golfer as it provides you with the ability to launch the ball higher with less spin and have it curve to the right. Here are my step-by-step instructions for hitting this shot:

Step 1: Get Your Setup Right

Ensure that you have the ball positioned toward the inside of your left heel. Also, adjust your stance so that your feet and shoulders are aligned to the right of your target.

Step 2: Adjust Your Grip

To hit a power fade, you need to tweak your grip slightly. Move your left hand slightly clockwise on the grip and your right hand counterclockwise. This adjustment will produce your shot’s left-to-right break.

Step 3: To Hit a Power Fade, Rotate Your Upper Body

Start your backswing by rotating your shoulders and upper body slightly to the right of your target. This motion allows you to get the club away from the ball correctly and on the right swing path.

Step 4: Keep Your Clubface Open at Impact

Focus on keeping your wrists from rotating through impact to avoid closing the clubface. This will keep your shot on a high trajectory and give it the right spin to curve to the right.

Step 5: Release Your Club

Release the club, complete your swing release with the clubface remaining open, ensuring the ball spins away from your target.

Power Fade Golf Shot Checklist
Step 1Place the ball inside your left heel
Step 2Adjust your grip
Step 3Rotate your upper body to the right
Step 4Keep your clubface open at impact
Step 5Release your clubface and let the ball glide away from your target

How to Hit a Low Fade in Golf?

The low fade is another popular shot used to control your ball’s shape and flight path effectively. This shot launches the ball lower, with significant spin, and has its curve to the right. Here’s my step-by-step guide on how to hit a perfect low fade:

Step 1: Place the Ball Slightly Further Back in Your Stance

When hitting a low fade, place the ball slightly further back in your stance than your normal shot. Move the ball back towards your right foot for a right-handed golfer.

Step 2: Adjust Your Grip

Adjust your grip as you did in the power fade shot by moving your left hand slightly clockwise on the grip and your right hand counterclockwise.

Step 3: Focus On Your Swing Plane

To get the perfect low fade, swing the club slightly on an inside-out path that shallows out as you approach the ball, with a slightly more vertical swing plane. 

Step 4: Keep Your Clubface Open at Impact

Maintain the adjustment you made to your grip, which helps keep the clubface open, providing the appropriate spin, launch, and curve to your shot.

Step 5: Release Your Club

Complete your swing, releasing your clubface, and let the ball glide away from your target with a controlled fade.

Low Fade Golf Shot Checklist
Step 1Place the ball further back in your stance
Step 2Adjust your grip
Step 3Swing on an inside-out path with a vertical swing plane
Step 4Keep your clubface open at impact
Step 5Release your clubface to allow the ball to curve to the right

Why Can’t I Hit a Fade?

Hitting a fade from the inside can be a difficult shot for many golfers. Here are some possible reasons why:

1. Grip: Your grip can have a huge impact on your ball flight. A strong grip can result in a draw, while a weak grip can lead to a fade. Make sure you are holding the club comfortably and not too tightly.

2. Swing Path: The path you take when swinging can also determine whether you hit a fade or not. If your swing path is too far to the left, you will likely hit a fade. Correct your path by swinging more to the right.

3. Angle of Attack: The way the clubface hits the ball can also affect your ball flight. If you are hitting down too much on the ball, you may be creating too much spin which leads to a fade. Make sure you are striking the ball with a more level or slightly upward angle of attack.

4. Ball Position: The address position of the ball in your stance can also impact your fade. Moving the ball back in your stance can promote a Fade while moving it forward can promote a draw.

5. Equipment: Finally, your equipment can play a role in your ability to hit a fade. Certain clubs may have a higher tendency to draw and others for a fade. Talk to your club fitter to make sure you have the correct equipment for your desired ball flight.

How to Hit a Fade With a Driver?

As a professional golfer, I use the fade golf shot quite often in my games. I remember the first time I hit a fade shot with my driver in a professional tournament. I was nervous, but I followed the steps, and the ball landed perfectly on the fairway. It was a great feeling, and I knew I had mastered the skill.

Hitting a fade with the driver may seem intimidating, but with the right technique, it can be a powerful weapon in your golf arsenal. Here are the steps to follow to hit a fade with a driver:

Step 1: Understand the Ball Positioning

The first step is to understand the ball’s position to hit a fade with the driver. The best way to hit a fade with the driver is to position the ball slightly forward in your stance, just ahead of the middle of your feet. This positioning will make it easier to hit the ball with an upward angle, so it gains height and enough backspin.

Step 2: Adjust Your Grip

Once you have the ball’s positioning figured out, you need to adjust your grip slightly. The key is to loosen your grip a little bit while keeping your arms straight. This will allow you to swing with a little more power and hit the ball higher with some added backspin.

Step 3: Focus on the Swing Plane

The next step involves focusing on the swing plane. You need to make sure your club is coming from the outside in so that it hits the ball at an angle that promotes fade spin. This will help you create a smooth arc that will result in the ball rotating from right to left when hit.

Step 4: Hit the Ball with Confidence

Finally, it’s time to hit the golf ball with confidence. To hit the fade, you need to make solid contact with the ball, ensuring that you hit it with enough power to make it spin from right to left. This process requires many repeated attempts until perfect.

How to Hit a Fade With Irons?

Hitting a fade with irons is slightly different but follows a similar technique. Let’s take a look at the steps:

Step 1: Focus on Ball Positioning

To hit a fade with irons, you need to focus on ball positioning. Unlike hitting a fade with the driver, the ball’s position should be just in front of the middle of your stance. This positioning will allow you to create a more significant downward angle of attack and hit the ball higher with extra backspin.

Step 2: Make Adjustments in Your Grip

Once you have the ball’s position figured out, you need to make adjustments in your grip. The key is to grip the club with your weak hand lower down the shaft. This will promote a higher launch and also will promote a fade spin.

Step 3: Swing with a Steep Arc

The final step involves swinging with a steep arc. You need to make sure that your club comes from inside to out with a significant downward motion on the ball. This process will also help ensure that the ball rotates from right to left when hit.

Another important factor in hitting a fade with both irons and drivers is the weight of the golf club. A heavier golf club tends to promote more fade, particularly for those who have a higher swing speed. Lighter golf clubs are better for those who have a slower swing speed and who prefer a more straight ball flight.

Common Mistakes When Hitting a Fade Golf Shot

Even the most seasoned golfers make mistakes while attempting to hit a perfect fade shot. Here are some common mistakes that you should avoid while hitting a fade golf shot:

1. Rushing the Shot: One of the most common mistakes is rushing through the shot, which can disrupt your swing and alter the ball’s trajectory.

2. Incorrect Grip: A weak grip can cause the clubface to close during the swing, which will affect the shot’s direction.

3. Alignment: Incorrect alignment can cause the ball to go in the wrong direction. Make sure to keep your feet, hips, and shoulders parallel to the target line.

4. Wrong Club Selection: Choosing the wrong club can have a significant impact on the shot, causing the ball to go in the wrong direction.

5. Standing Position: Standing too close or far from the golf ball can also be the reason for not being able to execute the fade shot. 

The easiest way to fade a golf ball is to aim left of the target and then open your clubface at the address. This setup will create a fade spin on the ball, resulting in a controlled shot.

To ensure you hit a fade shot with ease, invest in an easy-to-see golf ball color that suits your preferences. Brightly colored balls are easier to locate, especially in rough or wooded areas.

By following these guidelines and using the right equipment, you can master the fade shot.

Conclusion: Hitting a Fade in Golf

Now you know- the inside scoop on what is a fade in golf. As a self-proclaimed golf expert, I can confidently say that mastering this technique can take your game to the next level.

But before you go out and give it a try, remember the importance of proper golf club face aiming. Trust me, hitting a faded golf shot with the wrong club face can lead to some embarrassing moments on the course (we’ve all been there).

So, my wise advice to all the readers out there is to keep practicing, keep striving for improvement, and don’t forget to follow Golf Ace Nation for more golf insights and tips.

Now, go out there and play like a pro!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Do more pros hit a fade or draw?

It turns out that the answer is not so straightforward. While it’s true that some pro golfers prefer to hit a fade shot, others go for a draw. In fact, it really depends on the player’s personal preference and play style. Some might find that a draw shot allows them to get more distance on the ball, while others might find that a fade shot helps them be more accurate. 

Q2. Why is a fade better than a draw?

Many players argue that a fade is better than a draw. The reason is that a fade can be easier to control, especially when it comes to keeping the ball in the fairway. Also, a fade can be useful in certain course situations, such as when trying to avoid obstacles such as trees or water hazards.

Q3. How do you hit a fade without coming over the top?

To hit a fade without coming over the top, focus on keeping your clubhead outside the ball through impact and aiming slightly left of your target. Keep your body and arms relaxed and allow the clubface to naturally open up, creating a slight left-to-right ball flight.

Q4. Can you hit a fade as far as a draw?

Yes, but it largely depends on your swing path. A fade swing path can produce the same amount of distance as a draw swing path, but it may require a bit more skill and finesse. The key is to maintain a consistent swing and angle of attack, allowing the golf ball to soar toward its intended target with great precision. But remember that your shots going farther than expected means a penalty called “out of bounds“.

Q5. Is a cut shot the same as a fade?

While both shots will move the ball from left to right for right-handed players, they are not the same. A cut shot is typically intentional, while a fade can be a natural result of a swing. It’s important for golfers to understand the differences between these shots and how to execute them properly in order to improve their game.

Q6. Does a fade have a backspin?

Yes, it does. Although a fade usually travels higher and spins less than a draw, there is still plenty of backspin. The amount of backspin depends on various factors, such as clubhead speed, angle of attack, and loft. The golf ball backspin helps to stay in the air for longer, cover more distance, and stop sooner on the greens. 

Q7. What is the difference between a fade and a power fade?

A fade is a controlled shot that curves slightly to the right for right-handed golfers, while a power fade is a stronger version that travels farther in that direction. Both require precision and technique to master, making them popular among golfers of all skill levels.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top