Pasatiempo Golf Club, Santa Cruz, California - Hailed as the ``Poor Man's Pebble Beach''


Pasatiempo is a semi-private golf club that also sets aside a number of tee times each day for public play. It was designed by world-renowned golf course architect Alister MacKenzie, who also designed the prestigious Augusta National and Cypress Point courses.

Even so, MacKenzie considers Pasatiempo his favorite design. As further evidence, his American home still borders the course's sixth fairway, and the course is often referred to as "The Poor Man's Pebble Beach'' - the opportunity for golf enthusiasts to experience MacKenzie's finest public-access course.

Pasatiempo Golf Club has also been mentioned in the same breath as Spyglass Hill, according to Golf Digest magazine, which named Pasatiempo one of the top three courses in California, along with such other notables. It was also ranked by GOLF Magazine as the #11 course of the Top 100 Courses You Can Play in 2008.

The course also has a long and storied history, opening in 1929 when the legendary Bobby Jones christened it by scratching out a 1-over-par score of 75. Today, par has been cut to 70, but the course still combines challenging play with the splendor of some of California's finest scenery, including Monterey Bay. Even such golfing legends as Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson have never scored better than 67 in a round.

Some of the most challenging of Pasatiempo's holes are its par-4s. According to golf great Byron Nelson, the 384-yard 11th hole is one of the toughest he ever played. And course designer MacKenzie has stated that the 395-yard 16th hole is the best two-shooter he ever designed.

Like many upscale courses, Pasatiempo takes an environmentally friendly approach to its course management. It provides green, open spaces for wildlife amid a residential area, and also preserves that wildlife habitat, which earned it certification in 2002 as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. As a result, Pasatiempo makes for an excellent course to walk, and the majority of golfers take advantage of the scenery, rolling terrain and temperate climate by walking the course. Caddies are also available.

The course also sports a professional practice facility, including a driving range, large putting and chipping greens, as well as a number of practice sand traps, all located near the first tee. Golf instruction is also available for individuals and group lessons.

Pasatiempo also offers a number of options for dining and drinks. For more casual fair, golfers can choose from the MacKenzie Bar & Grill (named after the course's designer), or the Tap Room, which Golf Digest named one of the Best 19th Holes. For more elegant fare, there's the historic Hollins House, which offers award-winning cuisine, a wine list, and an exceptional view of Monterey Bay.

Pasatiempo is also conveniently located within close proximity to the area's three major airports in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland. It's also less than an hour's drive from Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill golf courses.

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