With The Masters kicking off at Augusta National today, we thought we would cover one of the most important shots to play in order to be successful there- the high fade. The greens at Augusta tend to play extremely firm and fast, so bringing the ball in high and landing it soft is critical to keeping the ball on the green and getting it close to the hole.
The reason this shot is perfect for Augusta is it tends fly a bit higher and with a bit more backspin than your standard straight shot. This means it will not roll out as much once it lands, keeping the ball on the proper tier of the course’s many multi-level putting surfaces.
The shot can be used in a variety of situations, but is most commonly played if there is an obstruction on the right hand side so the ball must move from left-to-right around it. For many players, especially amateurs, it is their stock shot and normal ball flight. For players who do not normally flight the ball high and from left to right, the fade is a fairly simple shot to execute. With a little practice, players will develop a feel for how to control the shot and begin to use it out on the course.
There are plenty of ways to hit the fade, but we recommend a few simple alterations to your set up to get you started.
1. Open your stance
Aim your feet left of your target, or where the line which you would like the ball to start on. This initial alignment is important to getting the proper spin on the ball.
2. Position the ball slightly forward
This will do two things- it will add a bit more loft to the club and the strike will happen slightly more into the follow through as the club moves left toward the finish. Make sure you point the club face at your target.
Make sure to take your grip with your open stance after you’ve point the club at the target. By simply taking your normal grip with an open stance and turning your hands so the club points at the target, you’ll in effect be aimed to hit the ball straight, and well left. Make sure to take your grip after you’ve aligned the club and your stance independently.
3. Swing along the path of your feet
Although your club face is not aligned with your body, by swinging along your body plane, the ball will start in that direction. And because your club face is open relative to your stance, you will impart some side spin on the ball that will bring it back to the target while it’s in the air.
- Place one club on the ground pointing at your target, and another pointing to the left. Align your club face square to the target, and point your feet left. Then swing along the plane of your feet.