The Dragon Challenge: $10,000 purse offered at scenic layout

Open to All, Event Will Award Top Prizes to Low-Gross Player, Two-Low Net Scorers

GOLD MOUNTAIN, Calif. -- The owners of Dragon at Gold Mountain -- arguably the fiercest, most-scenic championship golf course in the United States -- are so pleased with their beautiful beast, that they are offering a $10,000 purse to culminate the 2003 Pro-Am Dragon Challenge Pro-Am Invitational. For more information or to schedule a tee time call 1.800.446.5368 or visit

The 2003 Dragon Challenge is the debut of what will be an annual event at The Dragon, the immaculate, fire-breathing public-access resort course owned by Peggy and Dariel Garner. Located in the High Sierras of Northern California an hour north of Reno-Tahoe, The Dragon sits perched on Gold Mountain above the historic Feather River in Plumas County.

How tough is The Dragon, which boasts the foreboding slogan "Send Me Your Heroes"?

Since opening in July 2000, more than 1,000 golf professionals have taken on The Dragon in tournament play, with only one breaking par. His 1-under-par 71 stands as the course record. Another three professionals have equaled par.

"The Dragon's breathtaking views, gorgeous natural setting, and daunting layout inspired us to create The Dragon Challenge," says Peggy Garner. "We're so thrilled with how the course has turned out that we want golfers to come experience all The Dragon offers. We think it's special."

The Dragon features 84 bunkers and 800 feet in elevation changes. It swerves up, down and around the awesome natural features of Gold Mountain. Golfers are often easily distracted during a round -- sometimes by the pine- and snow- covered peaks surrounding the majestic course, and others by the abundant flora, fauna and wildlife that call Gold Mountain home.

The Dragon provides six sets of tees ranging in length from 7,077 to 4,611 yards. Net players can qualify from any tees in the Dragon Challenge. Gross players can qualify as follows: Men professionals from the No. 6 Dragon tees (7,077 yards, 74.0 course rating, 142 slope), men senior professionals from the No. 5 Dragon tees (6,749, 72.3, 140), and all women professionals from the No. 3 Dragon tees (5,945, 68.2, 131). All other amateurs can qualify from any Northern California Golf Association handicapped tee.

In order to qualify, all golfers must register with the golf shop before their round and pay a $1 qualifying fee that will go toward prizes and awards. All players must present a U.S.G.A. established handicap index card to participate. The best 84 scores earn invites back to the climactic 1st Annual Dragon Challenge Pro-Am Invitational, to be contested on Saturday, October 18, 2003.

Qualifying rounds can be played beginning opening day -- expected to be April 15 -- until September 11, 2003. Qualifying players can bookmark to track the lowest-scoring players. Call 1.800.368.7786 for more information or tee times.

In addition to the $10,000 purse, three "winners" will have their names engraved on the perpetual trophy, a red crystal dragon holding the Dragon's Pearl on a beautiful crystal base. The lowest overall net scorer will be knighted the Dragon Champion, while the next-lowest net scorer and low-gross scorer will be named Dragon Masters.

Designed by architect Robin Nelson (The Dunes at Maui Lani, Ravenwood Golf Club), with contributions from LPGA Hall of Famer Patty Sheehan, The Dragon is as scenic as it is challenging. An Audubon Signature Sanctuary course, it is dedicated to working in harmony with nature. An acclaimed course designer with more than 100 design projects in his portfolio, Nelson's Ravenwood layout in Victor, N.Y., was just named one of the top 35 public-access courses in the U.S. -- out of 325 -- to open in 2002 by GOLF Magazine (March 2003 issue).

About Gold Mountain

A master-planned community carefully crafted to blend natural beauty and comfort, Gold Mountain offers wooded homesites with panoramic views of the Sierra Nevadas, the Mohawk Valley, meadows, river and pristine recreational space. Featuring a gated community with homesites assured of unobstructed views, Gold Mountain has been expertly planned by the world-famous Taliesin Architects, the continuation of legendary Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural practice established in 1893.

Gold Mountain is the home of the Nakoma clubhouse designed by Lloyd Wright in 1924 but never built until Gold Mountain owners Peggy and Dariel Garner brought it to life. It is a magnificent example of Wright's genius and is open to the public for casual gourmet dining. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily, year-round. In addition to stunningly beautiful homes designed by Taliesin Architects, Gold Mountain offers luxury rental and timeshare villas, skiing, an outstanding wine collection, cultural arts and nature programs, comprehensive spa offerings, and much more. For more information, call 1.800.446.5368 or visit

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