While it would be great to develop the ability to switch your ball flight back and forth between a draw and fade as needed on the course, you can actually use a power fade as your only tee shot and still play good golf. The key is consistency – if you can produce the same kind of power fade swing after swing, you should be able to pick a target line that allows this shot to work even on holes that turn to the left. Take the time to master the power fade from the tee and you will have a trustworthy shot that can lead you to lower scores.

Fade Lesson Chart

In many ways, the swing that you need to make to create a fade is just a standard, fundamentally sound, golf swing. You want to make a full shoulder turn, maintain your balance, and keep your eyes down on the ball as the club swings toward impact. The same fundamentals that are important for any kind of shot still apply when trying to hit a power fade. In fact, there is only one substantial difference between a power fade and a shot that flies mostly straight – the club face needs to be open in relation to the swing path.

In the game of golf, there are two main ball flights – the draw and the fade. There seems to be a belief among many amateurs that the draw is preferable to the fade, but that just isn’t the case. Each of these ball flight patterns can work beautifully when used correctly, so there is no reason to think that one is better than the other.

In the article, we are going to talk about the topic of the fade. We’ll talk about how you can consistently produce a quality fade (not a slice), how you can use it effectively on the course, and we’ll go over some troubleshooting for when your fade starts to give you trouble. Whether you are currently using a fade and would like to optimize your play, or you currently draw the ball and are thinking about making a switch, this article should help.

All of the content below is based on a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

— The Advantages of a Fade

Why would you pick a fade over a draw? While it is true that a lot of professional golfers use a draw, there are plenty who prefer a fade – or at least will use a fade consistently with certain clubs in their bag. As we’ll see in this section, there is a lot to like about a fade, and learning to turn the ball from left-to-right in a controlled manner could help you shoot lower scores.

What do you stand to gain by using a fade as your preferred ball flight pattern? Let’s take a look –

Fade Lesson Chart

The Correct Way To Hit A Power Fade For Distance And Accuracy
The Golf Ball Logo Can Help with Alignment to Set Up Fade or Draws
The Problems With Using A Lee Travino Fade Golf Swing
How to Hit a Fade and the Best Way to Learn to Draw the Ball
Use Golf Ball Logo to Set Up Fade or Draw – Golf Swing Tip
Practice Hitting A Golf Push Shot To Learn A Power Fade
The Best Way to Hit a Fade and the Correct Way to Learn To Draw the Golf Balls
Power Fade Miscellaneous Tips
Does A Draw Shot Travel Further Than A Fade – Senior Golf Tip
Raise Hands to Hit a Fade – Golf Tip

Characteristics Of A Golf Power Fade
Hitting a Fade Off the Tee, Golf
A Fade Golf Swing Does Not Equal A Weak Golf Swing
Hitting a Power Fade is All About Controlling the Club Face
Changing A Push Into A Golf Power Fade
Three Benefits of the Power Fade
Golf Power Fade, How To Hit Driver For Distance With Control
How to Hit a Fade or a Draw Golf Shot
Trevino Pro Golfer: Power Fade – Golf
How to Play a Fade Into the Wind – Golf
How To Work The Golf Ball – Draw Or Fade Golf Shot, For Women Golfers
Jack Nicklaus Pro Golfer power fade
Using Your Golf Fade
Lee Travino's Unusual Fade Golf Swing Technique
What Defines A Power Fade Golf Swing
Power Fade Choosing a Ball Flight
Master The Draw And Fade Shot
Power Fade Delivers Driving Distance With Control – Golf
When And How To Use A Power Fade Golf Swing
Larger Body Type Fade Golf Swing
Characteristics Of A Golf Power Fade
Putting A Golf Power Fade To Use
Fade or Draw Depends on the Hole – Golf
Golfer Jack Nicklaus And His Power Fade
Senior Golfer 10 – Play a Fade, Golf

A Weak Grip Favors A Golf Fade

Two Simple Swing Drills to Produce a Power Fade
Right Hand Golf Tip: How to Hit a Fade or a Draw Shot
Shape the Ball – Hit a Golf Fade, Tour Alignment Sticks Drill

How Can I Change Between Hitting A Draw And A Fade Shot?
How Can I Play A Fade Into The Wind?
What Is A Power Fade Golf Driver Shot
When Should I Fade or Draw the Ball?
Why Should I Learn To Hit A Fade With My Golf Shots From The Tee?
Golf Fade, How Should I Make Adjustments To My Setup
  • Accuracy. Generally speaking, it’s easier to control a fade than it is a draw. This is often the case because fades tend to have more backspin, meaning the ball won’t move as much on the ground after it lands. If you can cut your iron shots toward the green, they should land softly and settle down quickly most of the time. There is a reason so many pros prefer to play a fade with their irons – it’s easier to get the ball close to the target. This same line of thinking can apply off the tee, although it comes with a bit of a caveat. If you fade it off the tee, you may hit more fairways thanks to reduced roll out. However, that reduced roll out means you’ll be hitting it shorter overall, which might not be a sacrifice you want to make. Some players who are already long hitters will opt for a fade off the tee because they like the extra control and can afford to sacrifice a bit of distance. If you aren’t a long hitter, however, it might work out better to go with a draw and squeak out every last yard you can manage.
  • Reduce the risk of a hook. If you are hitting a fade properly, there is very little risk of that fade turning into a slice on random occasions. On the other hand, those who play a draw may occasionally hit a hook – and those hooks can be quite costly on the scorecard. Even if you do fade the ball more than intended from time to time, those mistakes may not be as costly as an occasional hook, since they will stop pretty quickly after they land in most cases. It’s just hard to say where a hook is going to end up, since it comes in hot and doesn’t have much backspin to provide stopping power. If you have been using a draw and have noticed that you are hitting a few hooks from time to time as well, switching to a fade could take away that mistake and leave you feeling more comfortable over the ball – especially on the tee with a driver in your hands.
  • Deal with firm conditions. If you live and play in a dry climate where firm turf conditions are the norm, you may benefit from a fade thanks to this shot shape’s ability to stop quickly after the ball lands. With the additional backspin that you’ll have with a fade as opposed to a draw, you can take some of the speed out of the course and maintain better control over your ball. Firm conditions will still be challenging, of course, but you might find it a little easier to get around the course without losing control over your ball and wasting strokes along the way.
  • It may be more comfortable. One good reason to go with a fade over a draw is that the fade may simply come more naturally to you as a golfer. If you find that your ball seems to want to turn to the right as it flies, why fight it? As long as you can work this natural tendency into a controlled, repeatable trajectory, just stick with it and keep things as easy as possible. Trying to force yourself into getting comfortable with a draw is an unnecessary task that may not pay off in the end. If your ball wants to turn right, just let it do so and work on refining your technique, so you can become both more accurate and more powerful.

There are plenty of reasons to opt for a fade as your go-to ball flight, and you might have even more ideas in mind than those listed above. One of the keys here is to make your decision confidently and stick with it moving forward. Once you decide that you are going to be a fade player, stick with that and work on getting better and better as time goes by. If you are regularly going back and forth, trying to decide which ball flight you are going to stick with, it will be nearly impossible to make any progress.

— Creating a Fade Ball Flight

For the purposes of this section of the article, we are going to assume that you have decided to make the fade your primary go-to ball flight. To do so, you’ll need to know how to produce that kind of shot, and how to do so in a manner that will allow you to hit consistently solid, reliable shots.

First, let’s talk about how not to do it. What you don’t want to be hitting is a controlled slice – a shot where your club cuts across the ball badly at impact with an open club face. Sure, that shot will curve to the right as it flies, just like a fade, but it isn’t going to be the controlled type of pattern that you are looking for. Also, these kinds of fades/slices tend to lack power, so you would be a rather short hitter if you allowed yourself to just swipe across the ball at impact.

So, if just playing a shot that is basically a controlled slice is not a good option, what should you be doing? Take a look at the points below for an outline of how a solid fade is created.

Fade Lesson Chart

  • A relatively straight swing path. This is where it all starts with a good fade. You don’t want to be swiping across the ball, as you would be doing if you were hitting a slice. Instead, you want the club to be moving roughly down the target line, in the direction of the target that you have picked out for the shot. By swinging the club down the line, you’ll be able to make better contact with the ball, and you should be able to limit sidespin. Remember, you are only looking for a gentle fade for your standard ball flight – not a dramatic curve from side to side. If you can learn how to move the club down the line nicely through the hitting area, you should feel plenty of power at the moment of impact and your shots should only curve slightly as they fly.
  • Open club face. This is the other main piece of the puzzle. If you are going to hit a fade, you’ll need to make sure the club face is open at impact, relative to the path of the club. If the face is closed relative to your swing path, you will hit a draw (or a hook). To be clear, when we say the face needs to be ‘open’ at impact, we mean that it should be pointed to the right of the direction of your swing path. Of course, it should go without saying that you can’t leave the face too dramatically open at impact, or you’ll hit a bigger curve than would be desired in most cases. The key is to swing through impact with a club face that is just slightly open to the swing path, which is moving directly down the line. If you can repeat that pattern time after time, you’ll be the proud owner of a controlled fade that can serve you well in a variety of circumstances.
  • Use your body rotation to your advantage. It’s nearly impossible to hit a good, controlled fade without rotating your body properly through the hitting area. Many amateur golfers struggle with body rotation, and the results speak for themselves on the course. During practice, work on turning your whole body through the shot rather than just using your arms to carry the club the impact and into the finish. If you need a good example of this concept, just watch some professional golf on TV. While you’ll see a variety of swing shapes and styles, one thing will be constant from player to player – rotation. Pro golfers do a great job of using their bodies to rotate back and through, and you should be striving to do the same.

The formula for producing a fade is quite simple – you need to make a great turn, swing the club down the line, and deliver the clubface to the ball in a slightly open position. If you can check off those three points, you should be able to look up and see the ball curving to the right gently time after time.

— Navigating the Course Using a Fade

In you do manage to create a fade in your game, the next step in your development as a golfer will be to learn how to use that fade effectively. This is a step that is largely taken for granted by players who make swing changes, and as a result, it leads to great frustration. Even if you don’t love your current ball flight, you are used to getting around the course with that type of shot. So, once you are using a new shot shape, you’ll need to take some time to adjust your strategy and get comfortable with what this new shape can offer.

The tips below highlight some key points to keep in mind regard course management and strategy with a fade.

Fade Lesson Chart

  • Trust it. You won’t get far in golf without trust. You have to be able to stand over the ball and trust that your shot is going to curve to the right as it flies. If you lack the trust to aim a bit left and let the ball curve back, you won’t commit to your swing and your ball striking will suffer as a result. How do you develop trust in a new ball flight, or anything else new you are trying in golf? Repetition in practice. The more you can repeat your new shot in practice, the easier it will be to trust that new shot when on the course. Do your best to make time for plenty of range visits early on as you try to adjust to your new fade. Soon enough, this ball flight will feel natural and you won’t have any trust issues at all.
  • Pay attention to slopes. One key when picking targets and executing shots is to pay attention to the slope of the ground where you intend to land the ball. If the ground is flat, you don’t have much to worry about – but often, that won’t be the case. If the ground is sloped down from right to left, you’ll be landing your fade into that slope and the first bounce should straighten out the ball’s path. On the other hand, a left to right slope, when paired with a fade ball flight, is going to lead to a shot that kicks hard right after it lands (especially on firm turf). Rather than being surprised by these kinds of bounces, you should anticipate them and plan accordingly. As long as you think ahead, you should be able to use the slope to your advantage, rather than letting it hurt your game.
  • Don’t let the wind defeat you. When playing a fade, you will need to pay extra close attention to wind conditions, as floating a soft fade up into the breeze could lead to trouble. With such a high backspin rate on many fade shots, the wind will have an opportunity to ‘eat up’ the shot and cause it to be moved badly off line (or fall way short). When you are playing in windy conditions, get into the habit of using extra club and hitting the ball lower than usual. It’s tempting to swing hard when it’s windy in an attempt to force the ball to hold its line and reach the target. This is a bad idea, especially as a player who uses a fade. A harder swing is only going to result in most spin and more trouble with the breeze. Stick with extra club and soft swings as your way to get around the course on a windy day.
  • Respect left-side hole locations. When you encounter a green where the hole has been cut on the left side of the putting surface, be careful and resist the temptation to be too aggressive. Every golfer has spots where they need to play it safe, and if you are going to be a fade player, this is that spot for you. Trying to get the ball close to the left hole location would likely mean starting the shot off the side of the green, so you would miss the green entirely if you hit the ball straight. It’s best to avoid target lines that will get you in trouble if your ball flies straight, so play these hole locations a little conservatively and accept the fact that you might have a slightly longer putt than you would like. The only exception to this rule would be when the left side of the green complex is not intimidating and would leave an easy up and down. If you aren’t scared of where your ball would be if you did miss the green left, you can take a chance and be a little more aggressive.

As you gain experience playing golf with a fade ball flight, you will get more and more comfortable with making good strategic decisions. In fact, you will eventually get to a point where you don’t have to think much about these choices – they’ll just be natural. Get started with the four points above and develop your own playing style as time goes by.

— Troubleshooting Fade Issues

If nothing ever went wrong in golf, the game would be pretty easy – and pretty boring. That’s not how it works, however, so golfers always have plenty to work on as they pursue lower scores. If you have reached a point where your fade doesn’t seem to be working quite as well as it used to, the troubleshooting points below may help.

Fade Lesson Chart

  • Improve body rotation to stop double cross. A double cross is a shot that curves the opposite direction as you expect or intend. In this case, if you are setting up to hit a fade, accidentally hitting a draw would be a double cross. And, of course, this mistake can be quite costly, as you already aimed left to play for your fade – so drawing the ball from that initial target line is going to leave the shot way out of position. If you keep making this mistake, make sure you are using your body to rotate through the shot properly. Poor rotation with your body in the downswing is going to make it more likely that you’ll come over the ball at impact and smother it left.
  • Weaken grip to help the ball turn. Not getting quite as much fade as you would like? Consider turning your grip into a slightly weaker position. To make your grip weaker, turn your hands slightly to the left on the grip as you are looking down from address. This will make your hands less active through the hitting area and encourage the club face to remain open at impact.
  • Experiment with ball position. To improve the quality of your strike and to adjust the pattern of your ball flight, experiment with minor ball position changes. You may want to move the ball a bit up in your stance to give yourself more room to turn, or a bit back to encourage a downward hit. The perfect ball position for your swing is something you’ll need to experiment with in order to find, so use some range time to try out different positions. Before you head back to the course for your next round, however, settle on a ball position that gives you the best results and trust it all day long. You don’t want to be moving the ball around in your stance from shot to shot, unless you are trying to produce some kind of specialty shot (like a punch).

If you are able to rely on a trusty fade as your standard ball flight on the course, you will be in good shape to negotiate most of the challenges you encounter. From fading the ball into the middle of the fairway off the tee, to stopping it quickly on approach shots, you can do a lot of great things by fading the ball. We hope the information we have offered in this article will help further your quest for lower scores – good luck!