Hitting a curve ball
By T.J. TOMASI
Assuming center contact is made on the clubface, the ball will fade or draw if the face is open or closed. Here’s how to hit the on-purpose fade.
The key to the curve is no surprise. Good players hit the shot they expect, and while it’s not always perfect, most often when they play for a fade, the ball fades.
Fred Couples is one of golf’s most prominent faders of the ball, and you can see in the left-hand photo below that the toe of his club is pointing at the ground — perfect position for a fade. But you don’t hit the ball at the top of the swing, so there are certain things you can do on the way down to ensure an open face at impact.
The first is a very aggressive rotation of the body to make sure the arms and clubface stay behind the body. Faders are spinners.
The second is a passive rotation of the forearms; faders are also blockers. And the third thing is tilting the shaft toward the target line in the follow-through. Faders have wide elbows.
One more thing you can do to ensure a fade: Align your body open to the target line and your clubface square to it. Faders aim left and swing left.
Insider Takeaway: You don’t try to cut the ball by swinging outside to in — that’s a big slice. The ball power fades because the face is open to a path that is moving left at impact.