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.