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The 10th, 11th and 12th holes embody the design philosophies for the renovation.


that if we lost that shot, it would be a loss to the golf course.” So the popular 10th hole is staying, with slight


tweaks. It gained almost 40 yards, as the green has been pushed back closer to the new 12th tee box. The lake has also been reshaped to better protect the new green. But there was still the question of where to put


No. 11. “It started with kind of a reversing of No. 11,”


Charlton said. “But then we thought, ‘Let’s not just reverse the hole, let’s take advantage of some forest down below with the Gowen Cypress and make it this cute little hole.’” The new 11th hole tees off just behind its previ-


ous green complex. But instead of playing back up the hill toward the old tee box, it angles diagonally to the right, and is located at the beginning of the former 12th fairway. “The idea is that this is our short par 3. It’s a wedge,


9-iron, 8-iron shot,” Charlton said. “It’s going to be peppered with bunkers and require a precise shot.” The routing for the rest of the course will remain


largely intact. But the design team toyed with rein- venting the 14th, 15th and 16th holes as well. Alternate routings were considered, including sending the 14th hole straightaway toward the 16th tee box, and perching the new 15th green on the other side of the ravine. But those moves compro-


11 NO.


mised No. 16, one of the strongest driving holes on the course. “It was a cool routing, but we did an analysis,”


Charlton said. “It’s kind of a shot-value, cost-benefit analysis. Huge gain on No. 14, and we thought on No. 15 we could do something cool. But there was no question in my mind that No. 16 was not going to be as good of a tee shot as it is now.” The sharp doglegs on the front nine have also


been addressed, although the tee boxes and greens will be located in similar positions. The fairway landing areas on Nos. 1 and 3 have been widened to catch more drives, and the double-dogleg fourth hole is now straight enough that the tee can be seen from the green. “We want to make sure we have teeth, and we want to make sure we have playability,” Charlton said. “It sounds like those things don’t mix, but we think they do.” What Charlton and RTJ II have focused on pri-


marily is giving players options. “One simple philosophy that we’ve been adhering


to is there’s kind of a risky side and an easier side to every hole,” Charlton said. The new 17th hole will be an example of that.


The green on the 180-yard par 3 has been pushed to the edge of a ravine on the right, but a ball played safely to the left will give a player a chance at par. “One of the things we felt about Poppy is there


10 NO.


The new 11th hole. The red stake in the distance represents the green location.


One of Poppy Hills’ most dramatic shots won’t change entirely.


SUMMER 2013 / NCGA.ORG / 31


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