Pasatiempo Golf Club - hole 1
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Pasatiempo Golf Club - hole 1
A lone golfer walks the first fairway at Pasatiempo Golf Club in the fading light. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pasatiempo Golf Club - 3rd
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Pasatiempo Golf Club - 3rd
The 235-yard third hole at Pasatiempo Golf Club is the course's no. 2 handicap, a rarity for a par 3. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pasatiempo Golf Club - 4th
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Pasatiempo Golf Club - 4th
Bunkers ring the fourth green at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, Calif. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pasatiempo GC - 5th
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Pasatiempo GC - 5th
It takes a near-perfect 190-yard shot to hit the fifth green at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, California. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Alister MacKenzie house
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Alister MacKenzie house
A statue and plaque along the sixth fairway at Pasatiempo shows golfers the former home of Alister MacKenzie, the famed architect of Pasatiempo, Augusta National and Cypress Point. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pasatiempo golf course - hole 8
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Pasatiempo golf course - hole 8
The 176-yard eighth hole at Pasatiempo G.C. drops downhill with the ninth fairway framing the backdrop. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pasatiempo Golf Club - 9th
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Pasatiempo Golf Club - 9th
The par-5 ninth hole at Pasatiempo Golf Club runs 500 yards, ending below the porch on the clubhouse. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pasatiempo golf course - 10th
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Pasatiempo golf course - 10th
Pasatiempo Golf Club's 440-yard 10th hole plays long and tough. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pasatiempo G.C. - hole 11
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Pasatiempo G.C. - hole 11
A barranca makes the 11th hole the most intimidating par 4 at Pasatiempo Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pasatiempo Golf Club - 13th
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Pasatiempo Golf Club - 13th
The par-5 13th hole at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, Calif. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pasatiempo Golf Club - 16th
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Pasatiempo Golf Club - 16th
There are ridges galore on the massive 16th green at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, California. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pasatiempo golf course - 17th
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Pasatiempo golf course - 17th
The 17th hole at Pasatiempo Golf Club is a rare gentle par 4 at 371 yards from the tips. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pasatiempo GC - hole 18
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Pasatiempo GC - hole 18
Pasatiempo Golf Club ends with a scenic 169-yard par 3. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pasatiempo - drought conditions
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Pasatiempo - drought conditions
A picture by Pasatiempo Course Superintendent Justin Mandon shows how brown the fairways were in September of 2014. Courtesy of Pasatiempo G.C.
Pasatiempo Golf Club - clubhouse
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Pasatiempo Golf Club - clubhouse
The clubhouse at Pasatiempo Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pasatiempo Golf Club - hole 15
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Pasatiempo Golf Club - hole 15
No. 15 at the Pasatiempo Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pasatiempo Golf Club -  hole 16 shadow
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Pasatiempo Golf Club - hole 16 shadow
A second look at the famous 16th hole at the Pasatiempo Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pasatiempo Golf Club - 18th tee shot
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Pasatiempo Golf Club - 18th tee shot
A golfer tees off on no. 18 at the Pasatiempo Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfPass
18 Images

Pasatiempo Golf Club: A top 100 classic in Santa Cruz, California

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -- Is there a more revered public golf course than the Pasatiempo Golf Club?

The celebrated course halfway between San Francisco and the Monterey Peninsula isn't as famous or as scenic as Pebble Beach Golf Links, but to true golfers, it is every bit in the same league.

It's the rare Dr. Alister MacKenzie design that remains open to the public, unlike Augusta National Golf Club or the Cypress Point Club. Anybody can play it. It's a joyful walk through towering trees, starting on an elevated first tee that overlooks Monterey Bay.

Thankfully, the MacKenzie bunkers have been artfully restored and maintained over the years. The fact that MacKenzie lived along the sixth fairway until his death in 1934 only enhances Pasatiempo's allure. Each hole is unique. Each green is singular in its subtleties, from the tiny green at no. 15 to the massive, three-tiered green at no. 16.

The club recently completed construction on a $9-million wastewater treatment facility behind the 13th green. This plant takes recycled water from the neighboring community of Scotts Valley and turns it into usable irrigation water. With three potential water sources - recycled water from a 30-year lease with Scotts Valley, potable water from Santa Cruz and well water from an onsite well that's not yet operational - Pasatiempo will likely avoid another brownout like the one that damaged the club's reputation in 2014. That's great news for golfers who want to play this Top 100 experience.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed and photographed more than 1,000 courses and written about golf destinations in 20 countries for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfpass and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.

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Pasatiempo Golf Club: A top 100 classic in Santa Cruz, California