Shot Shaping 101: How to Hit a Fade

Shot Shaping 101: How to Hit a Fade

By: Nick Bockenfeld, PGA
⌚7 Minute Read


Welcome back to another entry into Shot Shaping 101. So far, we have discussed playing with feel and answered how to hit a draw. So today, we are going to answer how to hit a fade! Now I know people usually do not want to hit a fade, but some situations on the course demand it. Plus, it's always good to have it as another handy tool in your shot playbook. As always, forcing a shot when you cannot hit it is a terrible idea. So learn how to hit a fade. Work on it on the range. Build a model with the CTRL Swing Master, then practice with the model until you can groove a fade every single time. 

A fade is very easy to control. And when hitting long irons, it allows you to hit the ball a little higher and land it a little softer, which is a precious skill to have coming into par 5 greens and even longer par 4s and 3s. In my opinion, it is absolutely worth learning how to hit!


Laws of Ball Flight

The laws of ball flight are as follows: Face controls where you start the ball, and the path determines how the ball curves. So the face sends it, and the path bends it

Knowing what will create a fade will make it so much easier to line up and hit a fade every time you set out to do it. A fade is created when your club path is left of your face. And the other way around for a left-handed golfer. That will create that fade spin that you are looking for! The delta between the face and the path determines how much side spin and fade movement you will get (assuming centeredness of contact, of course). The larger the difference between the face and the path, the more the ball will fade. The smaller it is, the less the ball will fade. Of course, if you hit it off the toe, you are more likely to draw the ball. If you hit it off the heel, it will fade more. This is why centered contact is so important to hitting a great shot and to troubleshooting your bad shots. 


How to Hit a Fade

A fade is when the ball curves right in the air for a right-handed golfer and left for a left-handed golfer. In trackman numbers, you should have a negative club face angle, a club face pointing left, and then a path that is any bit right of your face degree.

To hit a fade, you can start with setup! Just changing your feet line and swinging along it can be good enough to hit that perfect fade! Take an alignment stick, place it parallel to the line you want to start the ball on, then begin to open your stance to that stick, pulling your lead foot back away from the stick while keeping your trail foot in the same spot, then take a swing along your feet line instead of the stick line. Now hit shots with varying degrees of space between your front foot and the alignment stick. This will show you how open your stance needs to be for different amounts of fade on each shot. It will give you a great idea of how to hit the fade. Once you find the correct open stance, add an alignment stick for your feet in the open stance and an alignment stick on your target line so you can begin to groove that same swing.


Groove It

Now that you know how to hit a fade, it is time to learn how to control it better and groove it so you can do it every single time. After all, what good is it knowing how to hit a fade if you can't pull it off under pressure? The best way to gain control over a new shot and gain consistency with it is the CTRL Swing Master training aid. It watches your hand, learns what you are doing at impact, and helps train you to take that swing every time. Build a fade swing model with your CTRL Swing Master. Then take swings in training mode with that model. Make sure you keep that face square as you build a model. That way, you can change the fade amount just by increasing the degrees left on your path. CTRL will give you feedback on your face and path at impact and help you to groove that new fade swing! The CTRL Swing Master watches your tempo, face, and path, giving you feedback on what the problem with that last swing was, helping you hit great shots every single time. 



Hitting a fade requires a path that is right of your club face. Once you have face CTRL and path CTRL, you can hit your fade whenever you want. This is a vital skill when you are out playing, as any good golf course is going to make you hit all the shots in your bag, and a fade is essential! Whether the hole sets you up to hit a fade, or you have to hit one to get out of some trouble, or just because the shot you need to hit demands a fade, be confident that you took CTRL of your game! 


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