Pasatiempo Golf Club Santa Cruz, Calif.
Every April, I'm reminded that none of my pals will be playing Augusta National anytime soon. That goes for Cypress Point, too. So where can Joe Six-Pack go to sample Alister MacKenzie's design magic?
Start with Pasatiempo, 45 minutes north of Pebble Beach. Restored by Tom Doak, Pasatiempo illuminates MacKenzie's brilliance. I agree with Jay Blasi, the young architect with Robert Trent Jones II who was so instrumental in the success of Chambers Bay, and who told me recently, "Pasatiempo is pure MacKenzie. The greens are the primary defense, with all sorts of wonderful contours that the smart player will utilize and the poorly played shot will suffer from. The flash bunkers, the bunkers well short of greens that play with your depth perception—it's MacKenzie at his best."
Pasatiempo may be too short for some and too cramped for others, but for those craving a dollop of design genius, pay the hefty freight and play this course.
(Photo: Rob Babcock/Pasatiempo Golf Club)