Mountain Springs Golf and Country Club in Sonora recently hired a new director of golf who has longstanding ties to the Mother Lode.

Ray Claveran, 50, of Sutter Creek, grew up around Tuolumne and Calaveras counties with his parents, who managed the Lake Don Pedro Golf and Country Club in the early 70s. He attended Bret Harte High School after his parents moved to Arnold.

Claveran started his professional career in 1991 working as an assistant for his parents and joined the PGA for the American Golf Corporation. He later left the PGA to pursue golf course design.

His career led him to Brookings, Ore., where he designed a practice center at the Salmon Run golf course, before moving back to California and managing The Bridges Golf Club in San Ramon.

Claveran's career came full circle when he returned to Lake Don Pedro and oversaw the $22 million redesign that was completed in 2008.

Mountain Springs manager Kim Daters said the club found Claveran through discussions with people involved in golf marketing and management.

Claveran said he was working as a consultant to a golf course project in Sutter Creek when Daters gave him a call and offered him the open position.

"I've had a lot of ties to this community for the past 40 years or so and it's nice to come back to the area," Claveran said of accepting the offer.

During a March 26 interview, Claveran said he had been serving in his new role at Mountain Springs for about a month and was helping initiate several new player development programs, including junior and senior clinics.

Another planned new feature at the course is a series of monthly tournaments, Claveran said.

"We've got a nice membership out here so we're going to do a few more members outings," he said of the changes.

Claveran replaces longtime golf professional Mike Cook, who had worked at the course for about the past 18 years.

Daters declined to comment about Cook.