NCGA Golf

Winter 2019

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important example for all NCGA courses with access to recycled water. That's not always feasible, of course, but Pasatiempo seized its chance. The club built a recycled water treat- ment facility – storage tank, filtration and pump stations – behind the 13th green. The project cost $9 million, but it's already paying dividends: Pasatiempo produced 35 million gallons of water in its first season with the facility, according to superintend- ent Justin Mandon, and saved about $500,000 in potable water costs. Now the club actually has three water sources: recycled water from Scotts Valley, potable water from Santa Cruz and water from its own well on No. 12. These resources are invaluable given the risk of drought conditions. Also worth noting: Pasatiempo elimi- nated 25 acres of irrigated turf several years ago, going from 90 to 65 and letting those native grasses – usually between fairways or around teeing areas – subsist only on winter rains. Mandon uses an app on his smartphone to monitor the water treatment plant (some- thing MacKenzie presumably didn't envi- sion in the 1920s). Occasionally, if he wakes up in the middle of the night, Mandon can- not help but check his phone to make sure everything is running smoothly. Even so, technology cannot solve every issue. After Pasatiempo finished the well on No. 12, PG&E told club officials they needed a street address to install power. But the well was alongside a fairway, not a street. General manager Scott Hoyt finally connected with a county official who created an official address, placating PG&E and allowing the club to complete the project. Hoyt joked about installing a mailbox at the well, though that never happened. Hoyt also can point to the course's certification by the Audubon Society, tangible proof of its environmen- tally friendly ways. In terms of pure golf, Pasatiempo offers abundant stimulation, even at only 6,521 yards from the championship tees. No. 1, a downhill par-4, includes a sweeping view of the bay; the tee shot on No. 7 squeezes through a narrow chute flanked by tower- ing trees; No. 11, a slight dogleg to the left, requires a funky uphill approach shot across a deep ravine to a tiny green canted from back to front; No. 16, which MacKen- zie called his favorite par-4 in the world, demands a blind tee shot and a challenging approach into a crazy, three-tiered green. And those beautiful, maddening bunkers are everywhere, 83 in all. "The way MacKenzie used the barran- cas throughout the course, it looks like it's supposed to be here," Mandon says. "It doesn't feel forced." Inkster, as a kid, used the barranca alongside No. 14 to retrieve wayward golf balls; then she sold them (and lemonade) in her backyard. Before she began playing at age 15, she and neighborhood friends wandered onto the fairways to play football, whiffle ball and flashlight tag. Only later, as she became one of the world's top women's golfers, did Inkster come to un- derstand this wasn't just any old layout. "Pasatiempo definitely shaped my game for tough courses," she says. "Still one of my all-time favorites. Tough, undu- lating greens. I think it shaped my short game, for sure." Oberholser struggled to pick his favorite hole, ultimately calling it a toss-up between Nos. 10 and 14. He also described No. 15, a short par-3, as the "most dastardly little 125-yard shot you'll ever hit" and labeled No. 16 the "most brilliantly aggravating par-4 in the world." More than anything else, Oberholser marveled at MacKenzie's propensity for making golfers think their way around the course. (MacKenzie, incidentally, lived in a house alongside No. 6.) "He was good at making a game of op- posites – he'll ask for a draw off the tee and a cut into the green, or vice versa," Ober- holser says. "Augusta is that way and Pasa is similar. He always keeps you off balance." The good news for Northern California golfers: Pasatiempo is semi-private, giving its 290 active members tee-time priority on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays before 9:30 a.m. Otherwise, the course is open for public play. Just don't expect it to be easy. Ron Kroichick covers golf for the San Francisco Chronicle. 28 WINTER 2019 | NCGA.ORG The third hole at Pasatiempo; MacKenzie and his wife on the porch of their home alongside the club's sixth hole (center).

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