The fade is a great shot to have, particularly if distance is not your problem. But a gentle fade can become a slice with very little notice. Then once you have it, a slice seems to feed on itself and your adjustments seem to make it even more severe. Here are some checkpoints to help you reclaim that gentle fade.
Check Your Grip
Strong players often fall into the habit of turning their hands too far to the left on the club, possibly to prevent hooking. This weak grip makes it difficult to get the clubface back to square at impact, and the ball slides off the open clubface to the right. So place your hands on the club in a neutral position, with the back of the left hand and palm of the right facing the target. The Vs formed by the thumbs and forefingers should point to the inside of your right shoulder.
Line up a Little Left
Many golfers try to curve the ball by setting up with their bodies pointing drastically left or right of the target. If you're conscious of slicing, the tendency is to aim even further left to allow for it. But fight the urge to aim too far left.
Set the leading edge of your clubface square to your target. Carefully align your feet, knees, hips and shoulders just a touch left of your target line. Have a friend stand behind you to confirm your alignment. It's too easy to think you're aligning properly when you're really not, particularly when fighting a slice.
Don't Cut It
Once you're aligned, you simply swing the club on a normal plane relative to your body line. Don't try picking the club up and to the outside on the backswing or manipulating the clubhead from outside-in on the downswing. If you swing along the plane your body has established, the clubhead will contact the ball while moving just slightly from outside to inside the target line. When you return the clubface squarely to the ball, the shot will start slightly left of the target and drift gently right as it descends.
Keep close tabs on your grip and alignment angles and you'll be able to reproduce the controlled fade on shot after shot -- and stay consistently in play.
Private Lessons 1999 Times Mirror Magazines, Inc., used under license by GolfServ Online, Inc. Instructional information provided by Golf Magazine.