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for an April 2014 re-opening. “We will try to soften


some of those mounds and other things so they fit naturally with the land,” Jones said. “But the character, the bones are here. It sweeps down, parallel to the fall of the land, much like Olympic Club, but not quite as severe.” The most significant


change to the course revolves around the corridor of Nos. 10-12. The pond on No. 10


space was created left of the current eighth green to sig- nificantly lessen that dogleg; the 17th hole also trimmed a few trees on the right-hand side to create a better angle into the green, which will be pushed to the right as well, closer to the ravine. “We try to make some


of the fairways, like No. 3, contain the shot before it gets too far right,” Jones said. “It’s a much wider course than say Olympic, which is also very heavily treed. The greens are strong. At that time, we were doing stronger contouring. Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus were very sharp-edged archi- tects. I’m more of a flow of line architect.”


One of the biggest chang-


A significant aspect of the renovation is sand-capping, which will greatly improve drainage.


yards from the white tees. “We observe what the


young limber-backs are doing, and we watch the women’s games and observe it and measure things,” Jones said. “The course was opened and it was slightly tweaked, but of course Spyglass was tweaked by my dad once it opened. Pebble Beach has changed. It’s very rare that a course is built and then it lasts forever, just how it was originally designed.” The new Poppy Hills will


also have black tees at 6,646 yards, blue tees at 6,291 yards, white tees at 5,779 yards and red tees at 5,262. The course should play even shorter, since the fairways will be firmer and faster because of sand-capping. “At the end of the day, it


will be a strong test of golf, for all different classes of


Poppy Hills architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr., NCGA and Poppy Holding CEO Lyn Nelson and former NCGA staffer Ron Read.


players, for all different ages, for men and women,” Jones said. “Husbands can play with their wives, parents can play with their children, kids can play with their grandparents. It’s for the entire NCGA membership to enjoy.” The construction period,


which includes removing the existing turf on the course, reshaping and re-contouring every hole, re-installing irrigation, draining the ponds on Nos. 5 and 10, and sand-capping the fairways, is expected to last until Sept. 1. If weather cooperates, the course will be seeded with new grass—including bent- grass greens—giving it the six-to-eight-month window needed to fully mature in time


will be drained and resized to better fit a new green com- plex, while No. 11 will start from scratch. The new par-3 11th hole will shrink from 210 yards to 150, and play in the opposite direction. “I’m looking forward to


straightening out the doglegs, seeing the new views on No. 12,” Jones said. “That little section of Nos. 10, 11, 12 is going to be something fresh.” During the final month


of play at Poppy Hills, tree removal could be seen on a few holes in preparation of the renovation. A back tee box on No. 2 was created to stretch the par 3 to as much as 219 yards; the dogleg on No. 3 was softened by open- ing up the left side; green


es golfers will notice post- renovation is the removal of the lake to the right of the fifth green. It will be replaced with a naturalized waste area. “We’ll use less water, have


more natural landscapes,” Jones said. “In the desert you would have sand, here we’re going to have a nice, natural, loamy forest soil in the rough, and that’s appropriate for a forest.” The crater left by the


lake on No. 5 will be filled in with earth from around the course. All other holes will be reshaped with existing dirt that is simply redistributed. “A lot of shaping was done here,” Jones said. “This was not an easy site. It’s a beauti- ful pine forest, it’s a great piece of nature. However, it’s sloping and we had to fit the holes into the land that was sold by the Pebble Beach Company to the NCGA.” “All kinds of memories


come back—shaping, work- ing, playing here. They flood back. But now it’s on to the new era.”


SPRING 2013 / NCGA.ORG / 19


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