Allister MacKenzie

“A golf course should be made interesting and a good test of golf by the tilt of the greens and the character of the undulations.”

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Water Project Update

The water project is well underway.  The excavation of the tank and pump station vault was completed this week.  We were very fortunate not to find any significant ground water during the excavation.  The spoils from the excavation will be stored below 2 tee until the tank is complete.  Most of the spoils will return for backfill around the 1st of the year.

The next phase of the project will involve the construction of the pump station vault and storage tank foundation. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Hand Watering

Pasatiempo funded the installation of a new irrigation system in 2010.  The new hardware and software provides the latest technology in golf course water management.  The irrigation decisions we make everyday utilize weather station data, soil moisture meters and many years of professional experience.  The technology we have available greatly decreases the need to hand water with hoses but will never eliminate this most basic management practice.  The last thing we want to do is overwater at night and eliminate hand watering.  Over watering decreases playability and increases disease pressure and expenses. 

Our greens are the most important surface on the golf course.  It only makes up 4 acres of our entire property but demands the majority of our resources.  In order for us to maintain expectations moisture levels must be consistent throughout all of our greens.  During the dry season we schedule 2 employees every morning to hand water greens.  We target moisture percentages based on the weather and events for that day.  In the afternoon we schedule 2-3 employees with the same task.  We do this 7 days a week.  The greens never take a day off and neither do we. 

One of our staff members was recently hit with a ball.  I’ve witnessed severe injury from golfers hitting into maintenance staff resulting in permanent disability.  I know none of us wish this upon anyone.  There will be times when you need to wait a few minutes for an employee to finish watering a green during your round.  We ask that you allow our staff to safely finish their task before hitting.  Thank you for your support and understanding. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


Spring aeration is almost complete and once again our maintenance staff pushed through some long days to keep us ahead of schedule.  This year we added an additional procedure to the greens we believe will significantly benefit long term health and playability.  The greens have developed a hard pan layer just below our aeration depth.  Over time the layer will decrease water infiltration rates causing excess moisture to build up in the top layer of the profile.  This can cause numerous issues including; soft conditions, anaerobic soils, decreased microbial populations, excess thatch and disease.  The DryJect Maximus injects high pressure water into the green and fractures the soil at depths well below the layer.  At the same time sand is drawn into the holes creating a pore space for air and water.

putting green 2 days after aeration 4/20/16

DryJect through the bottom of the soil profiler

The rest of our aeration schedule is similar to past aerations

  • Greens were aerated with 1/2" hollow tines, top dressed and fertilized
  • Fairways tees and approaches were aerated, seeded, top dress and fertilized
  • Traffic areas in the roughs were aerated, seeded, top dressed and fertilized.  

first drag #4

DryJect #16

We utilize our 4 days of closure to perform tree maintenance around the golf course.  This year we removed a dead pine between #1 and #9.  Numerous cypress trees were pruned on #9, #10 and #17.  We are now moving on to a few oak trees along #16 and will finish the week working on the oak trees in the parking lot next to the tennis courts.

We can't say enough about our mechanic Mario and what a great job he does.  Another aeration with no major mechanical issues is significant for any operation.

If we want to be better this year we need to make changes in our program from the previous year.  If we do the same thing every year and expect different results we will never reach our goals.  We are confident the changes to our program this year will improve your experience on the golf course.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Where is El Nino?

The winter of 2015-2016 was sold as the Godzilla of all El Nino's.  We started off great with over 30" of rain.  Our average annual rainfall since 1948 is 30" which we exceeded on January 30th of this year.


November  4.25"
December  9.45"
January     16.85"

Total         30.55"
Then we hit February and received 2 rain events totaling 1".  So does this mean El Nino is a bust?  Historically, El Nino typically produces significant rain during March and April.

1997-1998  8"
1982-1983  20.25"
1957-1958  15.35"

Average       14.5"

If we receive average rainfall for an El Nino season over the next 60 days we could approach 45" making this the 5th wettest year since 1948.

The golf course is dry and ready to soak up some much needed rain.  The extended forecast looks promising with 4" of rainfall predicted over the next 7 days.  Course conditions will still be favorable heading into the weekend.  Dust off your rain gear and enjoy the golf course!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Filter Test at SVWTP

Our plan to receive secondary waste water from Scotts Valley Water treatment plan includes the use of a filter at Pasatiempo.  The filter will treat the existing secondary water flowing down Graham Hill Road to tertiary water.  Tertiary water is already approved in California for use on golf courses.

Our engineers advised renting the proposed filter and testing it at the treatment plant prior to construction of our onsite water facility.  Last week several Pasatiempo maintenance workers under the direction of our assistant, Greg Ilacqua, successfully connected the filter to the treatment plant.

The test will take place over the next 30 days.  During the test we will evaluate the amount of water, quality, maintenance, noise and smell of the filter operation.  This data will be submitted as part of our Title 22 report to the Division of Drinking water and Regional Water Control Board.  The data will also be used to determine the exact size of the filter needed, annual operational costs and design features around the filter area.

Greg Ilacqua and Staff 

Sami Kadar Water Works Engineer


The area below #12 tee was hydroseeded this week.  The seed blend is consistent with species currently in our native areas.  If the current weather pattern continues we should expect some germination within the next 30 days.  Additional erosion control measures will be installed across the hillside.

Once we complete the area below #12 tee we will continue to hydroseed other native areas around the golf course with poor turf coverage.  Please avoid these areas during your round.  The native grasses are extremely susceptible to injury due to the low seeding rates and slow germination.  

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Fall Aeration

As our invitationals come to a close our focus shifts to fall aeration.  We will be closed for aeration September 28th to October 1st.  The driving range, putting green and chipping green will reopen Wednesday for members.  

Greens will be aerated with a 1/2" hollow tine, top-dressed and fertilized.  Fairways will be aerated with a 7/8" hollow tine, seeded, top-dressed and fertilized.  Tees and approaches will be aerated with a 5/8" hollow tine, seeded, top-dressed and fertilized.  The first 30 to 50 yards we turned off this year to conserve water and weak traffic areas in the rough will be seeded, top-dressed and fertilized once we receive a few inches of precipitation.

We are often asked what we do on the golf course to produce tournament conditions.  Many golfers believe we double cut and roll a few extra times, which is true, but much more goes into it.  Everything we do on the golf course is part of a plan and building process.  Hundreds if not thousands of decisions were made to produce the conditions you see today.  It's not only about what we did yesterday or last week but years of planned cultural programs, timed fertilizers, growth regulator applications based on degree day models, monthly wetting agent sprays and judicious water management to produce the conditions we all enjoy.  Aeration is and always will be the single biggest piece to our building process.  We believe the earlier aeration this fall will allow the turf to heal faster and give the members great playing conditions during what is typically our best weather of the year.

None of this is possible without the support of the membership and resources to make it all happen.  We thank you for your patience during this time.