A course to the south named Pebble Beach may get more ink, but for golf around Monterey Bay – heck, the entire state – you can’t go wrong with Pasatiempo Golf Club. The Santa Cruz course, designed by Alister MacKenzie, who also helmed the building of Augusta National and Cypress Point, opened in 1928 and to play it is to take a walk alongside golf history. Hailed for its greens and its demand for strategy, the 6,500-yard track may not be the longest in the region, but it’s an experience that no golfer who visits or lives in Northern California should miss. It’s a rolling course, but eminently walkable and one of its standout holes, the par-4 16th, which includes a blind tee shot and three-tiered green, was the architect’s favorite in all of golf. Its challenge is borne out by the fact that it has hosted the Western Intercollegiate Golf Tournament, one of the nation’s premier college championships, since the event’s inception in 1947. Visit pasatiempo.com.
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