Power Fade Off the Tee with Driver

Scott Sackett
Director of Instruction
McCormick Ranch Golf Club
Scottsdale, AZ

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When I use to teach my players to fade the ball, regardless of the club they had in their hands, it was always the same song, “Get the golf club moving more left”.  Of course, getting the club moving more left eventually moved the path of the club left and allowed for a ball shaping left to right assuming the face is open to the path. This is the desired method with irons from the fairway. However, when we are hitting long irons, fairway woods and drivers off the tee a new line of thought is necessary to correctly hit the power fade. 

The key to understanding this is learning how the low point of the swing arc affects 2 things, Attack Angle and Club Path. It might help to think of this in vertical (Attack Angle) and horizontal (Club Path) terms.

To hit the power fade you must hit up at the golf ball and the golf club needs to be moving left. You need to accomplish this without swinging more left. If you swing more left, you’ll inevitably strike the ball with a descending blow. This is because the low of the arc will be AFTER the golf ball. For us to hit up at the ball, the low point of arc must occur BEFORE the ball. When we reach the low point, the club goes from moving down at the ball to moving up. When the low point occurs before the ball, the club is also still traveling to the right when that low point occurs. We need to give the club more time to continue on its path right, start to move down the target line and then finally be moving left when the ball is struck to produce a power fade on the upswing. 

Instead of swinging more left, we need to swing even more right than if we were trying to hit a draw. For us to hit this shot correctly, the low point in the arc needs to be before the ball. This only happens when swinging the golf club well out to the right. The more right we swing, the farther behind the golf ball the low point is reached. This in turn gives the club the time it needs to continue on its path. 

Ball forward and swing more right to hit the power fade. 

Scott Sackett, GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher since 1999, just voted as one of Golf Digest’s Best Teacher in the State for the fifth year in a row. Also, Director of Instruction at Park Meadows CC in Park City Utah and while in Scottsdale teaches at McCormick Ranch Golf Club. If you would like to contact Scott, you can reach him through his website at www.scottsackett.com.