Discover Golf : December 2014
Dr Alister MacKenzie designed some remarkable golf courses—Augusta National, Cypress Point and Royal Melbourne to name a few. But according the world-renowned golf architect, Pasatiempo Golf Club was his favourite layout. So much so, the Englishman’s American home bordered its sixth hole. Pasatiempo Golf Club opened for play in 1929 and is located in Santa Cruz, California—a leisurely one-hour drive south of San Francisco, or approx 50 minutes north of Pebble Beach. Set in the hills overlooking the city of Santa Cruz and with Monterey Bay in the distance, the challenging 6,500-yard (5,944-metre) track is famed for its breathtaking scenery and rich golf history. The semi-private golf club is also revered as one of America’s top golf courses, ranking #24 in Golf Digest’s 2013-14 America’s Greatest Public Courses. And featuring views to the ocean, varied terrain, artful bunkering, slick greens and requiring plenty of imagination to play a wide variety of shots, it’s easy to see why Golf Digest also named Pasatiempo Golf Club as one of the top 3 courses you can play in California (along with Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill). Pasatiempo is visually stunning. Beautifully manicured, the tree-lined layout enjoys the striking contrast of its rich green texture with MacKenzie’s signature bunkering style. The course opens with a brutal opening hole. At 418 metres in length, it will take two quality shots to reach the downhill par 4 in two shots. But with views over the green to the Pacific Ocean there’s reason to smile even if you don’t get off to a solid start. There are five superb par 3’s at Pasatiempo—the 3rd hole is one of the toughest short holes found anywhere. The uphill 195-metre hole plays all of its distance and is surrounded by bunkers. It also features one of the most treacherous putting surfaces on the course, sloping severely back to front. The 450-metre 9th hole is the best chance to score a birdie. Rated the easiest hole on the course, a good drive will set up an attack at the green in two shots. The back nine at Pasatiempo is special. MacKenzie said, ‘... good golfers consider the second nine holes at Pasatiempo the finest in existence. The short holes [are] specially good, and I think the sixteenth hole is the best two-shot hole I know.’ See over to check out some of Pasatiempo’s featured closing holes. 21 discovergolf.com.au Mackenzie Magic review PASATIEMPO GOLF CLUB USA * Historical photos of Pasatiempo GC taken by Julian P. Graham just after the course opened in 1929. Includes photos of Alister MacKenzie, Marion Hollins, and Bobby Jones.