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What is a Fade (or 'Fade Shot') in Golf?

Definition of the golf term


Fade Trajectory - Small

The fade trajectory for a right-handed golfer.

Illustration by William Glessner

Definition: "Fade" describes a trajectory or ball flight in which the golf ball comes off the clubface moving to the left of the target before curving gently back to the right (for a right-handed golfer; reverse directions for a left-hander).

The shape of a fade is the same as that of a slice, however, a slice is much more severe in its left-to-right (for right-handers) movement. A slice is the most common problem for recreational golfers.

A fade, however, is often a shot played intentionally and is even the preferred ball flight for some of the best golfers in the world (Jack Nicklaus and Ben Hogan, among others, preferred to play a fade).

How do you intentionally play a fade? See two methods for hitting a fade.

If you would rather watch instruction than read it, see Video: 3 ways to hit a fade.

Also Known As: Cut or cut shot. A ball intentionally worked to produce a fade is often called a cut shot.

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