Golf

How to set your driver for a power fade | The Build Shop

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Keith Mitchell prefers to play a low spin fade off the tee
Ryan Barath/GOLF
With the help of launch monitors and modern equipment, many professional golfers have gone from trying to work the golf ball in both directions off the tee to focusing on a singular shot shape, with the most popular being the low spin power fade.
In a recent Instagram post (below), Keith Mitchell talks about why he likes to play a fade with his driver and how having a driver setup for that type of shot shape allows him to swing harder without having the ball spin too much and losing distance.
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That last point is important because, from a traditional ball flight perspective, a fade spins more than a draw, but thanks to modern equipment and a better understanding of swing dynamics it’s very possible to hit a lower spin fade off the tee like Keith talks about.
Before you build a driver to help you hit a power fade, one must understand the swing dynamics that make it possible. The video below offers an in-depth explanation, but to help make it as easy to understand as possible, you have to swing the driver with an upward angle of attack and with a slightly open face angle relative to the club path. These dynamics allow the ball to launch higher and with less spin.
If this sounds complicated, picture a drop shot in tennis. It’s the same physics that allows for that shot to take place on a tennis court, it just occurs at a much faster speed in golf.
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As for setting up a golf club to execute this shot, one of the most important specs that needs to be dialed in is the loft, because reducing loft is the fastest way to reduce spin. This can be achieved by using a lower-lofted driver or adjusting the loft of your current driver with the help of the adjustable hosel.
From there, depending on how your ball flight reacts to the changes to your driver’s loft, the next step is to use the adjustable weighting to either enhance the gear effect or place more mass behind the impact location to help boost ball speeds with the result being more distance.
Although you might never drive the golf ball as well as Keith Mitchell, finding a reliable shot off the tee is one of the fastest ways to start shaving strokes off your score.
Want to overhaul your bag for 2024 and find a driver to help you hit a power fade off the tee? Find a fitting location near you at True Spec Golf.

Ryan Barath is GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com’s senior editor for equipment. He has an extensive club-fitting and -building background with more than 20 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. Before joining the staff, he was the lead content strategist for Tour Experience Golf, in Toronto, Canada.
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