Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, California overcomes drought-fueled brown conditions



SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -- More than 18 inches of rain in recent weeks has revived the green conditions on the overseeded fairways at Pasatiempo Golf Club, breathing life back into the revered Alister MacKenzie course halfway between San Francisco and the Monterey Peninsula.

Water restrictions placed May 1, 2014 by the city of Santa Cruz during the state's worst drought in years caused a major brownout of the 6,521-yard course this summer, prompting some bad reviews on social media and customers demanding refunds after their rounds. The club countered with discounted green fees and constant updates by e-mail and on its Web site to appease golfers not used to such firm, fast and unsightly conditions on the Top 100 course.

Pasatiempo Head Professional Ken Woods believes course conditioning is ready to return to form.

"There is still a misconception out there," Woods said in late December. "We have people calling us and saying, 'You guys are dead, right?' That's not the case. We are 80 percent or 90 percent back. We have tee boxes struggling to come back, but the playable areas are close to 100 percent."

If another 20 inches of rain falls by April 15, 2015, the city will remove the restrictions, although the club isn't waiting on Mother Nature. A well being dug near Pasatiempo's 12th tee will help in the short term, and talks to get recycled water from Scotts Valley, a neighboring community, remain ongoing.

Dec 26, 2014



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Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations 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 Twitter at @WorldGolfer.