Bump and Run Dr Jim Suttie

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 21, 2010, 5:45 pm
We know it's difficult to find time to practice during the week. When a Saturday or Sunday tee time rolls around, you're hoping to find some spark or productive swing thought that will help you break 100, 90, 80 or whatever your scoring goal may be.

With the weekend warrior in mind we created Bump and Run, a weekly Q&A with some of the game's top instructors. Each Friday, a teaching professional will occupy this space and answer questions directed toward improving your game. This week it's Dr. Jim Suttie, director of instruction at the Club at TwinEagles in Naples, Fla., and one of Golf Digest's 50 Greatest Teachers.
Dr. Jim Suttie, Golf DigestDR. JIM SUTTIE
Director of Instruction, Club at TwinEagles, Naples, Fla.; Teaching Professional, Cog Hill G. & C.C., Lemont, Ill.

- Golf Digest's 50 Greatest Teachers
- Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers in America
- PGA National Teacher of the Year (2000)

Students (past and present):
Paul Azinger, Loren Roberts, Mark Wilson, Steve Flesch

Web Site:
Contact: 1-800-765-3838

Suttie, who has a doctorate in Biomechanics, is an expert on movement, and says that 'excess movement in the body' and too much hand action at the bottom of the swing is the primary reason why golfers chili-dip shots (i.e., hit more ground than ball).

'They try and help the ball up with their hands, instead of hitting down on the ball,' says Suttie. 'You need to let the simple rotation of the torso take the triangle [formed by the arms, shoulders and club] through. If the average amateur thought, ‘triangle back, triangle through,’ with little or no hand action, they’d get rid of that shot.'

To submit a question to Dr. Suttie or one of our teachers, please e-mail bumpandrun@thegolfchannel.com and check back every Friday to see if your question got answered.
Any other advice on how to get rid of the chili-dip, or chunked chip?

Everybody’s different, but I’d say for the average golfer, they’re trying to help the ball up with their right hand and they’re moving too much. I’d cut down on their motion and set their weight on their left side, and make them think like the triangle formed by their arms, shoulders and club is going back in one piece and coming through in one piece. Let that simple body rotation bring the club through with little or no wrists.
What's the most common chipping fault you see with amateurs?

Usually the ball is too far forward and the golfer is standing too far from the ball; they’re not in there tight enough. And their weight isn’t left enough. To get their weight left and keep it there they’ve got to hit down on the ball. Moving that weight around and trying to help up with the right hand is what causes a chili-dip.

Should there be any hinging of the wrists on a basic chip shot and, if so, how much?
Not really because you preset that hinging at address by getting the ball back [in your stance] and the hands forward. The average guy shouldn’t fool with it because he’s already pre-hinged his hands at address. All he has to do is take that triangle swing and he should hit it okay. Pros are different – every swing is a different challenge for them.

Speaking of pros, Phil Mickelson is one who advocates the hinge-and-hold method in chipping. He talks about it quite a bit in his new DVD, Secrets of the Short Game. Why is this bad advice for the average golfer?

Amateurs can’t do it. When they hinge it, they throw their right hand at the ball. They’ve got to keep their right hand out of it and quit scooping. That’s got to be their main thought.

Chip like you putt?

Yes, except that when you chip you have to play the ball different, and the weight is different. Your ball position has got to be back because you're hitting down on the ball; in putting it’s forward because you have to be hitting up on the ball. Your weight should be 70, 80 percent left when chipping, and it needs to stay there throughout the entire stroke.

When the weight is left, like it should be, the ball will be back a little bit so your hands are forward and you can make a downward blow. Most amateurs, if they kept it that simple they’d get rid of a lot of their bad shots around the green. But they don’t. The simpler you can keep it and the less motion you bring to the chip shot, the better.

Should you chip with a variety of clubs, just one, or a few?

For the amateur, the closer you can stay with one club, the better. Two clubs at the most, because of the fact they take different trajectories and they don’t take enough practice time to work on all of these trajectories. I’d suggest an 8-iron, or maybe a wedge if they have to loft it a little bit.

The length of the swing will be a little longer as you move farther back and you’re hitting a wedge, but the closer they can stay to one club the simpler it is. Everything in golf for amateurs is about simplifying the motion, not making it more complex for them. It’s way too confusing to be using all of those clubs for the average guy. They talk themselves into hitting it poorly.

When is it a good option to chip with a hybrid club?

When you have some fringe to go over, it will help the ball roll better and the club won’t dig as much. If you’ve got some very short rough to go over and you have a good amount of distance to the pin, it’s ideal.

How does the setup and technique differ from a normal chip?

Since your lie is much better, you don’t have to play the ball back as far; you don’t have to hit down as much. But there really isn’t much difference there. It’s going to be the same shoulder motion and you’re just going to let the loft of the club do the work.

If you were to leave amateurs with one piece of advice on chipping, what would it be?

Use only two clubs and get your technique to where you’re running the ball more to the hole, and not lofting it. When you loft the ball, you bring in more hand action. It’s easier to chip if you can run it, and most people don’t do that. They’ll try and get it up in the air and carry it to the hole.

Dr. Jim Suttie Instructional Videos


    Getty Images

    After Further Review: Woods wisely keeping things in perspective

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 3:17 am

    Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On Tiger Woods' career comeback ...

    Tiger Woods seems to be the only one keeping his comeback in the proper perspective. Asked after his tie for fifth at Bay Hill whether he could ever have envisioned his game being in this shape heading into Augusta, he replied: “If you would have given me this opportunity in December and January, I would have taken it in a heartbeat.” He’s healthy. He’s been in contention. He’s had two realistic chances to win. There’s no box unchecked as he heads to the Masters, and no one, especially not Woods, could have seen that coming a few months ago. – Ryan Lavner

    On Tiger carrying momentum into API, Masters ...

    Expect Jordan Spieth to leave Austin with the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play trophy next week.

    After all, Spieth is seemingly the only top-ranked player who has yet to lift some hardware in the early part of 2018. Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas have all gotten it done, as have Jason Day, Phil Mickelson and most recently Rory McIlroy.

    Throw in the sudden resurgence of Tiger Woods, and with two more weeks until the Masters there seem to be more azalea-laden storylines than ever before.

    A Spieth victory in Austin would certainly add fuel to that fire, but even if he comes up short the 2015 champ will certainly be a focus of attention in a few short weeks when the golf world descends upon Magnolia Lane with no shortage of players able to point to a recent victory as proof that they’re in prime position to don a green jacket. – Will Gray

    Getty Images

    Davies not giving up on win, HOF after close call

    By Randall MellMarch 19, 2018, 3:06 am

    PHOENIX – Laura Davies knows the odds are long now, but she won’t let go of that dream of making the LPGA Hall of Fame.

    At 54, she was emboldened by her weekend run at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. She tied for second, five shots behind Inbee Park.

    “The more I get up there, I might have a chance of winning again,” Davies said. “I'm not saying I will ever win, but today was close. Maybe one day I can go closer.”

    Davies is a World Golf Hall of Famer, but she has been sitting just outside the qualification standard needed to get into the LPGA Hall of Fame for a long time. She needs 27 points, but she has been stuck on 25 since her last victory in 2001. A regular tour title is worth one point, a major championship is worth two points.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    Over her career, she has won 20 LPGA titles, four of them major championships. She was the tour’s Rolex Player of the Year in 1996. She probably would have locked up Hall of Fame status if she hadn’t been so loyal to the Ladies European Tour, where she won 45 titles.

    Though Davies didn’t win Sunday in Phoenix, there was more than consolation in her run into contention.

    “Now people might stop asking me when I'm going to retire,” she said.

    Getty Images

    Davies impresses, but there's no catching Park

    By Randall MellMarch 19, 2018, 2:40 am

    PHOENIX – Inbee Park won the tournament.

    Laura Davies won the day.

    It was a fitting script for the Bank of Hope Founders Cup on Sunday, where nostalgia stirs the desert air in such a special way.

    Two of the game’s all-time best, LPGA Hall of Famer Inbee Park and World Golf Hall of Famer Laura Davies, put on a show with the tour’s three living founders applauding them in the end.

    Park and Davies made an event all about honoring the tour’s past while investing in its future something to savor in the moment. Founders Marilynn Smith, Shirley Spork and Marlene Hagge Vossler cheered them both.

    For Park, there was meaningful affirmation in her 18th LPGA title.

    In seven months away from the LPGA, healing up a bad back, Park confessed she wondered if she should retire. This was just her second start back. She won feeling no lingering effects from her injury.

    “I was trying to figure out if I was still good enough to win,” Park said of her long break back home in South Korea. “This proved to me I can win and play some pain-free golf.”

    At 54, Davies kept peeling away the years Sunday, one sweet swing after another. She did so after shaking some serious nerves hitting her first tee shot.

    “It’s about as nervous as I’ve ever felt,” Davies said. “I swear I nearly shanked it.”

    Davies has won 45 Ladies European Tour events and 20 LPGA titles, but she was almost 17 years removed from her last LPGA title. Still, she reached back to those times when she used to rule the game and chipped in for eagle at the second hole to steady herself.

    “It calmed me down, and I really enjoyed the day,” Davies said.

    With birdies at the ninth and 10th holes, Davies pulled from three shots down at day’s start to within one of Park, sending a buzz through all the fans who came out to root for the popular Englishwoman.

    “People were loving it,” said Tanya Paterson, Davies’ caddie. “We kept hearing, `Laura, we love you.’ It was special for Laura, showing she can still compete.”

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    Davies relished giving all the young players today, who never saw how dominant she once was, some flashes from her great past.

    “Yesterday, after I had that 63, a lot of the younger girls came up and said, `Oh, great playing today,”’ Davies said. “It was nice, I suppose, to have that. I still am a decent player, and I actually used to be really good at it. Maybe that did give them a glimpse into what it used to be like.”

    She also relished showing certain fans something.

    “Now, people might stop asking me when I'm going to retire,” she said.

    Davies was the LPGA’s Rolex Player of the Year in 1996, when she won two of her four major championships. She was emboldened by the way she stood up to Sunday pressure again.

    In the end, though, there was no catching Park, who continues to amaze with her ability to win coming back from long breaks after injuries.

    Park, 29, comes back yet again looking like the player who reigned at world No. 1 for 92 weeks, won three consecutive major championships in 2013 and won the Olympic gold medal two years ago.

    “The reason that I am competing and playing is because I want to win and because I want to contend in golf tournaments,” Park said.

    After Davies and Marina Alex mounted runs to move within one shot, Park pulled away, closing ferociously. She made four birdies in a row starting at the 12th and won by five shots. Her famed putting stroke heated up, reminding today’s players how nobody can demoralize a field more with a flat stick.

    “I just felt like nothing has dropped on the front nine,” Park said. “I was just thinking to myself, `They have to drop at some point.’ And they just started dropping, dropping, dropping.”

    Yet again, Park showed her ability to win after long breaks.

    In Rio de Janeiro two years ago, Park the Olympic gold medal in her first start back after missing two months because of a ligament injury in her left thumb. She took eight months off after Rio and came back to win the HSBC Women’s World Championship last year, in just her second start upon returning.

    “I'm really happy to have a win early in the season,” Park said. “That just takes so much pressure off me.”

    And puts it on the rest of the tour if she takes her best form to the year’s first major at the ANA Inspiration in two weeks.



    Getty Images

    Rose: 'Never' has Rory putted as well as Bay Hill

    By Ryan LavnerMarch 19, 2018, 1:20 am

    ORLANDO, Fla. – Justin Rose didn’t need to ponder the question for very long.

    The last time Rory McIlroy putted that well was, well …?

    “Never,” Rose said with a chuckle. “Ryder Cup? He always makes it look easy when he’s playing well.”

    And the Englishman did well just to try and keep pace.

    After playing his first six holes in 4 over par, Rose battled not just to make the cut but to contend. He closed with consecutive rounds of 67, finishing in solo third, four shots back of McIlroy at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

    Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

    Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

    Rose said this weekend was the best he’s struck the ball all year. He just didn’t do enough to overtake McIlroy, who finished the week ranked first in strokes gained-putting and closed with a bogey-free 64.

    “Rory just played incredible golf, and it’s great to see world-class players do that,” Rose said. “It’s not great to see him make putts because he was making them against me, but when he is, he’s incredibly hard to beat. So it was fun to watch him play.”