Day 5: How to Hit the Fade

Hitting the fade in golf is one thing, I'm going to teach you the pro's PLAY the fade.

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Dave
So fade with holding off the release? Maybe there is a drill video on this. i find it not the clear from tie video.
August 31, 2017
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Use the search feature for the video teaching you how to hit the fade, this is the practical application of how to play it in the real world.
September 1, 2017
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Todd
I lack distance in my usual golf shot. I always attempt to hit a draw to gain some yardage but encounter some shots where a fade is the only smart shot. I've always attempted a fade by swinging out to in but have been concerned about holding off the release which causes lack of distance. Don't understand what's really going on with a power fade like DJ or Bubba can produce? Is there a difference between a fade and a power fade?
August 31, 2017
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Yes - speed. If you lack distance, you need to address the causes of that first as those are fundamental issues, this is a shot assuming you've got most of the fundamentals down. Fundamentals first!
September 1, 2017
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Matthew
This is my issue as well. When I try to fade especially with driver I am so much further behind that safe play almost seems way worse because I have such a longer shot in. With irons I am not as concerned about taking the extra club though but I do find myself getting a larger dispersion of distances when trying to fade the irons at times.
August 31, 2017
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Read my answer above
September 1, 2017
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Matthew
On average if you hold off on the release to get the ball to fade what would you expect in decrease of yardage compared to full release with baby draw? 1%, 5%, 10%?
September 1, 2017
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
I generally expect about club loss for a normal shot
September 1, 2017
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michael
Hi Craig. I get what you want me to achieve from this drill but I am getting some quite deep divots and a lot od toe hits when I move to the full swing and half horizon part of the video. Can you help please. Regards Mile
April 9, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. You are probably getting a little steep. Combine the new bow feeling and allow for some rotation to help shallow out. Also, a stable spine/head. Use Chris's video 3 of 6 in the Play the Best Golf of Your Life in 6 Weeks Category.
April 10, 2017
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Brandon
Is lowering the trajectory the best option into the wind? I read that Tom Watson used to just hit the ball solidly so the wind doesn't affect the ball as opposed to a lower shot hit with more backspin (assuming you're using the same iron). Also, we tend to get club fitted based on our full swings. Generally speaking, should use full swings most of the time, even into the wind or in cross winds?
October 7, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brandon. 3/4 swings are easier to control into the wind and cross winds. It will also help not add as much spin to the ball. Lower trajectory is preferred with into the wind situations. The higher and more spin you have on the shot. The more you have potential for the elements to control the shot versus you.
October 7, 2016
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Ashar
what should be the ball position ?? I keep it on the back foot for low shot
September 16, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ashar. Unless extreme circumstances. You shouldn't have to move the ball to the back of the stance. Still stock positioning.
September 16, 2016
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Ashar
What about when i am in rough under the trees (long Grass) Which iron should i use. I make a good low shot with this technique from fairway with 6 iron but in a long grass it is stuck.
September 16, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ashar. There are a lot of variables to the shot you describe. How far do you have to carry it? How tall is the grass? Are the trees inhibiting the swing? It would be tough to determine the exact club you should use. The issue with your shot is you have to get it out of the rough, but not hit the trees. A 6 iron (depending) seems a little too strong to give you the initial height to get the ball out of the rough.
September 16, 2016
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edwin
Have all the symptoms of flip (weak high wedge shots). When trying to bow left wrist I get hooks (not shots to right) or pull left. Any suggestions? Thanks
August 20, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Edwin. Looks like you need to focus on a bowed and stable impact first. Take a look at the Fix Your Release Video.
August 20, 2016
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mark
Clay Great Video Series! Thanks! This particular lesson was trying to hit the ball lower with compression but my problem is I hit most of my irons and fairway woods much too low. How do I achieve more height?? Thanks
July 15, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. Take a look at the Day 5 Video Higher Trajectory Shots. You want to come into impact with more of a neutral lead wrist to help with not turning down the face or de-lofting the club as much.
July 15, 2016
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Sharan
When i try to lean shaft forward I make big divots, It flys low and powerful but it hurts when i dig in too much. As recommended by site flatter attack of angle with leaned shaft is the way to go, does it means the club doesn't get released all the way? Are we supposed to hold a little bit during impact?
April 10, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Sharon. The club will work from a shallower angle of attack instead of too steeply. The face will be held a little bit into the follow through to hit really low. You can also hit a bowed released (not as low) with the Knuckles Down Drill.
April 10, 2016
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Terry
Why do you suggest a neutral grip for this drill? I was recently instructed to adopt a stronger grip as opposed to the neutral one I used. thx Terry
July 27, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Terry. The neutral grip will allow you to optimize the bow into the shot. But, only as needed for really low shots.
July 27, 2015
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Tony
It feels easier to do this if the ball position is a bit closer to your body...is that right?
July 16, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tony. It might feel easier because the arms get closer to the body. Therefore, you use more body rotation to square the face rather than hard release. But, it is unnecessary.
July 16, 2015
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Tony
What advantage does delofting provide vs. just hitting a lower lofted club?
July 16, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tony. Let's say you have a 150 yard shot. You could de-loft a 9 iron or play a soft 7 to keep it lower. Now, the soft 7 will help you keep it lower with less spin, but won't be as penetrating and typically have more roll out. De-lofting gives you the ability to still hit it hard, flight it lower, and have some spin on it to hold the green. The compression is better and the contact will be better.
July 16, 2015
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Jorge
I've tested a tour striker golf club training aid. I want to know if the use of this training aid can contradict the RST approach somehow. I feel it provides great and instant feedback and I want to keep on using it.
April 23, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jorge. The only issue with the training aid is it doesn't teach body movements. It only wants you to have shaft lean. I can create shaft lean a multitude of ways. But, that doesn't mean I did my swing correctly. Just be aware of the goal. You are training new movements patterns. Learn that you want the lead arm and body to move correctly to get the club in position. Not only pushing the hands.
April 24, 2015
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ejm
does the use of an impact bag potentially damage your clubs, e.g., the lie or the shaft? Giles
March 19, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Giles. I have been using mine for 7 years. Haven't damaged anything yet. Now, you can whack it too hard with a graphite shaft and potentially break it. Nevertheless, don't fill it with rock and swing like He-Man. You should be fine .
March 19, 2015
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ejm
How does a low trajectory affect the shot distance? Is there a set percentage off or do I have to learn doing? Giles
March 18, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Giles. Its more through practice. Sometimes a lower trajectory shot won't lose distance because the club gets de-lofted and it bores through the wind better. Other times it just doesn't have the launch angle to carry max distance.
March 18, 2015
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Taweesak
Can this apply for a knock down shot, When we want to keep the ball low with abbreviate swing (not a full swing) ?
February 10, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nutthapol. Yes, you can use this technique for a knock down shot.
February 10, 2015
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Taweesak
Thanks
February 10, 2015
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Steven
Thank you for responding, Rusty. I am using the terms, "arched" and "bowed", to refer to palmar flexion, just as Chuck did in the "Knuckles Down - Logo Down" video , Chris did in the "Using the Wrists Effectively and Efficiently" video, and Clay did in this video. As I stated earlier, I can do the drills, but things start to break down as I move into a full swing. It's possible I'm not being patient enough and need to move more slowly from doing the drills into doing a full swing. I suspect I'm taking Clay too literally by trying to have my left palm facing straight up as my hands pass in front of my right thigh and that I'm starting to bow my wrist too soon on the downswing. I'll just keep working on it until I get it right.
October 12, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
You're welcome, Steven. One more thing, are you releasing the angle after your hands pass the ball? The purpose of the palmar flexion of the wrist is so that the hands can get further out in front of the ball to create more forward shaft lean. However, you do still need to release the club as you would normally. I think of trying to light a matchstick on the matchbox when I think of releasing the left hand from a palmar flexion position. And a good way of thinking about how to get your left wrist into that palmar flexion position, think about turning the keys in the ignition of a car, but if the ignition were on the left side of the steering column instead of the right. So, as the hands cross the right thigh, turn the keys on the ignition, then when the hands get past the ball, light the matchstick, then it should be easier to imagine what you're trying to accomplish.
October 12, 2014
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Steven
Thank you, Rusty. i'll try that.
October 12, 2014
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Steven
I am really struggling to learn how to release the club with a slightly arched or bowed left wrist. When I attempt to arch or bow my wrist through impact I always cast the club, the momentum of the club takes over, and I am unable to achieve forward shaft lean at impact. Is it possible that I am having trouble releasing the club with an arched or bowed left wrist because I lack sufficient strength in my left wrist? I am relatively athletic and fit, but I can't think of anything else I have ever done that required a bowed wrist. Perhaps I need to do some wrist exercises? Or is the issue more likely due to poor technique? I can do the drills but no matter what I try everything breaks down as I move to a full swing.
October 10, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Steven, For the low trajectory shots, you don't want your left wrist to be bowed or arched, you want it to be the opposite. It should be folded inward towards your body, not bowed outward, away from your body. That's only a matter of terminology though. I imagine that you're following the visual of the video more so the verbal description of the wrist movement. If you're trying to fold your wrist inward like that at the top of your swing, you won't have a prayer of holding on to that angle the whole way through the swing. At the top of your swing, for all shots, your left wrist should be flat, not bowed or folded. It's not until after you squat to square and pull your arms down to your waist level that you start to fold the wrist by rolling your knuckles under. Notice how Clay has you turn back and reach like you're going to shake the hand of someone behind you and that he isn't having you start this drill from the top of your backswing. That's because we don't want this folded wrist at the top of the swing. Practice the drill again, like Clay instructs in the video. Then do full swings at a slow speed and focus on turn your knuckles under as your hands pass your back leg. Then gradually speed up your swing until you're hitting full shots that are low in trajectory. I hope this helps you out, Steven. Rusty
October 11, 2014
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Robert
I find myself hitting this with a little steep (actually a lot steeper & deeper) divot. Any compensation recommendations? When pro's hit I believe they get that great compression with a relatively thin divot but I may be mistaken. Am I needing to raise my left should to keep forward shaft lean & shallower attack angle? Thanks in advance!
September 18, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Robert. You are probably just sticking the lead arm into the ground. Combine this with the Day 2 Video. Hit some draw penetrators. It will help you shallow out some and hit low ones.
September 18, 2014
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frank
What happens to ball position? Do you need to play the ball back in your stance to hit it low? I have also hit punch shots under trees by playing the ball back in my stance. Please help. thanks
July 9, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Frank. You don't have to move the ball position. The exaggerated hands ahead and bowing will flight the ball lower. Clay is leaving it the same. Note the practicing into the impact bag is the same as a standard shot. In extreme circumstances. The ball might need to be placed a little further back. However, we don't want to change where the club would normally want to bottom out.
July 9, 2014
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Greg
I don't understand the release when your hands are that far forward. In the normal swing we release or turn the bowed wrist over at the left thigh. In this video Clay has his hands well ahead of his left thigh. The shots he demo's, he is holding that bowed wrist and is never releasing the club. Unfortunately, I can't see what the hands are doing on the full swing. On the launch your driver video chuck shows how you don't want to carry your bowed wrist beyond impact because max speed is when you fully release the club. In the 5 minutes to a perfect release Chuck demonstrates how holding that bowed wrist beyond the left thigh, never allows the club to fully release and thus synchs the hands to the body turn. As I have indicated in previous questions, I can keep the ball low in chips, but that is not fully releasing the club and I am playing the ball slightly back in my stance. I can't seem to get that compressed feeling I am looking for in the full swing. When Chuck slow-mo's the 9 to 3 drill, is that the normal amount of shaft lean and what Clay is demoing well beyond that? Help, please!
May 29, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Greg, often times when we are instructing on video we will exaggerate moves to a degree such as maintaining a bowed wrist post impact to give a clear picture. The left wrist can be bowed and still rotating, which means it is still releasing in the hitting area.
May 30, 2014

Okay. Now in the next day, we're going to work on hitting that fade. Now in this case, still the same tee box, but I have the pin, sucker side on the right. Got a bit nasty bunker here. Impossible to get up and down. You're guaranteed to make a bogey. Where do you go? I'm going to line up as close to the trouble as I can. Now, this seems counter-intuitive. Our instincts, our natural defense mechanisms says get away from that stuff as far as I can. Let's hit over here and then try to slice it 50 yards to get over there, or just aim at it and hit a little cut, or aim over there and hit a straight ball. But your instincts have to be overcome. You have to line yourself up as close to the trouble as you can get so that you can aim away from the trouble.

                If I'm lined up on the right side of the tee box, and I'm aimed over here, well, there's nothing over here. The water is way the heck over there, so if I screw up and I hit it straight or it doesn't cut as much as I expect it to, where is it going to end up? The middle of the green. What's so bad about that? That's the whole point of shot-shaping. Shot-shaping is all about margin of error. Like you've seen in my chip shot videos, I'm very conservative. I want to do everything I can to make sure I never lay the sod over it, I don't get a lot of grass between the ball and the clubface, et cetera. This is the exact same thing. It's all about mitigating and controlling the margin of error.

                I'm going to get as close to the trouble, the water hazard, as I can. I'm going to aim over here and I'm going to cut it. Now one little bonus trick with the cut that I want to talk about. Because you're learning RST, the natural default shot shape for RST is a baby draw. That is because we're teaching you how to allow the club to shallow out naturally. The tendency is when you make a little bit of a mistake, is for the club to come a little bit too far from the inside, a degree or two. If you make a mistake, the margin of error is saying that you're going to swing a little bit into out. That's far better than swinging out to in, in most cases, because that hits a really weak slappy cut in most cases.

                You come a little bit too far from the inside, the natural tendency is for the momentum from the toe of the club to help release the club even more when you come too far from the inside. You tend to counter-balance with RST to hit a natural draw that will come right back to the middle. Now when you swing a little bit over to the top, the toe doesn't have the momentum because it's swung down steeper, it doesn't want to to rotate. It's being swung more like an ax. Then you just hit a bigger cut. That's not going to work out real well. We want that ball to always come back online. That's why, as I develop this stuff, the margin of error for RST is to come a little bit too shallow so that the toe still naturally wants to rotate over.

                You hit a little bit of a push draw that comes right back to the middle. That's what's cool about it. With the cut, because you're tending to come a little bit from the inside as you make a mistake, and I don't want you trying to manipulate your swing plane and path, that's way too hard, you're going to make the exact same swing plane that you always do. You're just going to hold off the release to add that little bit of chest rotation and that is going to ensure that the ball's going to curve to the right. But what you have to keep in mind is that you may have to aim way further left than you think. That's what's hard for people. I may actually be with my feet lined up off the green because the path of my club is actually going toward the edge of the green. With the clubface being open, the ball is going to end up close to the hole.

                As you understand the dynamics, the swing mechanics of RST, and how they're built to always, again, margin of error, as you're setting up to hit a cut, you may need to realize that you need to aim further left with your feet than you think because your path is going to tend to be a little bit from the inside. Now, that's a small amount, but it's still something to take into note. The goal when you're hitting the cut to the sucker pin on the right, don't look at the sucker pin. Don't even go for it. Your target's over here but you're aiming here and hitting the cut. When you work on these things, you're going to start hitting a lot more greens with way less effort and way less stress. You're going to start hitting some great shots on the golf course. 

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