Shape the Ball - Hit a Golf Fade, Tour Alignment Sticks Drill (Video)
Shape the Ball - Hit a Golf Fade, Tour Alignment Sticks Drill (Video)

One of those frustrating parts of being a golfer is hitting what you consider to be a good shot, it takes off, it starts to fly nice and straight and then it starts to curve away and we see the ball bending and curving all over the golf course. That’s a very frustrating part of golf but what if you wanted to see that ball curve, what if you needed to know how to make that ball bend? Well here’s a great way of understanding how to hit a fade shot. Now fade shot is a ball that is going to move left to right for the right handed golfer but quite importantly a fade will finish on the intended target line, don’t mistake a fade for a slice or a push slice.

Slices and push slices will generally finish off the intended target line for the right handed golfer, to the right to the intended target but the fade shot finishes on the target line. Now here’s a great way of understanding how to do this, the way I’ve set this up is I’ve got the ball fixed in this position in line with my tee-peg here but I’ve actually got the swing stick, the tour stick exactly in my target line if we imagine the camera is my intended target. I’m trying to hit the ball towards the camera but I’m going to imagine the stick in the way and I’ve got to shake the ball left to right around it.

Now you might see how this could be useful on the golf course if my stick was a tree or a shrub or something I needed to bend the ball around. Alternatively if that was to identify an area of water and I didn’t want to go over the water but I wanted to play the ball around to get around the water into a tight flight position. This is the way you would play this shot. So to start with I’m going to set myself up using this tour stick which aims a long way left of the stick in the ground as this points way down the left hand side. I’m actually going to line my body up on that line. So I’m not pointing a target here, I’m pointing way down the left hand side.

And when I set up I’m thinking knees, feet, hips and shoulders, everything pointing way left and that’s where I’m looking and if I made my normal swing the ball would stay left. But actually I’m not going to make my…my normal set up there I’m going to turn the club a little bit open with the club face, I’m going to aim the club slightly more to the right. I can then make my normal swing and as long as I keep the club face pointing to the right of my intended swing path, the ball will move from left to right in the air and hopefully make its way back on to the target line and look like a proper fade. So I point my body down the left hand side, the face is slightly open to my target line, sorry to my set up line and the ball will move back towards the intended target line.

One thing you should be really careful of here is that you don’t actually point the club directly at your target, there is a risk to this and this is a fact that the club face will influence the starting direction of the golf ball by round about 85%. So this has far more influence than my body alignment. So if I was to aim my club directly at my target and hit the shot the ball would go very close to the side of this stick as it was here. Now if I’ve misjudged that slightly I could catch the stick or hit the tree or cut it too much back into the water. So previously golf instructors would have often told you to point your body where you want the ball to start and point your club where you want the ball to finish. But we now know using radar tracking devices, flight scope tracking and things like that, that isn’t actually correct and we’d often see people who bend the ball too much, missing too far down the right hand side with that setup.

So it’s a little bit of experimentation here, set your body up down the left side and open the club face a little bit, have a few practice goes, see where the ball finishes, if it doesn’t come back to target, open the face up a little bit more, make the same swing, see how that ball curves back to target. Learn to experiment with your swing to understand how your swing path and your face angle interact with each other to produce the desired curve shots.

2013-06-27

One of those frustrating parts of being a golfer is hitting what you consider to be a good shot, it takes off, it starts to fly nice and straight and then it starts to curve away and we see the ball bending and curving all over the golf course. That’s a very frustrating part of golf but what if you wanted to see that ball curve, what if you needed to know how to make that ball bend? Well here’s a great way of understanding how to hit a fade shot. Now fade shot is a ball that is going to move left to right for the right handed golfer but quite importantly a fade will finish on the intended target line, don’t mistake a fade for a slice or a push slice.

Slices and push slices will generally finish off the intended target line for the right handed golfer, to the right to the intended target but the fade shot finishes on the target line. Now here’s a great way of understanding how to do this, the way I’ve set this up is I’ve got the ball fixed in this position in line with my tee-peg here but I’ve actually got the swing stick, the tour stick exactly in my target line if we imagine the camera is my intended target. I’m trying to hit the ball towards the camera but I’m going to imagine the stick in the way and I’ve got to shake the ball left to right around it.

Now you might see how this could be useful on the golf course if my stick was a tree or a shrub or something I needed to bend the ball around. Alternatively if that was to identify an area of water and I didn’t want to go over the water but I wanted to play the ball around to get around the water into a tight flight position. This is the way you would play this shot. So to start with I’m going to set myself up using this tour stick which aims a long way left of the stick in the ground as this points way down the left hand side. I’m actually going to line my body up on that line. So I’m not pointing a target here, I’m pointing way down the left hand side.

And when I set up I’m thinking knees, feet, hips and shoulders, everything pointing way left and that’s where I’m looking and if I made my normal swing the ball would stay left. But actually I’m not going to make my…my normal set up there I’m going to turn the club a little bit open with the club face, I’m going to aim the club slightly more to the right. I can then make my normal swing and as long as I keep the club face pointing to the right of my intended swing path, the ball will move from left to right in the air and hopefully make its way back on to the target line and look like a proper fade. So I point my body down the left hand side, the face is slightly open to my target line, sorry to my set up line and the ball will move back towards the intended target line.

One thing you should be really careful of here is that you don’t actually point the club directly at your target, there is a risk to this and this is a fact that the club face will influence the starting direction of the golf ball by round about 85%. So this has far more influence than my body alignment. So if I was to aim my club directly at my target and hit the shot the ball would go very close to the side of this stick as it was here. Now if I’ve misjudged that slightly I could catch the stick or hit the tree or cut it too much back into the water. So previously golf instructors would have often told you to point your body where you want the ball to start and point your club where you want the ball to finish. But we now know using radar tracking devices, flight scope tracking and things like that, that isn’t actually correct and we’d often see people who bend the ball too much, missing too far down the right hand side with that setup.

So it’s a little bit of experimentation here, set your body up down the left side and open the club face a little bit, have a few practice goes, see where the ball finishes, if it doesn’t come back to target, open the face up a little bit more, make the same swing, see how that ball curves back to target. Learn to experiment with your swing to understand how your swing path and your face angle interact with each other to produce the desired curve shots.