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.”

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.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Maintenance Day

Yesterday was the second of our four summer maintenance days.  We use these days to perform cultural practices which would otherwise be impossible during normal play.

Maintenance Day Goals

  • Remove Thatch
  • Increase Air Movement
  • Push Water Through the Profile
  • Flush Salts and Bicarbonates
Order of Operations
  1. Mow greens
  2. Verti-cut greens ( thick slice for thatch removal )
  3. Blow greens
  4. Planet-Air (deep cut into the greens for air and water movement)
  5. Roll greens
  6. Top-Dress greens
  7. Spray greens with wetting agent, fertilizers and other amendments to assist with flushing salts and bicarbonates
  8. Apply more granular amendments
  9. Water greens .2"
  10. Water greens Overnight .35"

Planet Air

These procedures are vital to the health and playability of the golf course.  We thank you for allowing these days and apologize for any inconvenience.  The next maintenance day will be Monday, August 10th.  

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

New Sod

We recently sodded several areas around greens and tees.  These areas look like drought stress but are actually dying due to a fungal disease.  At any given time we attempt to control 20 different fungal diseases on the golf course.  Fungi are always present waiting for the right host and environmental conditions to reproduce and continue their life cycle.  The fungi we are seeing around these areas do not respond well to chemical controls.  We sprayed several times before we experienced activity with little to no efficacy.  Our plan is to control the pathogen by cutting out the sod and removing the top 2-3 inches of soil.

Friday, June 12, 2015


I take pictures almost everyday on the golf course but rarely post them.  I couldn't help myself with this one of MacKenzie.

Well Update

After nearly seven months of drilling and over a year of work, the test hole for the well on #12 is complete and at a depth of 1340'.  The well was tested last week for potential output and water quality, with results indicating the potential to produce 100-200 gal/min from water sources above 800’.  Below 800’ the test results indicate only limited amounts of brackish water.    Such tests do not actually test the water; surrounding rock formations are tested and from that data potential output and water quality is calculated. Actual output and water quality cannot be quantified until we develop and utilize the well.  

Possible Production
  • 100 gal/minute pumping 24hrs/day will produce 144k gallons
  • 200gal/minute pumping 24hrs/day will produce 288k gallons
  • We use an average of 300k gallons of water per day on the golf course, May-September

The information we have encourages us to complete the well to a depth of 800’, filling the hole below with concrete in order to prevent the brackish water from contaminating the usable water above 800’.  As stated throughout this entire process the well is not an absolute and may go dry or not recharge itself at any given time.   

We will not be able to utilize the well water or any other alternative source without a storage tank and a pump station. In order for us to develop such onsite infrastructure the Shareholders will need to approve the necessary funds. A detailed presentation of our options and a Shareholder vote are planned to take place within the next 90 days.

We appreciate your understanding during this process and look forward to completing the entire water project as soon as possible.  

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cart Traffic

Every year during spring and fall aeration we remove all stakes, ropes and cart signs from the golf course.  The improved visual impact on the golf course during this period is dramatic from all vantage points.  We always try to limit the use of these tools but as the season goes on and compaction increases we tend to expand their use.  

The stakes, ropes and cart signs take up a significant amount of labor and resources.  We not only move them to divert traffic but we also move them everytime we mow these areas.  The rope is replaced several times a year and the cart signs are removed 3-4 times a year and pressure washed.

During a recent green committee meeting several ideas were proposed from experiences on other golf courses.  After discussing the ideas with Pasatiempo staff, board and committee members we decided to change how we direct traffic throughout the property.

Starting today you will see a 3' tall wood stake at the beginning and end of each hole.  Please take a moment to read the new cart policy below.  
  • Drive on the cart path as far as possible past the first stake   
  • Exit the cart path using the 90 degree rule and proceed to your ball
  • When off the cart path utilize the fairway as your primary driving area and avoid driving through the rough when possible
  • Exit before the last stake back to the cart path
  • Never drive through native areas or on designated walking paths

The stakes will only be successful with your participation.  Ken and his staff will do a great job getting the word out to members and guest in the pro shop and on the first tee.    We are treating this as a trial period and welcome input from the membership.  Please contact myself, Ken or Scott with any questions. 


Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Spring aeration is finally here.  The crew stepped up and put in a full 13 hour day yesterday.  We were able to finish all the greens and the front nine fairways.  We had no mechanical issues yesterday which is unusual for an aeration.  This can be directly attributed to the investment the club has made in new equipment and the great job our service manager Mario does everyday.  We understand this week is an inconvenience to the membership.  We appreciate your understanding during this important and necessary process.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Spring Aeration

Spring aeration is around the corner and it looks like the weather will cooperate.  We will be closed April 13th-16th.  The driving range, putting green and chipping green will reopen on Wednesday, April 15th.
  • Greens will be aerated with 5/8" hollow tines, verti-cut, top-dressed and fertilized 
  • Fairways, tees and approaches will aerated, seeded, top-dressed and fertilized
  • Weak areas in the rough will be aerated, seeded, top-dressed and fertilized

We received over an inch of much needed rain today.  This brings our winter total, since September of 2014, to 23.5".

Friday, March 20, 2015

Tee Yardage Markers and Signs

We started installing the new metal yardage tee markers this week.  The new markers are simple and maintenance free.  We prefabricated a concrete base which will help stabilize the markers and prevent any accidental trips into someones bag or front yard.  All the markers should be installed by the end of next week.  We are also in the process of installing new road crossing signs.  This was done at the request of the HOA.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Well Update

The well project has been slow going the past two weeks.  After changing the drill rig from a traditional drill to an air hammer, Maggiora Brothers were able to break through the granite and drill several hundred additional feet.  After breaking through the granite the well drillers decided to not case the well below the granite, thinking the material below the granite would be hard.  The material below the granite turned out to be very soft and the well collapsed.  The drill bit and several cones broke off and are stuck in the bottom of the well.  The well drillers tried to retrieve their equipment for over a week, with no success, as the well continued to collapse every time they went down.  Over the past several days they were able to case the rest of the well and are now attempting to retrieve the cones and drill bit.

We are currently at 800' and the well is producing 20-40 gal/minute.  This is far from the 200 gal/minute we are hoping for.  The data shows the majority of water to be at the 1200'-1300' depth.  We want to reiterate this is a test drill and there is the possibility we will not find any water.  As frustrating as this is it's completely out of our control.  Maggiora Brothers wants to complete this well as soon as possible so they can move on to their next job.  We will send out an update as soon as we find out any additional information.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Our nematode activity has been growing exponentially since last week.  What started as a few small spots on a couple of greens has turned into widespread activity on most.  We identified the outbreak early last week and made an application on Wednesday.  We followed up with another application today with a new product we tested on the chipping green.  Our hope is we can control the populations enough to get through this outbreak and into the spring and summer when pressure is typically low.

7 Green

7 Green

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Hollins House Organic Garden

For the past year chef JP and I discussed the possibility of expanding the garden for the Hollins House.  Those discussions progressed once we hired CJ Nugent to manage the Hollins House.  At one time CJ worked at Post Ranch Inn, located in Big Sur, which boosts a very large production garden for the world renowned restaurant and facility.  I had the privilege of staying at Post Ranch several years ago and remember the impression the garden left on me as I explored the ranch.  Seeing all the food being grown on property and speaking with the horticulturalist got me excited about the menu.

Walking by the Hollins House recently you most likely noticed some work taking place near the upper parking lot on the hillside.  This is the beginning of what will be our new organic garden for the Hollins House.  Three new block walls are almost complete and soon 11 new raised beds will be built.  The area will also host citrus trees, artichoke plants and numerous other perennials.  We will continue to update this project as it grows!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Well Exploration is Under Way

After almost 7 months of waiting the drilling started early this morning on the test well.  For the next 7-14 days the drill will make its way down 1500' through sand and rock.  Once the test well is complete we will send a device down to take measurements.  The data from this device will be analyzed and a well will be designed to accommodate the estimated production if any.  Even with the best technology available there is a possibility we will not hit water or enough to justify developing a well.
Please be aware of signage around the area.  It may be different from your last round.  Currently there is a white line painted across the front of the work area.  Everything above the white line in mandatory ground under repair.  Please do not get close to the equipment or engage workers.  The area is an active work site and can pose a danger.  If you have any questions about the well or the process please contact Justin Mandon or Scott Hoyt.

Fairway Top Dressing

We are top dressing the fairways this week.  This will be the first of 4 fairway top dressings this season.  We are confident in our execution and believe the impact is minimal to members and guests. The benefits from frequent fairway top dressing are, reduced thatch accumulation, increased water infiltration, firm playing surfaces and reduced disease severity to name a few.  We appreciate your support during this important application.

Rough Aeration and Seeding

The recent dry weather has given us an opportunity to aerate and seed the areas in the roughs still recovering from the drought.  We identified the areas we felt would have the most impact and then expanded the scope throughout the week.  Once we get some warm rain these areas will germinate and fill in.  Weather permitting, we will continue to aerate throughout the entire property.