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A conversation with Camilo Villegas yields lessons

Chuck EvansBy Chuck Evans,
Special Contributor

Camilo VillegasIt's been a busy week but fun and informative. First I had the opportunity to spend some time with Camilo Villegas - the "Cobra" - and while it was a lot of work we had time to talk about some of the things that he does in preparation for a tournament.

Camilo is a very mature 24-year-old and has a great outlook on life and golf. When he was asked about Harbour Town and the tough conditions, he replied that, "Yeah it was tough but it was also a lot of fun."

If we had asked a lot of other players the general response would have been much more negative.

The lesson to be learned here is that you can't do anyting about playing conditions: you take what Mother Nature is dealing out and make the best of it. There's no use in getting down and complaining because everyone else is playing in the same conditions!

We also spoke about No. 10 at Augusta, where you need to draw it around the corner to take advantage of the down slope, and he told me that in a practice round the guy he was playing with doesn't like to draw it. This other player hit five tee shots trying to draw the ball and none of them drew! In fact, they all wound up in the tree line on the right side!

And this lesson simply means that as a player you have to play to your strengths. Don't try to hit shots that you are not comfortable with nor shots that you have not practiced.

As players we all can get consumed with swing mechanics, weather conditions, and trying to hit the perfect shot. Ben Hogan once said that he only hit four-to-five shots a round exactly how he wanted! If the best players in the world don't hit every shot perfect then why does the average player expect to?

The goal is to minimize the error percentage, not hit it perfect every time.

Chuck Evans, G.S.E.D., a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, is one of only 31 golf instructors worldwide designated to hold a doctorate in golf stroke engineering. He is executive director of instruction for the Medicus Golf Institute and has served as director of schools for the PGA Tour Golf Academy, and as director of instruction for the United States Golf Institute. He is also the author of "How To Build Your Golf Swing."

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