Pebble Beach, CA
Reviewed by: ddesantis4442, San Jose
Played Poppy for the first time in new configuration on a warm January morning, teeing off at 11ish and finishing in 4.25 hours walking. The weather is as much the contest as the course in the Pebble area and today was no different. Warm air to start (55 degrees), then light rain for the front nine, turning into a cold misty rain and then dense fog for the remainder of the round. Fog was so thick at times that we had to yell to the group ahead of us to make sure we would not hit into the group. Either they quit on 17 or they are still out there lost in the fog. If someone is missing two Carmel teenagers, take a look around 16 green or 17 tee box. Last 4-5 holes played nearly blinded by white fog.
The course itself is beautiful and the manicured waste areas look nice, but are noticeable because of the different color earth. Not really a great look, but at least you know where you are. Didn’t hit out of any of that, but partners said it was firm and playable.
The greens were beautiful to look at but played slow from start to finish. It is a true test to hit many of the greens that are crowned and ready to repel seemingly GIR approach shots. Hit short part 3 on the back only to see it spin a little, roll to the right fringe… and off the planet – gone down a creek canyon and into poison oak hell. My bad, won’t do that next time. Stay left.
The fairways remained firm and fast and were a joy to hit from. Good yardage markers (no GPS in partners’ cart). Bunker sand was wet but consistent and very enjoyable with no debris. Tee boxes were good and the rough was much easier than I recalled several years ago. Kind of a weird scorecard that 50-year old eyes struggled to read. Hey NCGA, go ahead and make those numbers bigger and darker, eh?
Not long from the #2 tee box, generous driving landing areas and many, many perfectly placed bunkers to suck in slightly off center tee balls. Great practice area, putting green, grill, pro shop. I walk/carried it easily with only a couple of holes having longish walks from green to next-tee. NCGA price was $100 for a Friday and it was a thoroughly enjoyable and unique day. Just don’t ask me to describe many holes after the fog rolled in, I didn’t see ’em. Visibility was less than 100 yards and frankly I was guessing where to hit my next shots (thanks 18th approach gully). Excellent course, worth the greens fees, car drive and day. Maybe check the weather if you want to take photos.