Lakeview Golf Course: No. 6 a Mental Challenge
One can't accuse the Lakeview Golf Course in El Centro of false advertising.
The course's trademark is the sixth hole: a par three, 186-yard hole over a (you guessed it) lake.
"The mental aspect of the sixth hole here is very important," head Lakeview golf professional Keith Earle said. "It's one of those things: if you focus on the blue stuff, you're swing falls apart."
The layout of the hole, according to Earle, is pretty basic. Once over the lake, the green is fronted by a bunker. Get over the water and past the bunker, and you're set.
Easier said than done.
Water can be man's greatest enemy. Just ask Ernest Hemingway. Or, for that matter, anyone who saw "Titanic". Couple a lake with a par-three hole and all bets are off.
"You've gotta focus on the course and not on the water," Earle said. "If you can focus on the grass and not on the lake, your swing will be much more fluid."
The first (and often most fatal) mistake made by newcomers to the course occurs when the golfer approaches the tees. There, stress often takes over, especially when there's a lake directly in front of the box.
Golfers tend to stiffen up, lose focus of the swing, and often chunk the ball into the drink. The hole can best be described as splash-tastic.
According to the course's professional, the toughest hole at the Imperial Valley course can only be overcome with experience.
"The only way to beat the hole is to play it a lot," Earle said. "For a pro, the stress fades the more times the hole is played" However, the average golfer tends to tense up and, as Earle says, "the swing falls apart."
The Lakeview Golf Course is a good trip from, well, just about everything.
However, the travel needed to reach the corse is rewarded: greens fees run anywhere from 9-16 dollars. Roughly 110 miles from San Diego, the course is located off Interstate 8 at Drew Road. A half-mile drive from the exit, the course is located next to a prominent R.V. park.
Not that it's run-down.
"It's a nice course," Earle said.
Just look out for the lake.
Lakeview Golf Course
1589 Drew Road
El Centro, CA 92243