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Nathan Smith instructional

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Nathan Smith swing instructional.

Nathan Smith swing instructional.
Nathan Smith swing instructional.
Nathan Smith swing instructional.
Nathan Smith swing instructional.
Nathan Smith swing instructional.
Nathan Smith swing instructional.
Nathan Smith swing instructional.
Nathan Smith swing instructional.
Nathan Smith swing instructional.
Nathan Smith swing instructional.
A good swing starts with a good takeaway. Smith uses a 2-by-4 to ensure his club gets started on the correct plane.
Smith places the board a couple of inches behind his ball, then pushes it out of the way with the back of the clubhead. “The board’s weight forces him to use his core – instead of just his hands and arms – while turning away from the ball,” Sargent said.
This drill helps teach Smith to start the backswing with the clubhead. “Start the swing from the ground up” is a common tip given by teachers. When he’s swinging poorly, Smith hinges his wrists prematurely, which gets the club swinging outside the target line.
Think you’re a good bunker player? Try hitting bunker shots with a 6-iron. This drill makes standard bunker shots look easy
by comparison, Smith said. It also forces
a player to focus on fundamentals.
Smith said he has a tendency to
overlook basics such as ball position
during long practice sessions. The only
way to be successful with the 6-iron is
to keep the ball forward in his stance,
where it should be during standard sand shots, Smith said. The 6-iron, with its lack
of loft and bounce, also forces Smith to
keep the face open through impact, just
like a standard sand shot.
“If you watch the great bunker players,
it’s like they’re lighting a match in the
bunker, the club is moving so fast,”
Smith said. “That’s what you have to do
with the 6-iron. You can’t hesitate. You have
to get under the ball quick and have to leave the club under the ball.”
Think you’re a good bunker player? Try hitting bunker shots with a 6-iron. This drill makes standard bunker shots look easy
by comparison, Smith said. It also forces
a player to focus on fundamentals.
Smith said he has a tendency to
overlook basics such as ball position
during long practice sessions. The only
way to be successful with the 6-iron is
to keep the ball forward in his stance,
where it should be during standard sand shots, Smith said. The 6-iron, with its lack
of loft and bounce, also forces Smith to
keep the face open through impact, just
like a standard sand shot.
“If you watch the great bunker players,
it’s like they’re lighting a match in the
bunker, the club is moving so fast,”
Smith said. “That’s what you have to do
with the 6-iron. You can’t hesitate. You have
to get under the ball quick and have to leave the club under the ball.”
This drill takes care of the rest of Smith’s backswing. Smith “sets” the club at waist high, pauses, then completes his backswing. At waist high, Smith wants the club shaft to be parallel to his target line and the clubhead perpendicular
to the ground.
He completes his backswing by
feeling his navel and right shoulder
turning in unison around his spine.
This ensures that he uses his core to complete his swing, instead of lifting
his arms.
“When my right shoulder, core and chest are turning, I can feel the club rotating along the plane,” Smith said.
Smith uses an impact bag to
improve his point of contact, and it also helps his backswing by forcing him to focus on using his core to turn.
“It gets me in a really strong
position at the top,” Smith said. “When you’re going to hit that bag, you have to be in such a strong position at the top of the swing to be able to level a blow.”
The impact bag also keeps Smith from standing up and spinning out in the downswing.
“Your hands are ahead of the ball, and your head stays back,” Smith said. “It almost feels like you’re
keeping your back to the target while you move into the ball, like you’re pushing against someone who’s pushing against your back,
as your hands move down.”
Smith uses an impact bag to
improve his point of contact, and it also helps his backswing by forcing him to focus on using his core to turn.
“It gets me in a really strong
position at the top,” Smith said. “When you’re going to hit that bag, you have to be in such a strong position at the top of the swing to be able to level a blow.”
The impact bag also keeps Smith from standing up and spinning out in the downswing.
“Your hands are ahead of the ball, and your head stays back,” Smith said. “It almost feels like you’re
keeping your back to the target while you move into the ball, like you’re pushing against someone who’s pushing against your back,
as your hands move down.”
Smith’s favorite short-game shot is a low, running chip. He places the ball just in front of his right foot, puts his hands well ahead of the clubhead and maintains that angle throughout the swing. One key: Even though his hands are ahead, he opens the clubface slightly. This does two things: It maintains the club’s loft and keeps the sole from digging in the turf.
When Smith hits a flop shot, he likes to feel like the left wrist starts
to fold through impact, which allows the club to pass his hands.

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