May 11, 2016
Pasatiempo GC Signs 30-year Water Deal to Combat Drought
One of the courses in Northern California most feeling the effects of the 2014 drought was Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz.
Not only was it a dry year, but the city of Santa Cruz cut the club’s fresh water irrigation supply in half.
Those bad days at the Alister MacKenzie-designed gem are now in the past.
Recently, the club signed a 30-year agreement with the neighboring community of Scotts Valley for the rights to use recycled city water previously pumped into the ocean. The deal with Scott Valley had been on the table for 30 years.
“It is an absolute historic event for Pasatiempo,” General Manager Scott Hoyt told Golf Advisor. “It is a huge celebration for us. We don’t know of any other courses that have three water sources like us. This started out as water security. It turned out to be beneficial cost-wise. The biggest variable in golf—especially in California—is water, whether you can get it and what the cost is.”
According to Hoyt, the club will pay $1.6 million spread over the next five years—the entire cost of the water up front. That leaves the club with no costs the final 25 years of the deal.
The club recently took out a loan to fund an $8 million project that will result in a 500,000-gallon storage tank with its own pumping and filtration system. That project is expected to begin this month.
“No matter what the golf industry says, firm and fast and brown isn’t good. It didn’t work,” Hoyt says. “We only had enough water for tees and greens. It cost us a boatload of money. If we had to do that every three or four years, it would be financially crippling for us. The customer had no idea what to expect from us (condition-wise) year to year. Now they do.”