The Golfer who can play an intentional fade when the situation calls for it possesses one of the most important shots in the game. At our club, for example, there are several tough holes which are bordered rather tightly along the left by out-of-bounds territory. The golfer who doesn't respond intelligently to this threat and just swings away does frequently hook one out of bounds and suffers that crushing two-stroke penalty. The more thoughtful golfers always set themselves up so that their shots are moving from left to right away from the penalty area, and their bad shots go comparatively unpunished.
The average golfer has all the skill necessary to fade his shots intentionally. It is not a matter of consciously changing your swing. You employ your regular swing, but you set yourself up so that a fade results. First, you alter your grip slightly, moving your left hand a bit farther to the left so that the thumb extends down the left side of the shaft. Then you alter your stance and the ball position slightly. You aim at the left side of the fairway and play the ball a little farther forward, just inside the left toe. You then hit the ball with your regular swing. Because of the way you have set yourself up, however, as you come into the ball the strong, resisting left hand blocks out the usual hitting action of the right. The ball starts out for its object and then fades softly to the right.
A couple of sessions on the practice fairway will give you the confidence you need to play this shot and play it successfully.
BUCK LUCE, Sands Point Golf Club, Port Washington, N. Y. and Villa Real Golf Club, Havana
NEXT WEEK: Jim Turnesa on the center of the club face