|Robert Trent Jones, Jr. (middle) with Lyn Nelson and Bruce Charlton|
Renowned Firm’s Update Will Conserve Water, Enhance Playability, Further Protect the Environment
(Palo Alto, CA) - Earlier this month, the golf course architecture firm of Robert Trent Jones II (RTJ II) broke ground on extensive renovations to the Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, California. RTJ II is working closely with the Northern California Golf Association, which owns the course, to bring the popular layout up to modern standards, improve playability, and conserve precious resources such as water. The course, which has hosted the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am as well as the 1991 Men’s NCAA Division 1 Championship, was originally designed by RTJ II and opened in 1986.
Leaders in environmental golf course design, RTJ II has stood by the tenets of responsible golf course development extolled in its Green Proclamation, available at www.rtj2.com. At Poppy Hills, RTJ II will perform the following work:
* Sand cap the entire golf course to improve drainage and make the course play firmer and faster.
* Reconstruct all teeing areas.
* Completely renovate and reposition bunkers, employing state-of-the art technologies for subgrade protection and more uniform sand playability.
* Design and construct all new green complexes with softer green surface contours for today’s faster green speeds, and fairway hollows and slopes around the greens to serve as either a defense of or as an aid to players.
* Widen fairways and soften angles of doglegs.
* Add naturalized sandy areas throughout the course that tie into the surrounding Monterey Pine forest.
* Restore a natural creek buried during original construction and strategically utilize this feature as a hazard on Hole #9.
* Update and realign cart paths to be less obtrusive to play.
* Alter the yardages on many holes to lend more flexibility for daily play, to yield a wider range of club selection decisions and for tournament setup.
* Develop an enhanced forest management program to improve playability and allow more sunlight to improve turf health.
“The renovation will also help the golf course blend more naturally into the site rather than appearing to sit on top of the land,” Charlton says. As one example, he refers to new areas of pine straw combined with sand that will bring to mind the visual appeal of courses such as Pinehurst #2 and Pine Valley.
When complete, the renovation will cut water consumption by reducing the area of irrigated turf by 14.5 acres, adjusting to a Par 71 while simultaneously lengthening the golf course from 6,857 to more than 7,000 yards—a modern standard for championships, which the NCGA hopes to attract. Poppy Hills will re-open for play in the Spring of 2014.
Having designed a portfolio that includes many of the most highly ranked courses in the world, RTJ II has more recently turned its attention to major renovations on several continents.
Says RTJ II founder and Master Architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr., “Older golf courses are much like historic buildings, which often require various levels of attention, whether to restore original charm and design features or to adapt to a more modern world. We are thrilled to be returning to Poppy Hills to make the golf course even more efficient in its use of resources and more playable for its many golfing fans.”