Zen Golf makes believers of Singh, Howell

By David R. Holland, Contributor

RANCHO SAN MARCOS, Calif. -- It doesn't take a genius to know that golf is a hard game and if you can clear your mind and focus you have a much better chance to execute.

But Dr. Joseph Parent, author of Zen Golf, provides some keys to mastering the mental game. Vijay Singh was so impressed he regularly seeks Parent's advice and so does Jaxson Brigman, who plays on the Nationwide Tour.

"Charles Howell told me he used some of my techniques during the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black," said Dr. Parent, who is based out of beautiful Rancho San Marcos in the mountains above Santa Barbara. "Howell said he was in a fairway during the competition, remembered a chapter in the book about staying positive and re-focused on his round."

When Dr. Parent observed Singh one day at Riviera he noticed that he was discussing the shot with his caddy right up to the point where he pulled the trigger. Parent suggested he finish the conversation and then take a quiet moment to focus on the shot.

Singh's caddy believes in the Parent methods. Vijay asked to see Parent's swing one day at Pebble Beach. "I promptly hit a nice one with a draw after using my best Zen-golf techniques," Parent said. "I handed Singh's club back and his caddy said, 'Doc, I'm a believer, because you didn't make that great of swing, but found a way to hit it on target.' "

Dr. Parent conducts seminars at Rancho San Marcos with a goal to help golfers play with more consistency, less frustration and lower scores. He has taught mindfulness and awareness training, meditation, motivational psychology, and stress reduction techniques over the last 25 years.

Parent is most gratified when a seminar participant says, "This has to do with a lot more than golf, doesn't it?" For more information, call the Mental Game Mastery office at (805) 884-1978, or log on to mentalgamemastery.com. You will also find more information about his book on the web site.

Landmark's Hemet Golf Club a Bonanza

Hoss Cartwright would be proud. Landmark's Hemet Golf Club opened for play on land in Hemet that was once the Blocker Ranch, previously owned by Dan Blocker, who played "Hoss" on the TV show Bonanza.

This par-71 course is a definite Bonanza for golfers in the beautiful area north of San Diego. It was built within an age-restricted village under development by the K. Hovnanian Companies. The club uses a Bonanza theme, stuffing the clubhouse with western furniture and naming the holes and restaurant details after characters in that popular series.

Since green fees vary from $45 Monday through Thursday and $60 Friday through Sunday, Landmark at Hemet has some of the more affordable green fees in Riverside County. The course is rolling with wide fairways, fair greens and 54 sand bunkers. Seven holes stroll through the scenic edges of colorful foothills, revealing the natural beauty of the terrain and spectacular snow-capped peaks of the San Jancinto Mountains.

Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley designed the course which is part of Landmark Golf -- also associated with Oak Quarry in Riverside and Landmark Golf Club in Indio.

Schmidt-Curley Design also authored Crosby National Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe, a high-end private club. It also put its stamp on Marriott's Shadow Ridge in Palm Desert, Talega in San Clemente and Goose Creek in Mira Loma.

For a tee time at Hemet Golf Club call (909) 926-4653 or log on to hemetgolfclub.com or landmarknational.com.

Tahoe Mountain Club in Truckee is environmental-friendly

What better place than Truckee, in the scenic Sierra Nevadas, is there to build an environmental-friendly golf course? That's where the Jacobsen Hardy Golf Course Design team has joined up with East West Partners.

The new course will join two others owned by East West in the area -- Coyote Moon, designed by Sacramento native Brad Bell and Old Greenwood, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course. Gray's Crossing development will also be part of the scheme.

The 6,740-yard, par-72 Old Greenwood course sits on a 600-acre piece of land that features towering Ponderosa and white pines along rolling land.

East West also says PGA Tour player Jacobsen has agreed to serve as Director of Golf for Tahoe Mountain Club. Some of the team's course designs include The Oregon Golf Club near Portland, Oregon; Cypress Ridge Golf Course near San Luis Obispo, California; Blackhorse Golf Club in Cypress, Texas; and Bear Ridge Golf Club in Waco, Texas.

Gray's Crossing is a new community in Truckee, located on rolling hills just north of Interstate 80. It will have a "small town" atmosphere and include single family homes around the golf course, and studio lofts, cottages, townhomes and condos around a village.

East West Partners is best known for the world-class Beaver Creek Resort in Colorado. Log on to tahoemountainresorts.com for more information.

Gold Rush Golf Resort in Sutter Creek

California's Gold Country is one of the more fun places to visit and discover the history of the Gold Rush, including historic Sutter's Mill where in 1848 John Sutter discovered gold on the banks of the South Fork of the American River.

By 2005 visitors might just have Gold Rush Golf Resort to enjoy too. It is being developed with the city of Sutter Creek, located about 40 miles southeast of Sacramento, and would be built on a 833-acre parcel known as the Noble Ranch.

The Sutter Creek Planning Commission approved the plan, but as usual in California, there will be opponents concerning the impacts on traffic and nearby roadways. The city wrote a draft plan that calls for the development team to shell out $1,144 per vacation rental unit to the city for road improvements. And the property must also be annexed into Sutter Creek for proper zoning.

The Noble Ranch land is located northwest of the intersection of Highways 88 and 104, southwest of Sutter Creek. When finished, the entrance to Gold Rush Golf Resort will be off Highway 104. The proposal includes an 18-hole golf course, driving range, clubhouse, 300 vacation-ownership units, a 52-room resort hotel, swimming pool and tennis courts.

Thanks to an initial payment made by Claveran Group, of Pleasanton, the city of Sutter Creek purchased the property for $3.15 million in 2001. The city wanted to use the land for disposal of treated wastewater. Claveran suggested using the treated effluent on a golf course.

David R. HollandDavid R. Holland, Contributor

David R. Holland is an award-winning former sportswriter for The Dallas Morning News, football magazine publisher, and author of The Colorado Golf Bible. Before launching a career as a travel/golf writer, he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force reserve, serving during the Vietnam and Desert Storm eras. Follow Dave on Twitter @David_R_Holland.

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