Day Two of our Northern California Grand Golf Adventure began with some soupy fog, which reminded us all of how lucky we were to experience such a picturesque day at Half Moon Bay’s Ocean course yesterday.
Luckily, we were headed an hour south to play Pasatiempo in Santa Cruz – one of GOLF Magazine’s Top 100 Courses You Can Play.
The 45-mile stretch between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz is a pretty nice drive – especially when you’re cruising along the Pacific Coast Highway in an all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee against a magnificent backdrop of crashing waves and rolling hills – it’s certainly not a morning commute to complain about! By the time we arrived in downtown Santa Cruz, the fog had lifted and the sun was shining, providing yet another day of perfect golf weather in Northern California.
After fueling up with some excellent breakfast burritos, we were ready to take on Alister MacKenzie’s most accessible masterpiece, Pasatiempo. The course was recently aerated, so the fairways were thick and soft, making Pasatiempo an even tougher test than I had originally anticipated. I struggled to reach several par-4s from the white tees, but the greens were rolling nicely and the bunkers were in perfect shape.
Travelin’ Joe Passov pointed out some of the course’s most famous holes and bits of architecture, and we all made sure to gather together for a picture in front of Alister MacKenzie’s house on the sixth hole.
Now, for an update on Clark’s progress: I think it’s safe to say that he has officially caught the golf bug. He was so excited to get back on the course today, and I think he’s taken some important steps forward. His putting stroke is much-improved, and he hit several solid shots from the fairway. Clark’s ultimate moment of glory, however, was on 18, a visually intimidating par 3 that requires an 80-yard carry over a deep canyon. Clark decided to give the shot a try and made his best swing of the day. His ball soared over the canyon and landed just short of the green. The look on his face was priceless – sheer joy. For a golfer, what’s better than the feel of a truly pure shot? That’s what this game is all about, and I’m so happy that Joe and I were there to celebrate the moment with Clark.
We’ll be at it again tomorrow, so make sure to check back in with us as we head even farther south to experience one of Robert Trent Jones Jr.’s gems, Poppy Hills!