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Zen Golf Quote of the Week
July 2006

  • Greetings from Dr. Joe
  • PGA TOUR Notes: Musings on the US Open
  • Caribbean Classic Golf Invitational Tournament
  • OVI Golf Academy Program - Oct. 28-29
  • A Note on Zen Golf Coaching
  • Other Zen Golf Learning Opportunities
  • Corporate Keynotes and Programs

Greetings from Dr. Joe
It seems time to introduce a more personal touch to the Zen Golf newsletters, so I’d like to start by offering my greetings to everyone, and gratitude for your appreciation of ZEN GOLF. It’s been four years since ZEN GOLF was published, and this year we crossed the 100,000 mark for sales of the US edition. Waiting on numbers for the 7 foreign editions, but heard that the Japanese version was in its third printing.

The next book, ZEN PUTTING, is in the manuscript stage and will be on the bookstore shelves next spring. Getting that in shape was my main focus this spring. The last couple of months have provided some great experiences to share with you.

Golf in the Kingdom

At the end of May, I was one of a panel of instructors in a wonderful program entitled Golf in the Kingdom at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa Resort where I teach. Three days of discussion, instruction, playing golf, and socializing with Michael Murphy, Deepak Chopra, Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Fred Shoemaker, and Tina Mickelson.

The event was a benefit for three non-profits: the World Business Academy (www.worldbusiness.org) that hosted the event; the Deepak Chopra Foundation (www.chopra.com/article121.aspx); and the Shivas Irons Society (www.shivas.org).

I was pleased to offer a Zen Putting clinic and playing lessons, as part of the instructional program that included Fred’s Extraordinary Golf lessons and some swing instruction from Tina, a PGA teacher. A highlight of the event was midnight golf with Michael Murphy, right out of Golf in the Kingdom, complete with Scottish liquid refreshment.

PGA Tour Notes: Musings on the US Open

This spring and summer I did my PGA TOUR coaching at the Byron Nelson in Dallas, the Barclays Classic at Westchester CC, and at the U.S. Open at Winged Foot CC. The Open was amazing, and I’ll offer a couple of observations.

I walked the course in practice inside the ropes, and watched as Tour pros tried to play hybrid clubs out of the second cut (the medium deep one) that went about 5 feet. During the tournament, they hit full swing shots out of the deepest rough that went all of 20 yards back to the fairway, and the gallery gave them well-deserved applause. Got to know Tom Nieporte, the head pro at Winged Foot, and the last club pro to win a PGA Tour event (many years ago). Tom’s a fabulous fellow.

Without having spoken to Monty or Phil, these are my conjectures:

Monty: He said himself he switched to a seven iron from a six iron on the last shot because he expected to be pumped up from adrenaline. The problem came with waiting for a long time while his playing partner got a ruling, then switched clubs at the last second and walked up and played the shot. See the chapter “Give It Time to Sink In” in ZEN GOLF for an explanation of what happened. His body swung the seven as if he still had the six in his hands.

Phil: My best guess is that the fans made him a hero, and he unthinkingly bought into that identity. That kept him from thinking outside the box on 17 and 18 to leave the driver in the bag, and not try to make a spectacular recovery from the trees on 18. Once he hit the tree on 18, it looked from his eyes that he went into shock. His routine changed, he did everything very quickly, as if going through the motions, but not really being there. His comments verified that the lights were on but no one was home. He kept saying, “I can’t believe I did that,” as if he were a helpless observer of the events, rather than the actor. There are many more factors and subtleties to what happened, but that is my guess as to one piece of it. 
Caribbean Classic Golf Invitational Tournament
Right after the Open, I went to Jamaica as a keynote speaker at a corporate conference, and as an instructor at the Caribbean Classic Golf Invitational, a fund-raising tournament started by Richard Stephenson to benefit the children of Jamaica, providing computer learning labs for all the primary schools in the country (over three years of the tournament).

I was sponsored by the companies of Richard and his wife Joy. His company RISARC makes information tracking systems for hospitals, and I gave a keynote for his corporate conference that preceded the tournament. Joy heads the legal firm of Stephenson, Acquisto and Colman Esq. they live in the Los Angeles area, but Richard and Joy grew up in Jamaica before moving to the US and were giving something back to the children of their homeland.

At the tournament I had fun coaching Marcus Allen (NFL Hall of Fame running back), Steve Harvey (comedian), and Richard Roundtree (of the Shaft movies). Marcus particularly liked my way of responding to a poor shot, by calling it “interesting.” Steve was big on breathing and feeling the ground as he walked to the ball. For Richard, it was about Zen Putting. We all made a commitment to go back next year.

OVI Golf Academy Program – October 28-29
Note: Apologies to those of you who were looking for a summer golf program in Ojai. It’s just way too hot! July 1 the mercury hit 102! So the intended July 22-23 program was cancelled. We just feel it is safer if we wait until the fall.
The Ojai Valley Inn Golf Academy Program combines Dr. Joe Parent's mental game lessons with Director of Instruction Jeff Johnson's video analysis and swing technique lessons. The program is a unique combination of a mental game seminar with Dr. Joe each morning, followed by video and practice area lessons with Jeff before lunch. After lunch Dr. Joe and Jeff work together on swing and mental images. Afternoons will feature on-the-course playing lessons with both instructors. We are excited to offer another program in the series:

October 28-29, 2006 Saturday morning through late Sunday afternoon

  • $1195 per person (single occupancy)
  • $1995 per couple (or double occupancy)
  • $795 per person Commuter (no lodging) rate
    (Please note: this is a substantial discount from standard room rates)

Program includes two nights lodging at the deluxe Ojai Valley Inn and Spa Resort, instructional materials, a Zen Golf Audiobook, video swing analysis, lunches, green fees and cart.

To register, please call the Ojai Valley Inn at 805-646-1111 and ask for Jeff Johnson.

About the Facilities — The Ojai Valley Inn and Spa Resort sports a classic championship layout designed in the 1920's by George Thomas, the architect of Los Angeles Country Club and Riviera Country Club. The Ojai Valley Inn Golf Academy's Director of Instruction is PGA professional Jeff Johnson, a former All-American who played for Eddie Merrins on the UCLA golf team.

The resort is listed by Conde Nast Traveler in the top 40 golf resorts in the world. It has emerged better than ever from a $70 million renovation that is likely to bring it the rare 5-Diamond rating. Ojai is a small but strikingly beautiful valley a few miles inland from Ventura and Santa Barbara, and a little more than an hour north of Los Angeles. It was the setting for the 1930's movie classic, Lost Horizons, portraying the mythical kingdom of Shangri-la.

A Note on Zen Golf Coaching

We have had requests from golf instructors, trainers, and sports psychologists who would like to coach Zen Golf.

Unfortunately, there will not be a training program to certify instructors as Zen Golf Coaches, as the requirements and costs of such a program have made it prohibitive.

However, we want to offer opportunities for coaches to share their experience and learn from others in applying the principles presented in Zen Golf to their own coaching. Therefore, we will offer biannual gatherings in Ojai, led by Dr. Parent, for golf coaches, trainers, and sports psychologists to attend. The first will be October 30-31, immediately following the OVI Golf Academy Program.

There will also be occasional opportunities for regional one-day gatherings, following Dr. Parent’s travel schedule. The first of these will be in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday August 5th. The cost will be $200, not including meals and lodging. Mark Henry, a sports psychologist from Portland, OR is organizing this Coaches Gathering.

You can contact him at MarkH@ZenGolf.com This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information, or call the Zen Golf office at 805-640-1046.

If you would like to have a regional Coaches Gathering with Dr. Parent in your area, call the Zen Golf office at 805-640-1046 for scheduling arrangements.

Other Zen Golf Learning Opportunities

Dr. Parent's individual and small group lessons are made by appointment, only through the Zen Golf office, 805-640-1046. Gift Certificates are available.

Telephone consultations can be arranged as well. Dr. Parent can offer a program at your home club in the form of presentation, clinic, and/or playing lessons.

Please call for information at 805-640-1046.

Corporate Keynotes and Programs

Dr. Parent is doing a series of corporate keynote speeches for Legg-Mason, an asset management firm formerly known as Salomon Brothers Asset Management. For the balance of the year, he will be doing events in Pasadena, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Boston, San Antonio and Honolulu. For his full schedule of corporate talks and charity events, please see the Calendar section of the ZenGolf.com website.

Feel free to forward this newsletter, or links to archived newsletters, from the Zen Golf website. Please feel free to let us know if there are other topics you'd like to see addressed in our Zen Golf Newsletters, or any other feedback that will help us serve you better.

Yours in Clarity, Commitment, and Composure,

Dr. Joe Parent

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