Pasatiempo Golf Club

Public, 18 holes, $220 - $250

Pasatiempo has been ranked as one of the top courses in the U.S. by Golf Magazine's panel of experts.

Since invitations to play Augusta National or Cypress Point are about as common as ashtrays on motorcycles, course connoisseurs who want to experience the genius of Alister MacKenzie can sample the next best thing: Pasatiempo, the good doctor's finest public-access course. For this reason, it is often referred to as "The Poor Man's Pebble."

Opened in 1929, Bobby Jones scratched out a 1-over 75 to christen the course. While par has been chopped to 70 today, it seldom takes a beating. Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson and Tiger Woods have all failed to better 67 here.

Pasatiempo sports stellar par-4s. Byron Nelson said the 384-yard 11th is one of the toughest he ever faced. MacKenzie's advice: "Do not hook on the par-4 11th. We have allowed for a straight drive and a crisp iron across the arroyo to the green." MacKenzie also said that the 395-yard 16th hole was the best two-shotter he ever designed.

Architect Tom Doak recently re-worked portions of the course to their former glory. You'll so enjoy the challenges at Pasatiempo that you won't even notice that it ends on a par 3.

From Sports Illustrated Writer-Reporter Rick Lipsey: Marion Hollins, the creator of Pasatiempo, is probably the most famous woman in golf you've never heard of. Hollins, who died in 1944 at age 52, was a flamboyant trailblazer on and off the course. Outside of golf, she was a female activist and a shrewd and successful entrepreneur. The daughter of a partner at J.P. Morgan, Hollins invested in one California oil strike that netted her $2.5 million. Hollins was also an expert horse rider and the only woman in America who had a men's handicap in polo. But Hollins made perhaps her biggest mark in golf. She was a top player, winning the 1921 U.S. Amateur, and she created several golf clubs from scratch, including the Women's National Golf Club on Long Island, a women-only club, Cypress Point on California's Monterey Peninsula and Pasatiempo. To design Pasatiempo, Hollins collaborated with her longtime friend Alister Mackenzie, and the rolling hills perched on the northern edge of Monterey Bay provided them a stunning setting for their layout that is noted for its bold bunkering and small, curvaceous greens.

For more information, go to pasatiempo.com.

Design - Golf Course at Pasatiempo Golf Club
  • Year Built: 1929
  • Designer: Alister Mackenzie
  • Greens Grass Type: Bent Grass
  • Fairways Grass Type: Winter Rye
  • Water Hazards: No
  • Sand Bunkers: 41-50
  • Yardage Markers: 200, 150, 100 Yrd Markers and Sprinkler Heads Marked
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