I was fortunate enough to spend four hours with one of the best golf instructors in the world today. Dr. Jim Suttie was a guest of the WNYPGA today at Ridgemont CC in Rochester. We arrived at 7:45am thinking that the teaching seminar started at 8am, but it started at 9. Lucky for us, Dr. Suttie was already there and ready to have his brain picked by local PGA professionals. We sat down and started discussing methods, swings and what goes wrong with the golf swing. Dr. Suttie brought up how Tiger is struggling and how he thinks he is going in the wrong direction with his swing. He thinks Tiger is dipping that right shoulder too much and trying to hit a fade, and that is not his swing. Dr. Suttie believes that there is no right method to the golf swing. He feels that you need to fix the players problems and not push your method on the student. This is the way I also teach. We then started to discuss impact position and how important that is. Also another thing that I preach. We discussed how a weak grip can be associated with casting the golf club and plenty of other interesting facts.
So after picking Dr. Suttie’s brain for 45min he started his presentaion. He talked about his philosophy and how he focuses on each student’s natural swing pattern and not against it. He discussed why he uses video, make sure you get a down the line view, and focus on the hands. Also film a face on view and show the before and after to your students. My job as the teacher is to answer the question Why. Students should not be scared to ask questions and I am here to answer those questions.
We also discussed why people hook the ball, fade the ball, what happens if you have too weak of a grip, too strong of a grip, if you are too open or too closed. Dr. Suttie also brought up how different body types will swing different ways. Bigger chest guys will have to bend over more to get their arms around their body. Tall guys like Davis Love III have a high swing and not a flat swing like Zach Johnson. Basically people learn to play one way and as golf professionals we should not try and compleatly change the natural way they play. I would not want Davis Love III to swing like Zach Johnson. This would be me preaching a method (Johnson is a one plane guy, Mike Bender student) to a guy who needs to have two planes.
I could see all of Dr. Jim Suttie’s points and really related to his philosophy. It was great and I can’t wait to take some of what I learned and pass it on to my students.