Poppy Hills to use less water


Sean Dudley

Poppy Hills Golf Course on the Monterey Peninsula, home of the Northern California Golf Association, is to get a new look.

After an extended planning process, the NCGA recently received the final approvals for the project from all relevant bodies, including the California Coastal Commission. The Robert Trent Jones II firm, Poppy Hills’s original designer, is returning to lead the renovation, which aims to reduce the amount of water needed to maintain the course. Work on the project is to begin in early 2013.

According to NCGA chief executive Lyn Nelson, the impetus for the renovation was the need to replace the course’s irrigation system. “We're really trying to create a golf course that takes into account the water issues and irrigation constraints of the future,” Nelson said. We all need to manage golf courses in a greener fashion.”

RTJ II designed the original layout at Poppy Hills in 1986 to use 100 per cent recycled water. The renovation aims to cut water consumption by reducing the area of irrigated turf by 14.5 acres while simultaneously lengthening the golf course from 6,857 to more than 7,000 yards.

Robert Trent Jones Jr said: “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. We'll also help develop an enhanced forest management program and help the course sit more naturally on the site. “

The entire golf course will be sandcapped to improve drainage. New green and bunker complexes will be designed and constructed. Five holes will be significantly modified as part of the renovation. The renovated Poppy Hills will reopen in 2014.