Golf Hitting A Fade Off The Tee 1

The fade shot can be a very useful shot when playing on any golf course.

Shaping the golf ball on demand shows great control of the golf swing. It can be a useful shot to have in the bag when positioning the golf ball off the tee. Playing with or against the wind, this shot can also be very valuable. The fade shot is one that starts to the left of target and finishes on target in a controlled manner (left handed - draw shot that starts to the right of target and finishes on target in a controlled manner).

Problem - A great deal of players try to fade the golf ball by adjusting elements at set up such as opening the face to the target and aiming the feet/body open to the target. This does not result in a fade shot but most of the time leads to a shot that will start to the right of the target and will curve more right as the club face has the most influence on where the golf ball starts. To hit the perfect fade, the swing path needs to be more slightly outside to inside and the face open to that swing path, however closed to the target.

Fix - Place a tee peg about two feet behind the ball and about one foot further away from you. Place another about two feet in front of the ball and one foot closer to you. The idea is to swing the golf club from the marker away from the target (outside) then make contact with the golf ball, and allow the golf club to swing over the other marker that is beyond the golf ball (inside). This will encourage a more outside to inside swing path causing the ball to spin on a fade axis. Now as long as the golf club face is slightly open to the swing path but closed to the target, the golf ball will start left of target and turn towards the target.

Golf Hitting A Fade Off The Tee 2

Key point - If you are looking down at the golf ball and picture a clock face about two feet around the golf ball with the ball in the middle of the clock. 12 o'clock is pointing at the target and 9 o'clock is pointing at you. Use the numbers to help promote a fade. Swing the club head back in the swing straight over 6 o'clock and carry on to the top of the swing. From there, change the direct the club comes back in to the golf ball by swinging outside from 5 o'clock and exit the ball at 11 o'clock (inside). Point the club face at 12 o'clock to create the perfect fade.

Left handed - If you are looking down at the golf ball and picture a clock face about two feet around the golf ball with the ball in the middle of the clock. 12 o'clock is pointing at the target and 3 o'clock is pointing at you. Use the numbers to help promote a fade. Swing the club head back in the swing straight over 6 o'clock and carry on to the top of the swing. From there change the direct the club comes back in to the golf ball by swinging outside from 7 o'clock and exit the ball at 1 o'clock (inside).
Point the club face at 12 o'clock to create the perfect fade.

Top Tips Hitting a Fade off the Tee

Top Tips Hitting a Fade off the Tee

It is commonly believed in the amateur golf world that it is better to hit a draw than a fade off the tee. A draw will usually travel farther, which is why most golfers try to turn the ball over from right to left whenever possible (for right-handed players). However, it would be a mistake to completely ignore the usefulness of a fade off the tee. When you cut the ball into the fairway, you can gain a number of advantages which will not be in place when you hit a draw. While it would be ideal to be able to hit both kinds of shots depending on the situation, having a fade as your go-to tee ball is not a bad idea at all.

First, we should address the fact that the common belief about distance being tied to a draw is usually true – most people will drive the ball farther with a draw as compared to a fade. With that said, the gap between the two is often just a few yards. So, if you are willing to give up a few yards, you can gain a number of other benefits which may make the trade work out in your favor. Distance isn't everything in golf, as the goal is not to hit the longest shots, but to have the lowest score at the end of the day.

So what kinds of benefits can you enjoy when you play a fade? First, there is the added control which is gained by moving the ball from left to right. Since this kind of shot is going to have more backspin than a draw, the ball will be more controlled as it comes down out of the sky. You should find that you hit more fairways when you play a fade, since there will be minimal bounce and roll added onto the end of the shot. Placing the ball in the short grass should always be your first goal when hitting a tee shot, and using the fade will help you accomplish just that.

In addition to hitting more fairways, the higher ball flight that usually comes with a fade can help you out as well. For instance, if you need to carry a fairway bunker to put your ball in good position, using a fade can keep your drive up in the sky for a longer period of time. Your overall distance may be reduced as compared to a draw, but your carry distance could actually increase. With more carry at your disposal, you can avoid hazards and find comfortable spots in the fairway from which to play your approach shots. Also, in the event that you have the wind at your back, hitting a high drive could help you ride the breeze to a particularly long tee ball.

All of the advice below is written from the perspective of a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

Assessing Your Current Situation

Assessing Your Current Situation

Before you make any changes to your current golf game, it makes sense to take an objective look at where you are now, and where you would like to go. After all, it would be a foolish decision to make changes to your game if those changes aren't going to make you a better player. There is always the possibility of taking a step back when you decide to make any changes in your game, so spend some time upfront thinking about this decision before you move forward.

As it relates to developing a fade off the tee, ask yourself the following questions.

  • Can you afford to sacrifice a few yards? As was mentioned above, distance is not everything in the game of golf. It is important, however, so you shouldn't just ignore this part of the discussion altogether. If you are already a short hitter, you might not be able to afford the distance sacrifice that will likely come with switching from a draw to a fade. On the other hand, if you currently have plenty of distance on your drives, giving up a few yards won't be any big deal at all. When thinking about this point, don't compare yourself to the other players in your group – simply think about how you are able to attack the average course. Do you have plenty of short irons into the greens, or are you often struggling to reach the putting surface with your approach shots? Most likely, you won't have to think long before you can determine whether or not giving up a few yards is something you can afford to do.
  • What course conditions do you typically face? Players who often play on courses with soft conditions will appreciate the added carry distance offered by a fade. Of course, that works the other way for players who usually visit firm, dry courses. You don't want to give up too much yardage by having your ball land soft on a firm course, so hitting a draw is probably the way to go if you live and golf in a dry climate. Think about your home course and the other courses in your area while deciding which ball flight is going to serve you best from the tee. Even if you occasionally travel to play some golf, you will be best served to tailor your game to your home track.
  • What are your goals in golf? This is an open-ended question, but it is an important one nonetheless. As you think about what direction to go with your game, you need to keep the big picture in mind. What are you trying to accomplish on the course? Are you trying to get a little better, or do you have visions of taking your game to an entirely new level? If you only want to shave a few strokes, you will be better off addressing other parts of your game. For instance, you could invest a lot of time in your short game, ironing out any faults and cleaning up your putting. This work would help to lower your scores, and you would see results quite quickly. On the other hand, if you would like to elevate your game significant, you are going to need to make big changes. Learning how to hit a fade from the tee might be one of those changes. Sure, it is going to take a while to see the results show up on the scorecard, but you should eventually be rewarded for your effort. Be honest with yourself about your goals and base your decisions on that vision of the future.
  • How much can you practice? There is no way around the fact that it takes plenty of practice in order to learn a new ball flight. If you want to learn how to hit a fade off the tee, you are going to need to spend ample time on the range to master the technique. Is that something you are going to be able to do? Be realistic on this point and sketch out what your weekly practice routine might look like. If you won't be able to find the room in your schedule for enough practice to make this work, stick with your current ball flight and look for other ways to better your game.

It is always best to think before you act in the world of golf. If you jump right into a swing change without first thinking about it from all angles, you could make a mistake which will set your game back significantly. Ask yourself all of the questions on the list above and think carefully about your answers before moving on. There is no shame in not being able to take on this challenge for one reason or another. There are plenty of ways to play this game, and you certainly don't have to learn how to fade the ball off the tee in order to be successful.

Getting Started

Getting Started

If you decide to go ahead with the process of learning this shot, you will want to get down to work as soon as possible. It may take a while to master your new fade, so don't waste any more time – head to the range for a practice session at your next opportunity. While it might take a while to learn this shot, you still want to keep things as simple as possible. Instead of thinking of this as a swing overhaul, try to take a subtle approach by making one minor change at a time. Pretty soon, those minor changes will add up to dramatic adjustments, and your ball flight will suddenly be moving predictably from left to right.

The list below includes a number of tips which can help you gradually turn your ball flight into a reliable fade. It is a good idea to use these tips one at a time, checking them off until you have worked your way through the entire list. You might not find success with all of these ideas, but you should give them a try nonetheless. In the end, you should be able to work out a combination of adjustments and tweaks which lead to a solid fade from the tee time after time.

  • Weaken your left hand grip. This is one of the first things you should do when trying to hit a fade. Before starting your swing, turn your left hand slightly to the left as it sits on the grip. Once your left hand has been turned, go ahead and add your right hand in order to complete the grip. By weakening your grip, you will take some of the hand action out of the swing at the bottom – and the club face will be more likely to remain open to the target line as a result. It is hard to hold the face open when your right hand is firing through impact, so adjust your grip to make sure that doesn't happen. It should be noted that grip changes are notoriously difficult to adapt to quickly. Most likely, it is going to take a bit of time before you get comfortable with this new hand position. Stick with it, look for signs of progress, and look forward to a beautiful fade from the tee when all is said and done.
  • Play the ball forward in your stance. The golf swing is an arc. As you swing through toward the target, the club is going to arc away from you and then back in again. If you catch the ball while the club is moving away from you, draw spin is likely to be placed on the ball. On the other hand, if you contact the ball after the club has reached the apex of the arc, you will be far more likely to put cut spin on the shot – which is exactly what you are trying to do. To encourage the ball to move from left to right, place it up near your left foot when hitting a driver. This might be much further forward than you are used to, but give it a try on the range to see what results will follow. Remember, just because the ball is forward in your stance does not mean you should change anything else about your swing. Continue to make a great turn and resist the temptation to slide up toward the ball at impact. Once you get comfortable with how this kind of drive looks and feels, you will almost certainly be happy with the results.
  • Open your left foot toward the target. If you are going to fade the ball consistently, you need to make sure your body is getting through the shot with ease. Holding your body back, by making a poor turn in the downswing, is only going to cause you to turn the club over at impact – if not earlier. To make it as easy as possible to get through the shot, open your left foot toward the target slightly at address. This will reduce some of the pressure you feel in your lower leg on the downswing, and your entire body should have an easier time turning through the ball. Not only is this type of swing more likely to create a draw, but it is also likely to help you add speed to your swing.

As you can see, none of the points on the list above are particularly complicated or even difficult to execute. They are important, however, and you should pay attention to all of them – one at a time – as you practice.

Planning for a Fade

Planning for a Fade

It is one thing to be able to physically produce a fade when standing on the driving range tee line. It is another thing entirely to actually plan for that fade and use it on the course. To do so, you not only need to know how to execute the fade, but you also need to have the confidence that it is going to come off properly.

So how do you plan for a fade? First, you obviously need to pick a target line which make sense for the shot you are trying to hit. If you are planning to move the ball from left to right, your target line should be to the left of where you would like the ball to finish. Assuming you are trying to hit the ball into the middle of the fairway, you will likely want to aim somewhere down the left edge of the short grass. This target line will give you room to move the ball from left to right while still bringing it down in the fairway. If you were to aim down the middle, you wouldn't have much room for a fade before you found your way into the right rough.

In addition to the curve of the shot, you also need to plan for the fact that the ball is going to fly relatively high as it sails toward the target. That means you should be able to plan on carrying some of the hazards in the fairway, but you also will have to understand that the ball will have little or no rollout when it lands. Picture the ball traveling towards the hole and choose a landing spot which is going to set you up nicely for your next stroke.

No matter what kind of shot you are going to hit from a given tee box, you need to fully commit to the plan before making a swing. Planning on a fade? Great – trust that plan and pick a target which allows you to work the ball from left to right. Want to hit a draw? No problem – just make sure there is room available for that shape to work. There is no room in golf for indecision or doubt, so be confident in your choices and then execute great swings.

Troubleshooting Your Fade

Troubleshooting Your Fade

Unfortunately, nothing comes easy in golf. Even if you are happy with the progress you have made with your fade on the driving range, you are certainly going to find trouble from time to time on the course. When that trouble does come along, you need to know how to adjust your technique to get back on track. Hopefully, the troubleshooting points below will help you self-diagnose your problems as quickly as possible.

  • Hitting the ball too high. One of the nice things about a fade is the fact that the ball flies high up into the sky. This is nice most of the time, however it can be a problem if the ball gets too high and you start to lose significant distance as a result. When the ball begins to travel too high, take a look at your swing path to make sure you are swinging down steeply into the ball. A steep swing is often associated with a high trajectory. Too much hand action in the backswing is often the cause of the steep swing, so work on keeping your hands quiet early in the swing to stay on track.
  • The double cross. In golf, hitting a draw when you meant to hit a fade (or vice versa) is known as a 'double cross'. This is a particularly damaging mistake as you will have aimed in one direction to account for your ball flight – only to turn the ball even farther in that direction. For instance, if you aim left to play for a fade, and you hit a hook instead, the ball is going to wind up way to the left of the target. Those who are double crossing the ball usually are failing to move their body through impact properly. Make sure your lower body is rotating hard to the left as your swing develops, as this is the area where most amateur golfers go wrong.
  • Too much fade. There is always the possibility of having too much of a good thing. Even if you want your ball to move from left to right, you don't want it to move so much that you can't consistently hit your target. When the ball is curving too severely on the way down the fairway, consider moving the ball back in your stance slightly. This change should only be an inch or two. By inching the ball back while keeping everything else the same, you can straighten out your flight without losing the fade pattern you have worked hard to develop.

There are many reasons to learn how to hit a fade from the tee, but this ball flight is not for everyone. Before getting started, think about your game and make sure this is something which will truly benefit you in the long run. If it is, use the advice contained in this article to start the journey toward a consistent fade with your driver. Good luck!