Lessons to learn from Camilo’s Win at The Wyndham Championship

Lessons we can all learn from Camilo – by Dr. Gio Valiante – August 2014


Hello Fearless Golfers,

I hope everyone is having a great summer. It is hard to believe that the Wyndham Championship marked the end of the regular 2014 season. How time flies …

As you can imagine, we are all very excited for Camilo Villegas who is the absolute epitome of great golfer / great person. He embodies the values and character that we should all strive to emulate.

After his win, Camilo provided great insight into the type of perfect thinking that leads to winning golf. I’ve captured a few of his insights and provided a little commentary so that we can all continue to learn and grow in this awesome, revealing, challenging, beautiful game called golf. Those of you familiar with what I teach will be able to understand how Camilo ‘sees’ the game.


Camilo Villegas: Well, first of all, it feels great to be in here.  It’s been three and a half years of no wins.  Part of the game, I guess.  Part of a pro golfer’s career. I’ve always worked hard and again, I’m happy to be here.

Dr. Gio Comment: Golf is not a game of perfect. Even with great talent and great processes, a golfer’s development will not always yield great results in the short term. Every great golfer goes through low times: Adam Scott, Justin Rose (21 missed cuts), Matt Kuchar (lost his card in 2003), Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, and Tiger Woods. Because adversity is built into the game, it’s best to learn how to cope with it rather than avoid it.

Camilo Villegas: Proud of myself and here we go.  But tomorrow morning when I wake up I’ll be the same guy I was yesterday so they’ll be a million beautiful things being written about me today and I probably won’t be reading too many of them because, like I said, tomorrow morning I’ll be the same guy with this trophy or if I would have just missed the cut.

Dr. Gio Comment: Golf is what you do, bit it isn’t who you are. Golfers who put their entire happiness and identity on the line based on how they score in golf generally become miserable people who play miserable golf. This is the timeless lesson in golf: you have to keep yourself and your well being separate from the score you write on a scorecard. As Jack NIcklaus said, “Don’t make golf more important than it really is.”

Camilo Villegas: I always said, as golfers, we always want to play better.  It doesn’t matter.  The guy that’s 100 in the world wants to be 50.  The guy at 50 wants to be 20.  The guy is 20 wants to be 10 and keeps going forward and forward.

Freddie, if you go and ask Freddie right now how he’s feeling, I guarantee you he’s not feeling great.  You know what?  He had a great week.  He played great.  He lost by one.  But that’s the game.  That’s life.  That’s the job we chose and it is what it is.

You got to stay strong and keep working.  I’ve always done that.  I’ve always been a hard worker and always kind of believed in myself.

Dr. Gio Comment: That one speaks for itself. How great is this guy!?!?

Reporter Question.  What’s the biggest difference from where you were a year, maybe two years ago to where you are now with the trophy?

Camilo Villegas:  Nothing.  That’s the reality of the game, nothing.  There’s such a small margin between playing good, playing average, playing bad.  Did I trust myself a little bit more this week?  Yes.  Did I hit it a little bit better this week?  Yes.  Did I putt a little bit better this week?  Yes. It’s hard to explain.  We chose a pretty interesting game to make it our job and you got to be patient.  You got to be patient and you got to learn what works for you.  I’ve been learning that maybe taking a little bit easier on myself is a good equation.

Dr. Gio Comment: As Matt Kuchar says, golf will beat you up all by itself. There is no need to help it by beating yourself up. And that is the ultimate lesson: be your own best friend because the reality is, it’s a tough game. Furthermore, golf is a game where “scores” don’t always correspond with how you played. You can play great, score bad; play bad, score great. Ultimately, your performance will reflect the quality of your play, but that isn’t always the case within a single round of golf, or a single tournament.


In the totality, Camilo has evolved from a “young gun” to a mature champion in the game. He has found perspective by learning from adversity, realizing there is more to life than golf, understanding that there is a fine line between good and bad golf, and keeping his work ethic constant. He is a model for all golfers to absorb the ups-and-downs that are inherent to the game of golf. Through it all, I’ve never heard him complain or say a bad word. Even in his lows, he was always concerned with the well being of others, always encouraging to other golfers. He kept working, maintained his fitness and great attitude, and always loved the game itself. We can all learn from that!

Until next time, yours in golf.

-Dr. Gio
Did you know…? Camilo fuels his body and brain with  Pocket Protein? Check it out and you’ll be using  the same high quality protein supplement used by Doc Rivers, Robert Karlsson, Jameer Nelson, Camilo, the Weight Loss Surgeons of America, and yes, even me, Dr. Gio Valiante.


Dr. Gio

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