How Do I Hit a Fade Golf Shot?

By Kim Kleinle
Tiger Woods fades the ball, shaping it around a tree.
Tiger Woods fades the ball, shaping it around a tree.

A fade is a shot that curves away from the golfer--to the right for a right-handed golfer and to the left for a lefty. The shot is useful if you want to curve the ball around a tree or a corner, or if you want to aim at the center of the green and let the ball curve toward a pin tucked in the corner of the green. Accomplished golfers use various means to hit this shot, but the simplest requires just minor changes in your setup. You’ll have more success if you set up for a straight shot first, and then adjust for the fade.

Stand behind the golf ball--with the ball between you and the target--to line up the shot. Visualize a straight line to the target.

Place the face of the club behind the ball aimed directly at the target. Line your feet, hips and shoulders parallel to the target line for what is called a “square” stance.

Adjust your stance for the fade--a process called “opening” the stance--by aligning your feet about an inch or two left of your square stance position (instructions for the right-handed golfer). Turn both feet to the left, essentially dropping the left foot back and the right foot forward. Align your hips and shoulders parallel with this new line.

Rotate your grip about a half-inch to the left, or counterclockwise on the handle of the club. This movement of your hands is called weakening the grip.

Swing the club along the line of your feet. The ball should start slightly left and fade toward your target.

About the Author

Kim Kleinle is a PGA/LPGA professional and a member of a select group certified in instruction by the Professional Golfers' Association. She began writing in 1980 after earning her degree. Her work has appeared online, in "Northeast Golfer" and in newspapers, including the "Scranton Times." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Point Park University, Pittsburgh.

Photo Credits

  • David Cannon/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
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