What It Takes to Hit a Perfect Fade
This week’s PGA Tour event is the Northern Trust Open at famed Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles, California. With Riviera playing a par 71, over 7,200 yards, it is imperative that you have the necessary skills to drive the golf ball accurately. Most holes at Riviera shape from left to right and require players to predominately hit a fade, which brings us to our tip of the week. There are three things to master when hitting a fade: set up, swing path and club face position.
The proper set up for hitting a fade is aiming your club face toward the left side of the fairway, or left side of the green, to allow your shot to start left and drift back to the right. Similar to the club face; you should also alter the set up with your body, aiming towards the left side of the fairway or green. Setting up your body to the left can be done very simply, refer to your normal stance and move your shoulders and feet slightly left.
Please note that aiming to the left for a fade will be examples for a right-handed golfer. Left-handed golfers should aim to the right.
Now that you know the proper set up, you’ll need to understand the proper club path to hit a fade. The fade could also be referred to as a “pull cut” when talking about swing direction. The proper club path for a fade (Outside-to-In) will be to begin your takeaway by routing the club outside of the ball, and to come across and inside the golf ball on your way back down.
Club Face Position
Now that you know the set up and basic club path to hit a fade, you’ll need to have the correct club face position to make it work. As discussed in the club path, using an Outside-to-In swing path will make the golf ball start to the left of your target (for right-handed golfers), and having an open club face will allow the golf ball to work to the right. The easiest and most efficient way to have an open club face at impact is to begin with one at your set up. Right before you begin your swing, adjust the club face into an open position. This will ensure an open clubface through the impact zone.
1. Set Up – Aim Left of Where You Want the Ball to Finish
2. Club Path – Swing Out-to-In
3. Club Face Position – Open Your Clubface
Follow these tips, and you will be more successful when you’re required to hit a fade.
Want to learn more? Check out our previous tips on Distance, Putting, Uneven Lies, and Playing in the Wind.
Ryan King was raised in Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania just south of Pittsburgh. Ryan attended Campbell University where he received his Bachelors of Business Administration in December 2013. He then earned his Class A membership with the Professional Golfer’s Association of America in February 2014. During his apprenticeship he interned at The Preserve at Jordan Lake Golf Club in Chapel Hill, NC and followed that with stints at Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, NY and Woodway Country Club in Darien, CT. After his internships he accepted the position as Assistant Golf Professional at Raleigh Country Club in Raleigh, NC. While at Raleigh Country Club he taught numerous lessons, drawing from the many different teaching skills he learned from fellow PGA Professionals throughout his internships. Currently, Ryan is a Listing Agent at GlobalGolf and ensures the accuracy of all clubs that come through the doors.