Suttie leaves Cog Hill, will teach at Mistwood

Owner Jim McWethy has made still another enhancement to his Mistwood golf club, in Romeoville, IL.

McWethy has announced that Dr. Jim Suttie has joined the teaching staff that will work out of Mistwood’s Performance Center.

Suttie said that the chance to work in the new state-of-the-art facility led to him ending his long relationship with Cog Hill, in Lemont.

“That was the overriding factor,’’ said McWethy. “I’ve always wanted to have a place like this. I couldn’t pass it up.’’

“We’re delighted to have him,’’ said McWethy. “It fits our goal of bringing absolutely top quality in every aspect of the game.’’

“We have the best equipment, and now we have the best as far as teaching is concerned,’’ said Dan Phillips, Mistwood’s director of golf. “This will set us apart as the place to come out, take lessons and work on your game.’’

Prior to Suttie’s arrival Mistwood added John Platt, the Illinois PGA’s teacher-of-the-year, in 2012 to its staff. The arrival of Suttie and Platt follow two years of facility work at Mistwood. Michigan architect Ray Hearn supervised a course renovation, which was highlighted by the construction of 20 striking sod-wall bunkers, and the indoor-outdoor Performance Center opened this spring to rave reviews. Suttie’s presence will make that busy place even busier now.

Suttie’s teaching career was highlighted by his selection at national teacher of the year by the PGA of America in 2000, but he was a recognized and respected instructor in the Chicago area long before that. He grew up in DeKalb, IL., and learned the game at Kishwaukee Country Club, where he once covered its 18 holes in a record 63.

A Northern Illinois University graduate in 1970, Suttie moved on to Middle Tennessee University to earn his doctorate degree in biomechanics. As part of his studies there he did his thesis on “A Biomechanical Comparison between Conventional Golf Swing Technique and a Unique Kinesthetic Feed Back Technique.’’

Prior to teaching full-time Suttie was a successful college coach, directing teams at Northwestern, Florida Gulf Coast and Eastern Kentucky. He was also in charge at Brevard, in Florida, where his prize pupil was former PGA champion and U.S. Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger. The many PGA and LPGA players Suttie has worked with include Chicago tourists Kevin Streelman, Mark Wilson and Chip Beck.

Suttie’s Chicago area teaching stops include Medinah (1988-96), Cog Hill (1996-2002 and 2005-2013) and Green Garden, in Frankfort (2003-04).

He has also taken his teaching program on the road, with stints at Pine Needles and Southern Pines in North Carolina, Tamarisk in California and TwinEagles in Florida. He’ll continue to work at TwinEagles in the winter, but – in a departure from previous years – he’ll leave that facility in Naples to make periodic teaching visits to both Mistwood’s Performance Center and McQ’s, the McWethy-owned indoor facility in Bolingbrook.

The move won’t change his teaching clientele much, Suttie said.

“They’ve got serious technology here (at Mistwood),’’ said Suttie, “and the people who see me are real serious. They will come from everywhere. It doesn’t matter where I go, they will find me.’’