Fade/slice/"power fade"

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Fade/slice/"power fade"

Post by Davie on Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:25 am

Let me start this by saying I am NOT an expert in these things, and what works for me may not work for everyone (in fact it probably won't) - so take the following with a large pinch of salt...

I have suffered all my golfing life with a fade; a fade on a good day, a slice on average days and a big ****-off power fade on bad days. Some days when feeling good about my game, other days I've just lived with it and aimed WAY left (and put up with the massive loss of distance off the tee with such a big banana shot)

However, the last few weeks, I've had a turnaround in my attitude to the shot.

I always knew I had a big out-to-in swing - I could feel myself doing it and really couldn't stop myself. I'd heard people talking about strong and weak grips but never really understood the full implications of what they were talking about. In my mind, the weak grip was always a left hand thing, and I tried to strengthen up my left hand grip which helped a little, but not a lot.

Then, a few weeks ago I overheard someone I was playing with actually talking to a fellow player who suffered the same as me, and he pointed out the rights and wrongs of the right-hand grip. I always believed that to strengthen up the right hand you turned that over the top a little too but this guy mentioned that strong/weak grips is all about clockwise or anti-clockwise movement with BOTH hands

Now for the last few games, I've been turning my left hand over the top of the club more (as I was previously trying to do), but also laying my right hand much more open (palm up). In my ignorance I thought a palm-up right hand grip was a sign of a weak grip but since I've been doing that, I've been hitting the ball off the tee MUCH straighter (so much so that I'm now playing my second shot from the left fairway where I've rarely been before!

Now I just need to keep that going for another couple of games to convince myself that it isn't a flash in the pan - I'm still aiming left because my head is still telling me that there is a big slice in there somewhere - but on the evidence of today's game, I only missed one fairway (and that was missed left when I was still aiming that way and the ball went dead straight). I've probably gained about 20 yards off the tee too by hitting the ball straight(ish) without that damned fade.

Someone will maybe tell me that I've got it all wrong, but for the moment it is working for me, and long may it continue! For the record, my course is really NOT a course for fades/slices.

The two real acid tests for me today were two driving holes where the wind was into and off the left - the worst possible scenario for a slicer. On these two worst case holes, I didn't have the confidence to aim straight and there was still a definite left to right ball flight - but only 15-20 yards right whereas a few weeks ago I would have been slicing into the next county!

The only slight worry is that I usually hit my irons much straighter (only a very gentle fade on them) but although I wasn't specifically concentrating on using the same technique with my irons, I started pulling them left! Time to aim straighter with all clubs I think!
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Re: Fade/slice/"power fade"

Post by LondonJonnyO on Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:51 am

Sounds good Davie. And if it works for you going forwards then happy days.

A word of caution however... It sounds like what you are doing is strengthening your grip. Which may be a very good thing. But if you go too far you may have trouble with the clubhead not coming back square at impact... Doesn't sound like that will happen as for you to be making the same swing and getting these results it seems that your grip was incredibly weak to start with!

So if that solves a lot of the problems you had with the slices it sounds like the swing is in pretty good nick and it was pure static setup issues that were the root cause (often are).

Do this... write it down and stick it in your bag. Just to remind yourself of it before you play in case you slip into old habits.

Hopefully it continues and you find the game even more enjoyable from the very short grass! Cross Fingers
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Re: Fade/slice/"power fade"

Post by Matelot golfer on Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:24 am

Davie,
I got down to 12 within about 2 years of taking up the game 10 years ago. I played with the fade/slice you mention, but it got worse and worse. So much so that my mate was able to hit his pitching wedge longer than I could drive it (gen dit).
The day he did that I decided to get some lessons with my pro or buy a snooker cue.
I had 6 lessons and what he taught me fundimentally amoungst a few small posture and stance changes was the strong grip you now describe. It does not work for everyone but for me it was a revelation! Over the last 5 years I have played with this grip , although as I have got better I have slowly weakened off both hands so that it is now only slightly strong.
As a concequence of all this I now hit a very slight draw for most shots and now hit my 7 iron as an example 162 yds.
My mate has stagnated at handicap 12, I now float between 5-7 and manged to win club scratch knockout this year.
As I said, might not work for everyone but you seem to have hit on the eureka moment I found some years ago- happy golfing my friend

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Re: Fade/slice/"power fade"

Post by Yadsendew on Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:18 am

Davie,

If you've managed to turn your slice into a 'power fade' then well done, it's a shot the Pro's work hard to perfect.

It's a great shot to have on the tee (except for long dogleg lefts) and eliminates the left hand side of the course. What I would advise is, apart from the change in the grip, don't change anything else for a while. That will prove your change is working. If your hitting the ball straight in a breeze / wind then your hitting the ball nice and square.

Your handicap will tumble.

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Re: Fade/slice/"power fade"

Post by Davie on Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:49 pm

Thanks guys - good to know I'm not barking up totally the wrong tree

Yads - I possible (mis)used the phrase "power fade" - I was trying sarcastically to describe the worst my shot could get over the years, just using it as a euphemism for the biggest of slices - I wasn't aware it was a term that had a real serious meaning (different to my meaning)

I don't intend changing anything else for the moment - I want to see if this current change "beds in" and gives me the confidence to aim straighter rather than allowing for the fade/slice. Even the last couple of games I've still been aiming a little left which is why I've been playing some 2nd shots from parts of the course (left fairway) that I've rarely seen before
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Re: Fade/slice/"power fade"

Post by Mercurio on Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:19 pm

Everything you've said makes sense to me, Davie.

Don't forget how to play the fade, though. It's still useful.
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Re: Fade/slice/"power fade"

Post by Davie on Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:49 am

Just to update this one, I played again at the weekend and the improvement continued.

One thing to note: I was very conscious of not treating this as the "be-all-and-end-all" and falling into the trap of overdoing it. As a result, I suspect my grip wasn't quite as strong as the week before and therefore there was still a tendency to a very gentle (but still manageable) fade. I didn't hit quite as many fairways as the week before, due to either not having the confidence in the new straighter flight and therefore still aiming left and missing left, or at times forcing myself to aim straight and the weaker-than-the-previous week grip causing the abovementioned gentle fade so causing me to miss right - but none was more than a yard or so off the fairway so I'm still a happy bunny. Now I just need to find the right amount - i.e. have the confidence to grip stronger and aim straighter but not fall into that trap of overdoing it bringing in whatever horrors a too-strong grip might cause
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