A lesson for everyone

The last round of the SBS Championship in Hawaii made fascinating viewing. Not only in the course a beauty (I haven’t played there but I have it on good authority it is) there were some fantastic lessons to be had. For us automatic golfers there were some great examples of how to play the perfect game.

The first one is that you really do need to find your natural swing. Rory Sabbatini played one of the best rounds I have seen. He shot 10 under, and with a bit more luck he could have had lower. He ended up missing out by one shot – a terrific effort and his free flowing style was a highlight.

The thing of note about Sabbatini is his golf swing. It is hardly orthodox. He takes a huge back swing and then keeps most of his weight on his back foot. It looks really weird, as though he is trying to hit the ball straight up in the air. Nick Faldo (commentator) nearly fell off his chair when he saw the slow motion replay.

I’m sure many coaches would love to change this swing. I hope he doesn’t because he proved that there is nothing wrong with it. Long drives and accurate approach shots were the order of the day. He has shot good numbers before and I think he is the type of player that can run a bit hot and cold.

Trying to make him super consistent would destroy this flair and ability to shoot low. I give him full marks for playing the way he does and I look forward to seeing more of him.

Is he automatic? You bet he is. I don’t think it’s possible to play that kind of golf with a conscious mindset. His swing is free flowing and I’d be surprised if he messes around with his game too much.

And one last thing. If your swing is natural, comfortable and works for you then don’t change it. Never. In fact if you meet someone that says to change it run, don’t walk, the other way.

Now on to Lucas Glover.

I’m sure many are going to say that he choked or can’t handle the pressure on Sunday. I don’t buy it. He won the US Open and has won before. I put it down to a bad day – it happens. And it happens no matter how good (or bad) a golfer you are.

The lesson to be learned here is to forget about it and keep playing. Tee it up next time and go for it. From what I can tell Glover is a cool customer, he won’t stress too much and he will continue to get better and win golf tournaments. I’m sure we’ll see more of him in 2010. This kind of result can only help him learn, improve and take his game to a higher level.

Now to Ogilvy.

If you want to see an automatic pin up boy watch Geoff Ogilvy. In my opinion he played on autopilot throughout the day.

  • He worked out what he wanted to do
  • He chose the right club for the situation
  • And he stepped up and gave it 100%

He didn’t doubt himself or worry about what everyone else was doing. And he played the shots that he knew he could hit. This is half the battle. With all of the distractions and pressure it can be easy to hit the shot you think is right – sometimes you have to go with your gut.

On 9 he hit a three-iron off the tee. A par 5, nearly everyone else hit driver. His score? Birdie.

On 14 he laid up when nearly everyone else went for the green. Nick Faldo thought it was a stupid play. Ogilvy wedged it close and made birdie. When you stick to your game plan and it pays off you get a surge of confidence. You feel invincible.

With the hard part done he was able to cruise down 18 for a one shot victory. Had he needed it he probably could have stepped up a gear and made birdie. He is smart – no need to be silly when all you need is a par for a win.

If you haven’t seen the last round then see if you can catch a replay on pay TV. Definitely worth the effort.

This is just a start. I was so impressed with this round I’m going to talk more about it in tomorrow’s post. There are many more lessons and insights to be learned from his game. Too many to cram into one post.

Don’t miss it! There will be some great stuff. Most importantly, and I haven’t discussed this much before, but I’ll be talking about the one thing that Ogilvy has going for him that many (read most) amateurs don’t.

Keep your eyes peeled for more.

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  • Steady

    Reply Reply January 13, 2010

    Hi Cam,
    awesome post. I’d say all PGA pros play auto due to the fact if they didn’t they wouldn’t be where they are today.
    I played in a monthly medal the other saturday. Had 8 pars on the front , double to finish off the 9th hole. Stupid me instead of playing the way i did on the first 8 holes I changed what I was doing. What a mental trap. My point is I tried to play perfect golf from the 10th. I didn’t trust what I was doing to get me the 8 pars in the first place. Trust is a huge thing in golf. Ther are 3 questions that I need answered.
    Of the fellow tribers, Do you TRUST what Cameron has said about auto golf.?
    2ndly Do you truely have the guts to let go and just play?
    Lastly Do you have the patience and mind set/attitude do stick with it?
    The reason I ask is that I came close to burning my clubs on Saturday. I was upset, angry, frustrated and down right disallusioned with what just transpired. Sure I could tell stories and bs myself about how unlucky I was or any other crap I wanted to make up. But my point is that scars aren’t found cowards.
    This is for any tribers who are finding auto golf difficult. Stick with it. Don’t give in to temptation and play like it’s is your last game by that I mean enjoy it. I’m playing today so I’ll let you know how I’ll go’
    I’ll leave on this quote ” Fear is the thief of dreams”. I love it becuase it sums up what happens to not just goilfers but people in general.
    Cheers Steady

  • Tony Lucas (Lukey)

    Reply Reply January 13, 2010

    Hi Cam
    I agree with you as far as Geoff Ogilvy goes he is so super cool and smart.Another player we probably near overlooked is Kenny Perry unusual swing but gets the job done.They of course would all play auto as steady has stated and I love that quote “fear is the thief of dreams”
    Cheers Lukey

  • Grayden Provis

    Reply Reply January 13, 2010

    Steady’s 3 questions pretty much capture it. We may as well “trust and swing”. What we have got to lose? A crappy golf game! Oh well, its a no-brainer.

  • Ray C

    Reply Reply January 13, 2010

    Hello Steady,
    As you know I’m a recent convert to the autogolf and I absolutely believe in it!!!
    But you have to make the long term commitment irrespective of your results, and if you can make the commitment and have the patience I honestly feel eventually the results will come.I believe from reading Lukey’s posts he is testament to this and is starting to see the results.For me After playing golf a certain way for so long it is definately taking time to encorporate change and this is where the patience comes in!But now everytime I play its about putting into place the auto process. I’m currently working through the three round challenge and I can see this will also benefit me with being able to play auto golf better.


  • Steady

    Reply Reply January 13, 2010

    Hi Tribers,
    played stableford today had 36 points shot 79. Relaxed and just played. A few bad club selections.
    I have been a convert of Camerons for about 4 years. In that time I’ve managed to get down to 5 but back out to 7. Today was completely different than my last 10 rounds. the reason being is that I trusted what I was doing. On SaturdayI tried to change. Today stay focused, trusted and swung. Sure I had a couple of bad holes but no wipes. Good to be back on the horse.
    Cheers Steady

  • Peter Corbett

    Reply Reply January 18, 2010

    Hi Cam

    Yes I watched Olgilvy on the last day and was thinking yep he did what i read on your reports He was in aut mode thru out that last round, it was just awesome to watch.



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