Adam Smith

The Country Club of Virginia

The Country Club of Virginia

Adam Smith

Head Golf Instructor
The Country Club of Virginia
Richmond, VA

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Insight from Adam Smith on Backswing.com:

Chicken Wings For Dinner

The “chicken wing” is a power killer! A big plate of chicken wings should satisfy you, after a round of golf. But having a “chicken wing” in your lead arm, at impact, is no bueno! Extension is the key! In order to avoid any collapse in the lead arm at impact (a bent lead arm […]

Get in Shape

The off-season is the absolute BEST time to condition your body for golf. Hire a golf certified fitness trainer and get in shape for the game you love! The keys you should focus on with your own personal golf fitness are strength training, stretching, and cardiovascular endurance. Don’t go it, alone! Find a trainer in […]

Slow Your Tempo

When your timing is right, you will hit it on the sweet spot! A smooth transition in your golf swing is vital for an on center hit! Try this: soft pressure at address, relax the muscles in your shoulders and arms, take the club back slowly and pause at the top. These are all great […]

Perfect Your Posture

Perfect your posture in order to be athletic. At address, flex your knees slightly and tilt at the waist, keeping your spine angle straight. Let your arms anatomically dangle below your chin. Make yourself feel comfortable. Make sure your weight is evenly balanced on both feet and slightly back, towards your heels, at address. Use […]

Don’t Under-Club Yourself

The most common error in amateur golf is under-clubbing. Don’t come up short of your target! Amateur players should over-club themselves and simply swing easier. After all, golf course architects put bunkers and lakes in front of the greens! There is less danger, when you go long. My advice, once you get your yardage to […]

Finish Fast

When it comes to swing speed, the only place you really need it is in your follow through. Most amateur golfers decelerate and the resulting shot is a chunk, a push or a wild slice. Try this: take a practice swing and “swoosh the shaft,” as you finish. Make the shaft sound LOUD, as you […]

Set The Lever

In the golf swing, your wrists set the lever, for power. Cocking your wrists, immediately, at a 90° angle going back, creates leverage in your swing. Keep your lead arm straight, going back and hinge your wrists. This angle should be held as long as you can, as you swing back down, towards impact. This […]

Whip it Good

Swing a training aid designed for warming up your muscles. The best way to warm up your golf swing is with the Orange Whip Trainer. It is an excellent fitness tool. It helps with your tempo, balance, and smooth, effortless swing.

Stay on Plane

Your swing plane will be most efficient when you swing back on one plane and then swing back down on that very same plane. This is known as a “one plane swing.” Ben Hogan was a one plane swinger! It is efficient and it helps you hit straight shots. Keep it simple and stay on […]

Over The Top = Toe Hit

Visit your local PGA golf professional for a lesson right away, when you notice that you are hitting golf shots off the toe of your club face. More times than not, it is an “over the top move.“ You need professional advice, video, and some drills from your PGA golf instructor to stop this nonsense! […]

Shorten The Backswing For Control

You may be losing control of your shot, left and right, too high and too low, because your backswing is too long. Here’s a tip. Relax your grip pressure and your shoulders. Take the golf club back slowly and stop in a shorter, three-quarter position at the top. Make sure that you have turned your […]

Hit Down, Launch Up

Trajectory on your iron shots is achieved by hitting down on the back of the ball. Play the golf ball in the middle of your stance. Keep your grip pressure soft. Hinge your wrists early in your backswing. Keep your eye on the back of the golf ball and hit down on it! Don’t be […]

Visit Your Local PGA Pro

Consulting a PGA professional is always your best bet when it comes to fixing your golf swing. Book a lesson and visit in person! I find players have issues with alignment, first and foremost, which leads to a loss of golf shot direction control. Secondly, I find many players have a back swing, which is […]

Keep Your Head Still

Keeping your head still is the key to centered impact! Your shot on the sweet spot is certain to yield greater distance and more accuracy. Watching the back of the ball throughout the length of your swing, especially at impact, is the drill! Be athletic. Turn and shift your weight as you swing. And when […]

Soft Grip When You Chip

Successful short game shots around the green start with the proper fundamentals. Always use a soft grip, when you chip. Hold the golf club with the same amount of pressure that you would use holding a brand new tube of toothpaste. Imagine squeezing just a little bit of toothpaste out, onto a toothbrush, using both […]

Sweep it!

You are probably sick and tired of hitting fat shots! Sweep it, don’t dig it! Here’s how: play your golf shot directly in the center of your stance. Use a soft grip pressure. Drag the club back, low to the ground. This is the key! Most chunked shots happen when players pick the club up […]

Who Said That?

When you and your golf partners have a light hearted sense of humor, you will play better golf, for sure! I love it when you hit a good shot and someone says, “you got all o’dat one!” Or when you hit a fat one and you hear, “LAY SOD!!!” How about when you get a […]

Get Fit For Your Flatstick

The best way to find the right putter is to consult your local PGA golf professional. Get fit! Nowadays, there are very sophisticated pieces of technology, such as Sam PuttLab, that your professional can use to fit you. Fitting your stroke with the proper length, lie angle and loft is vital. A certified PGA club […]

Pick a PGA Pro

Choose your golf instructor based on your geographic location. Always select a certified PGA Professional. A pro who is close to home will be convenient for you to visit regularly. And, that’s what it takes for you to successfully improve your golf game! See your teacher once a week!

Play What The Tour Pros Play

My advice for everyone who wants to play their best golf, is to take lessons from a PGA Golf Professional and to get fit for brand new golf equipment. If you’re just starting out, old clubs that don’t fit you are not going to help you. If you are a seasoned player, and your clubs […]

Balls

Keep it simple, play the Titleist ProV1. Or play the Titleist ProV1x. It is the best golf ball in the industry, for every player. Yes, it is expensive, but since you want the best for your game, you certainly are willing to pay the price. It is long off the tee, it performs best when […]

Bump & Run, Gets it Done!

Green side chip shots are made easy when you maximize ground-time and minimize-air time! The bump and run shot is a great “go-to“ shot, around the green, more times than not! Play the ball in the back of your stance, lean the golf shaft forward, use a lower lofted club (like a 9-iron or even […]

It’s Great to Rotate

An athletic golf swing needs rotation. But it’s important also to understand a functional way to turn. First, build a wide base, with a wide stance. Second, as you swing back, start loading as much weight as you can on your back foot. Make sure that you feel your hips turn as you keep your […]

Tempo is the single most important element in your golf swing!

Tempo should be your primary focus, when you are on the course. When your rhythm is on, you are most likely to play your best golf! In order to train your tempo, I advise that everyone should have the world’s greatest tempo training device, The Orange Whip Trainer! This flexible, weighted swing tool will not […]

Blast or Pick?

When you find yourself in a greenside bunker, it is important to use as much loft as you have handy and hit 1 inch behind the ball, throwing lots of sand up onto the green. This is called a blast shot. When your ball is in a fairway bunker, however, you want to hit the […]

Take Another Look

The best way to read the green for speed and break is to look at your putt from the other side. First, read your putt by standing behind your golf ball while looking at the hole. Then, take another look! Walk to the other side and stand behind the hole, looking at your ball. This […]

Blocked Shot

A blocked shot is one that pushes to the right (for a right handed golfer). This happens when the low body is faster than the upper body on the downswing. The hips clear early and the arms are late, so the club swings too far right and impact is made with an open club face. […]

Shape your Shot

In order to shape a golf shot, simply adjust the golf club face angle at address. To hit a fade, set the club face open at address and to hit a draw, simply close the club face at address. Swing the same way you swing to produce a straight shot, just adjust the club face […]

Spin to Win

When your golf club grooves are clean, the surface area of your golf club face can effectively interact with the dimples on the golf ball, by producing more friction. With skilled technique, you should strike downward on every golf shot. Clean grooves provide the potential for more spin on the ball. The velocity of your […]

Father as a Mentor

A life member of the PGA, my father introduced me to the game of golf at the age of six. I was hooked! As I got older, I worked for my dad at the club. After college, I began teaching golf professionally and enjoying rounds of golf with my father. I have taught each one […]

The Thin Shot

“If you want to see a bad shot, just look up.“ The shot that you just hit thin, known as a bladed shot, is from taking your eye off the ball. When the bottom of the golf club strikes the center or the top of the golf ball, you have problems! “Keep your head down […]

Lag vs. Cast

Many golfers hit behind the ball because they “cast” the club, on the downswing. It is very important to “lag” the club, instead. When a golfer falls victim to casting the club, they are swinging too hard, from the top of their backswing. The arms take over, the body stops turning and the hands push […]

The Orange Whip Trainer is the best swing tool on the market.

The Orange Whip Trainer is the best swing tool on the market. It is designed to help you improve your tempo. Swing the Orange Whip before hitting balls in order to loosen up on the range and you will get warmed up in no time! Swing it daily, on the days that you don’t get […]

Putting Position

In order to sink putts, you must be lined up properly. Use alignment rods, when you practice. Here’s how: find a 4 foot putt that is flat and straight, on your practice green. Lay two alignment rods down, parallel to one another and 4 inches apart. Position the rods so the hole is at one […]

Fit For Golf

Your commitment to great golf starts with your approach to a healthy lifestyle. A strong cardiovascular routine, an aggressive strength training program and an extensive stretching regimen are all a must for longevity in golf. Get up early! Get in the gym! Commit to fitness every day! Eat healthy. Go to bed early. Drink water. […]

Line up with alignment sticks

Using alignment rods when you practice is vital for proper aim. Here’s how to use them: Lay two rods down, side-by-side, 2 feet apart and pointing in the direction of your target. Place a golf ball in the middle of the alignment rods. Stand behind your golf ball and make sure the rods are parallel […]

Keep Up With Technology

Let’s face it, tour players update their equipment annually, because they are contracted to do so. Each and every one of us who wants to improve our game, should do exactly the same thing! The only deterrent, of course, is the expense. New equipment is the key to advancing our golf game. Research and development […]

Get a Grip!

When playing your best golf, you are no doubt completely relaxed and enjoying yourself, right?!When you start to play poorly, however, it is typically a result of tension in your body, specifically from tight grip pressure. My advice is to keep your grip pressure soft! Try this: during your pre-shot routine, take a deep breath […]

Fix That Slice!

Are you slicing the ball? Are you frustrated? Let’s fix it! The most common error that amateur golfers make, which leads to a slice, is poor alignment! When your feet are aimed one way and your shoulders are aimed another way, you’re in trouble! I find that with most right-handed golfers who SLICE, poor alignment […]

Use a Wedge From The Deep Stuff

So your ball is in the deep stuff?! Use a wedge to get out. Loft is your friend, in this shot. Keep your grip pressure soft and your muscles loose. Stay focused on the ball so that you will keep your head still. Take the club back on a steep angle and swing back down, […]

Use alignment rods when putting

The key to sinking putts is having your putter face aimed properly. Here’s a great tip for getting your putter face square at impact. On the practice putting green, find a 3 foot putt that is flat. Lay down two alignment rods, 4 inches apart and parallel to one another. With the golf hole on […]

Think Tempo in the Bunker

Hitting a full shot from a fairway bunker, to a target that is far away should feel easy. Truth is, the player should hit the ball first, when striking a full shot to a target far away. Only in a green-side bunker should we hit behind the bar. The problem that we all face is […]

Play Golf With Your Pro!

I love to play golf with my students! One of the best experiences any student of the game can have is an on-course lesson with their PGA Professional! Make it your new year’s resolution to get out on the links with your golf instructor! Book a nine hole lesson, book the tee time and play […]

When it’s Breezy, Swing Easy!

When it’s Breezy, Swing Easy. “Tee it high and let it fly” is a good thought that can prove beneficial to the golfer who feels the wind at their back. And remember, when it’s blowing hard, the best thing to do is “swing easy.” Tempo is the key. Golfers typically work too hard when they […]

Go-To Green Side Chip

The best shot for all golfers to use when they are close to the green, with no obstacles in the way, is a green side chip shot. Think of it this way: chipping is like putting. Use a PW, a 9 iron or an 8 iron. Here’s how: aim the club face at the target. […]

How to draw the ball

When you want to curve your shot from right to left, as a right hander, then you have a “draw shot” in mind. Here’s how: Aim your stance 5 yards to the right of your target line. Close your shoulders and your hips, so that they are also 5 yards to the right of the […]

Get Fit For Golf

Want to hit the golf ball further? It is imperative that golfing athletes work out and make their bodies healthy and strong! The three areas of fitness to train for the game are: strength training, cardiovascular endurance and muscle flexibility. My advice to every golfer who wants to hit the ball further is to hire […]

Golf is Not a Game of “Being Perfect”

Golf is a game of misses. It is not a game where we need to be perfect. And when we hit good shots, followed by bad ones, it is important to remember to not let our highs get too high or our lows get too low. Having a good pre-shot routine, using good golf swing […]

Nerves are Natural, embrace them.

Being nervous on the first tee is natural for the athlete who is passionate. Nerves mean your care. Controlling your feelings is essential. And enjoying the moment is a must. The best way to control your nerves is to realize that you are in charge of every golf shot that you play. Do not try […]

Communicating golf instruction during closure

Every week, our club newsletter goes out to the membership and it is a great opportunity to submit a golf instruction video clip. At home golf fitness tips, to keep your game in shape, for example, have been was very well received. Although the driving ranges are closed and no physical lessons can be given, […]

How to approach teaching golfers with adaptive needs

Learning everything we can, prior to the scheduled lesson, is always very helpful when teaching golfers with adaptive needs. Scheduling a 30 minute buffer before and another 30 minute buffer after the golf lesson is a great strategy to ensure that the student and coach are comfortable and that the transition time goes smoothly. When […]

There are actually three elements for golfers to control, in order to dial in distance on their wedge shots.

There are actually three elements for golfers to control, in order to dial in distance on their wedge shots. 1. Club Selection- choose the proper loft! 2. Backswing- take the club back to the appropriate position for that club. 3. Finish- swing completely through the shot and finish high. *The swing speed should be smooth […]

When I teach with TRACKMAN, I like to explain to my students that there are only two numbers we’re going to study together:

TRACKMAN launch monitor technology is put to use on my lesson tee when I custom fit golf equipment. It gives me all the ball flight information I need to accurately read my students’ needs when it comes to equipment. Launch angle, spin rate, ball speed, smash factor, angle of attack and land angle are the […]

Consult your local PGA golf professional for a series of golf lessons and a golf equipment fitting, simultaneously.

There is no doubt that the proper equipment is very important for the success of a new golfer. Professional golf instruction, from a PGA golf instructor, is even more important! Luckily, PGA golf instructors are skilled at golf club fitting for the beginner! My advice is to consult your local PGA golf professional for a […]

Avid golfers know how important brand new grips are, when it comes to successful performance on the links.

Avid golfers know how important brand new grips are, when it comes to successful performance on the links. When you are playing a lot and practicing regularly, your golf grips naturally collect sweat and dirt. Having a PGA golf professional install brand new golf grips on your clubs at the beginning of every golf season […]

Torrey Pines in San Diego, California

The best public course I ever had the pleasure of playing was Torrey Pines in San Diego, California. The breathtaking views, pristine conditions and remarkably affordable price made this Southern California favorite the best public course that I have ever played.

The Orange Whip Trainer

The Orange Whip Trainer is the best instrument to use in golf swing training, today. It is a great golf swing training aid designed to help train the tempo of your golf swing. Think tempo, feel tempo, I always say! Every golfer should strive to have perfect golf swing tempo! Swings like Ernie Els’s and […]

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