By Paul Myers
Controlling your ball flight on the golf course is a valuable skill that many players never quite master. While you might not reach the level of being able to hit tidy little draws and fades on command, it still can be useful to have the ability to eliminate certain shots from your game. For example, if you can avoid hitting a fade when there is trouble looming on the fade side of the course, you can be better able to keep your ball in play throughout the round. Many golfers fight an unwanted fade due to the fundamentals and mechanics in their swing, but these things can be corrected.
Understanding the Problem
You can’t fix a problem unless you understand it, so the first step is knowing exactly why your ball is fading in the first place. A fade ball flight is created when the club head swings across the ball from outside to inside with a club face open to the swing path (but still closed to the target). This assumes that you made good contact in the center of the club face…because hitting the ball on the inside (or nearest side to you) of the club face can also contribute to a fade.
What Can You Do?
The fade can be difficult for many golfers to fix because in order to avoid hitting the ball to the right (for a right-handed golfer), you actually have to swing more out to the right. What you think is swinging down the line toward the target is actually swinging to the left. So to get you to swing down the line in reality, you may have to feel like you’re swinging well to the right. This can be very scary!
But if you understand what is taking place at impact, it can make it easier to do. Let’s think about hitting a draw for a second…the opposite of the fade. The ball starts to the right and then curves back to the target. To get the ball to fly like that you actually have to swing well to the right with a club face that is closed to your swing path (but open to the target).
We’ll leave it open to you as to how you do that, but understand that to go from hitting a fade to hitting a draw you need to swing more to the right and get the face closed to your swing path versus open to it. That’s two things to fix.
It may help to make some slower swings and a bit of practice to get yourself doing these things, but now you should hopefully understand a bit more about what needs to happen to avoid hitting the fade.
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