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Putting the Pop Back in Poppy

Like his dad, Robert Trent Jones, Jr. has always been a globetrotter. At present, he’s working on courses as far-flung as Argentina, Colombia, England, and China, but the Palo Alto, Calif.-based designer also works extensively in his home state. In fact, he’s wrapping up a complete rebuild of Poppy Hills, a public-access venue on the Monterey Peninsula originally built in 1986 as the home course of the Northern California Golf Association. RTJ II, in partnership with the association, has reduced the amount of irrigated turf to conserve water and introduced transitional sandy areas between turf and forest. It reopens next srping, but no word as yet if the course will ever find its way back into the rota of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. The pros disliked the tree-lined course, ravine-slashed course with its sharp doglegs and huge funky greens (inspired by those at Augusta National), but of course Cypress Point, for which it was substituted, was a tough act to follow. Despite the changes-for-the-better at Poppy Hills, expect the current AT&T rota—Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, and Monterey Peninsula CC’s Shore Course—to remain intact.

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