Beautiful Del Monte Forest Setting

 

Poppy Hills Golf Course:

A Stunning Refresh of a Monterey Golfing Favorite

Posted by: Rick Parnham

 

There is no doubt that California is a golfing state. With nearly 40 million people and over 1100 courses within its borders the state has a diverse palate of experiences ranging from coastal treasures, stunning mountain routings, urban beauties and gorgeous resorts. One of the majestic courses of Monterey, Poppy Hills Golf Club,  has a unique place in this golf frenzied state. Owned and operated by The Northern California Golf Association the facility has been home to this Robert Trent Jones II beauty and association headquarters since its opening in 1986.


Many are familiar with name  Poppy Hills having played host to regional championships and tour pros during the AT&T National for years. This has helped put Poppy Hills in the conversation when discussing Monterey's best layouts. Situated high in the Del Monte forest amid statuesque pines, the course is routed along hilltops and traverses a variety of creeks and ravines. Recently renovated by RTJ II, the course re-opened in April 2014 to rave reviews. Par has been reduced to 71, but in doing so the playability of the design and variety has been strengthened, while accentuating the sightlines and vistas of Monterey Bay through the trees. The renovations have seen changes made to every hole with an overall approach to remove the rough, returning many of the spaces to natural looking waste areas.  This combined with softening the slopes in many of the greens has created a revitalized, fresh and fun golf experience for players of all abilities.

 

The 9th Green

 

Location: Pebble Beach, California

 

Editor's Shot Maker's Picks: Poppy Hills

Featured Holes
Hole 2
Hole 9
Hole 12
Hole 18
Par
Par 3
Par 5
Par 4
Par 5
Jones
208
535
421
515
Fourth
189
519
410
503
Third
163
488
390
479
Second
140
474
370
447
First
118
429
351
414
HCP-Men
15
5
4
10
HCP-Women
15
3
4
6


Feature Holes Descriptions:

The first short hole might just be the best of the collection of par 3's at Poppy Hills. Hole two stretches to a beastly 200 yards off the new back tees with a deep nasty ravine cutting across the hole while the multi-tiered figure-eight shaped green is pinched by deep white sand bunkers and framed by towering pines. Best played with a high right to left shot, there is no easy par to be had here. The front nine ends with a wildly fun par 5 that is pure risk and reward in design. Big hitters can take on the pair of fairway bunkers protecting the left of the natural landing area. Avoiding these hazards will present numerous options for your second. A steep bank left beginning at the 150 yard marker slides quickly toward a crossing creek short of the green site. With no easy layup short of the green, a thought must be given to the shorter carry on the right for those attacking the wide and shallow green in two. Fronted by a narrow creek and framed by massive bunkers and steep hillside behind, there is little room for error when attacking the pin.

 

The 12th is an entirely new hole and completely different from the original design. The layout has been converted from a dogleg right par 5 to a straight-away downhill par 4. The steeply dropping fairway is dotted with staggered bunkers both right and left requiring careful consideration about which line of attack to pursue. The green is 80 feet below the tee decks so careful calculations on club selection is necessary in challenging the green with your approach. A single large bunker guards the right side, while an abrupt fall-off at the back awaits anything hit long. The finishing hole is a double dogleg beauty presenting one last chance for an aggressive birdie. A drive struck tightly to the guarding trap on the left will leave a little over 200 yards to the expansive green site tucked behind a natural waste area and towering sentinel Monterey Pines. Whether you attack the pin in two or layup left and thread your wedge between the guarding traps, the size and slopes of the green makes that last chance for birdie a stiff one.

 

The Approach to Hole 18

 

Long considered one of the peninsula's better golf experiences, the recent enhancements have made Poppy Hills a real treat. The addition of natural waste areas, accentuating the contours of the creeks and ravines, softening the slopes of the greens and expanding the fairway corridors have all combined to produce a fun, playable, challenging and visually stunning, walker-friendly trek through the Del Monte Forest. For those choosing to enjoy the round on foot, a unique opportunity is to request one of the "Youth On Course" caddies for your round, assisting at-risk youth in getting access to golf and develop life skills at the same time. Poppy Hills is a stern test so take care in selecting the tees you set out to conquer.  After your round be sure to sample the gourmet tastes of Porter's in the Forest and soak in some terrace time overlooking the beauty of the course to make the visit complete.

 

Course Stats:

Par 71
Yardage
Rating/Slope-M
Rating/Slope-F
Jones
7002
74.4 / 144
80.3 / 150
Fourth
6672
73.0 / 140
78.5 / 146
Third
6116
71.2 / 135
76.3 / 142
Second
5799
68.6 / 131
73.7 / 135
First
5215
66.0 / 125
70.1 / 125

 

Drive Times: San Francisco 2 hrs 30 mins, San Jose 90 mins, Los Angeles 6 hrs

 

Contact:

3200 Lopez Raod,

Pebble Beach, CA

93953   

831- 622-8239

[website]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Renovated 12th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holes 10 and 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photography Courtesy of Poppy Hills Credits to Joann Dost