1. What do like the most about using Swingbyte?
DS: I like the fact that is small and portable. The numbers and data I get back are similar to Trackman. I really like the side-by-side comparison with the video on one side and the 3-D image of the swing path on the other side. Awesome!
2. How do you typically use Swingbyte when you’re teaching a student?
DS: When I teach a student, I ask a lot of questions. I will put Swingbyte on the student’s club as I video them. Swingbyte gives me an accurate idea of the student’s swing pattern and his or her impact before I start teaching.
3. What type of drills do you do with Swingbyte?
DS: Like to have the student swing without a ball and compare it to when using a ball. I also like to focus on swing path but it really depends on the student’s present error.
4. Which Swingbyte features do you find most helpful in your teaching?
DS: Clubhead speed is most helpful because it tells you the overall efficiency of the swing. I like angle of attack also as most amateurs are too narrow and too steep.
5. How do you use the Swingbyte video and ITR features?
DS: I use the video in side by side comparison. It’s a great tool and very powerful visual tool. Research has shown that the more immediate the feedback, the greater the learning. Additionally, research has shown that 80 percent of learning a “closed” motor skill like the golf swing is VISUAL.
6. What clubs do you typically have students swing with?
DS: I use a 7 iron, a 4 iron and a driver as I want to see the difference between a driver and an iron.
7. What other technologies have you used in conjunction with Swingbyte?
DS: Sometimes I will have Trackman right next to it in order to compare the numbers. Swingbyte has about a 2 percent difference. But costs $169 where as Trackman cost $25k.
8. What advice do you have for anyone looking to take their golf game to the next level?
DS: If a golfer wants to take his or her game to the next level, they need objectivity. Swingbyte provides this. Work on one thing at a time and find out where you lose your strokes. Work on that part of the game. Swingbyte works great with the putting stroke. You can’t wish your way to the next level, you have to practice with a plan. Swingbyte provides that plan.
9. What is the most common challenge amateur golfers face?
DS: The most common challenge the average golfer faces is tension. Tension restricts the body movement and gives you skewed numbers. For example, when there is no golf ball present the numbers are usually much better than when a golf ball is present. This is a result of tension.
BONUS QUESTION: What are some of the biggest changes/trends you’ve witnessed in the world of golf training and instruction over the last 10-15 years?
DS: Obviously, the biggest and newest trend in golf instruction is the use of technologies like Swingbyte that can accurately analyze the swing. It has made the teacher’s job much easier as we are now working on the causes of a bad swing and not the results of a bad swing. Also, the idea of coaching vs teaching has entered the picture. Lastly, focus on the mental aspect of the game has been stepped up quite a bit with the use of heart monitors and relaxation techniques.
About Dr. Jim Suttie:
Dr. Jim Suttie, simply known as “Doc” by many of his students is one of the world’s most respected golf teachers and among Golf Digest’s top 20 instructors. He has worked with many of the top players but still loves working with players of all abilities.
Doc graduated from Northern Illinois University where he played golf, completed his Master’s in kinesiology and coached. He later completed his doctorate in Biomechanics at Middle Tennessee University. Over his career, Doc has coached at Eastern Kentucky University where he won two OVC (Ohio Valley Conference) Championships, Brevard Community College, where he coached Paul Azinger who went on to 12 PGA victories, Northwestern University and Florida Gulf Coast University.
Dr. Suttie has conducted instructional programs at Medinah Country Club (Chicago, Illinois), Pine Needles Golf Club (Southern Pines, North Carolina), and Tamarask C.C. (Palm Springs, CA). He is currently at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville, IL during the summer and TwinEagles Country Club in Naples, Florida during the winter.