Senior Golf Tips 10: Adapt Your Game to Play Controlled Fade

    If you find yourself unable to hit a reliable draw (right-to-left shot for right-handed golfers), your body is probably compensating for physical limitations by throwing the hands out across the target line on the downswing.

    This outside-to-in or over-the-top motion inevitably produces a left-to-right shot, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play excellent golf. After all, many fine players have hit a fade almost exclusively, including Colin Montgomerie and Bruce Lietzke.

    The first step is to accept reality, then adjust accordingly. You’ll need to allow for a fade on most full shots, such as drives and shots hit with hybrids, fairway woods, middle and long irons.

    Here’s how to make the fade work for you:

  • Aim slightly left of your intended target, whether it’s the center of the fairway or the flagstick.
  • Instead of aligning your clubface directly at the target (open in relation to your stance), align it with your feet to the target’s left. Remember, your outside-to-in clubhead path will impart left-to-right sidespin, so opening the clubface at address will create excessive sidespin and cause a slice.
  • Allow your arms and hands to work naturally through the shot; don’t try to flip or rotate them as this will cause a pull hook.
  • You may find that taking an extra club is necessary because a fade flies higher with more backspin than a straight shot or draw, so it won’t carry or roll quite as far.