Pebble Beach Has a New Course for Your Bucket List: The Renovated and Rough-Free Poppy Hills Golf Course
Have you had the pleasure of experiencing the new gem of Pebble Beach, Poppy Hills Golf Course? If not, we hope you’ve at least had the chance to see the course tour that shows our incredible views of the Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz Mountains from the new 12th tee. Or, perhaps you’ve seen the new 9th green nestled in and protected against the newly constructed creek... making it the ultimate risk-reward temptation on this much more accessible par 5.
The evolution of the new Poppy Hills golf course is both striking and obvious. Each gives us something we didn’t have with the old design: an ocean view, a short but deadly par 3, and a meandering creek.
Noticeable Course Improvements
Some of the other notable improvements include the 5th-hole transformation. On this hole we’ve removed the punishing pond and replaced it with a stunning and humbling hillside of creeping fescue and devilish waste areas.
You will find these natural waste areas seeping out as an extension of the forest floor throughout the course, adding very strategic and aesthetic values to tee shots -- most noticeably on holes 4, 8, and 15.
You will notice a much more open and inviting feel from the tee. This can be credited to the elimination of all rough -- and the return to the natural terrain and removal of the scattered bumps and rolls famous in 1980s course design.
The new Poppy Hills has made nearly all approach shots immensely more interesting, bringing every type of shot imaginable into play. Rewarding the thinkers of the game and punishing those that make the mistake of trying to overpower the course. Golf is a little bit of outdoor billiards and the new Poppy Hills is all about the ground game. It forces golfers to think outside of the greens and lets the bank shots and runners gain access to the very sneaky hole locations located on the new 100% glassy bent-grass greens.
We have widened the playing corridors, removed all rough, introduced firm and fast sand capped conditions, simplified bunking, and created softer contouring. All of this promotes a much more player-friendly experience for all abilities.
When you visit the new and improved Poppy Hills golf course, look to the left when you are standing on the first tee and marvel at the new seventh green as sits hanging on the cliff above the new creek that protects the ninth. This view will give you a very good feel for what the experience throughout the rest of your journey in the Del Monte Forest.
As the lead architect of Robert Trent Jones II explains, “It’s not overly contoured, it’s set into the landscape well, fairways are spilling out around it and it and it has nice bunkers and the waste areas framing the shot.” That’s a peek-a-boo of what Poppy Hills is all about.
One difference you’ll notice is the ability to see the bottoms of the trees. That simple change makes the forest feel real, instead of acting as a stage backdrop. Davis Love III said it best, “At times, you’re like 'Wow, it looks like Augusta'”.
Loved by Professionals
Many other golf professionals have shared their newfound love of the new layout -- comparing it most often to Pinehurst #2, as well as calling it the "Pine Valley of the West Coast". That’s company that we’re thrilled to be associated with.
The beauty of it all is that the new Poppy Hills allows YOU to decide how you want to play it. The player who is playing conservative or is looking to avoid the big number has a place to bail out on almost every hole -- or to sneak it in on the corner of the green. Deciding on how to play each hole is part of the fun factor here -- and it only gets better each time you play it. We hope to see you soon and often.