PGA Championship Tip-How To Hit Fade

Golf too often appears to be a game far to complex for the average player to understand. Based on that, it's reasonable to believe a golf shot can't be hit left to right simply by doing the opposite of what is done to hit the ball right to left.

Believe it or not, that's all you have to do.

Hitting a draw requires a closed stance and a stronger grip. For a fade, it's an open stance and a weaker grip. That's it.

"We're gonna get your feet, your hips and your shoulders aimed slightly left of the target," says Country Club of Rochester Head Pro Mike Urzetta. "It's going to allow the club to swing easier on a plane that swings the club a little bit left of the target and we're going to hold on to the angle of the club face."

Weakening a grip means turning the hands towards the front of the stance. Generally, this is done with the top hand, but theoretically can be done with either hand or both (your humble reporter has a naturally strong bottom hand grip, so I rotate the bottom hand towards the front of my stance to hit this shot).

With an open stance, the toes of the front foot will be behind the toes of the back foot. The ideal fade swing will follow a path parallel to a line drawn between the front toes. "Swing along your toe line," Urzetta says.

Many hackers hit the ball right to left, but do so with too much spin. This causes not only a harsher left to right shot, but it will also reduce distance. This usually happens when a player swings the club too far on a right to left plane.

"If (you) swing a little bit across the line, the club is going to swing too much to the left and the club face is going to stay open," Urzetta says. "That's going to put a much more drastic spin on the ball."

Although the instructions to hitting a fade are basic, it's still a skill that takes time and practice to learn. "You have to understand the concept, but you have to learn by feel," Urzetta says. "You can improve the feel by just making practice swings in your back yard, looking at your reflection in a sliding glass door or a mirror.

The more times your body reproduces the feel and the slower you do it, the better chance that you have to improve it in the beginning stages."

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