Poppy Hills Golf Course
Poppy Hills Golf Course offers a spectacular layout created by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. in 1986. This hidden gem is located in Pebble Beach, California, hiding under the radar compared to its world renowned neighbors. Positioned deep in the Del Monte Forest, Poppy Hills Golf Course feels like it is worlds away from civilization. Pine tree lined fairways require accurate, premeditated drives to set up your approach to large undulating greens that are well guarded by bunkers. The front-nine zig-zags on a ridge in front of the clubhouse with many dog-legs and one pond that comes in to play on #5 and again on #7. As you journey to the back-nine, you will find yourself moving deep into the Del Monte Forest. The solitude combined with the echos of singing birds will make you question your location. The 10th hole is a magnificent par five with a carry over a large pond that boarders half the green, so make sure you take enough club. One interesting fact about the course is that it has five par three holes and five par five holes, compared to most other golf courses that normally have four, at the most!
The Links at Spanish Bay
Nuzzled among the undulating sand dunes on the western tip of the Monterey Peninsula sits The Links at Spanish Bay. Designed in 1987 by a team comprised of Robert Trent Jones Jr., Tom Watson and Sandy Tatum, The Links at Spanish Bay was modeled after an authentic Scottish course. With the prevalent marine layer, rolling sandy dunes, blistering wind and rugged coastline, Spanish Bay golf course evokes the original Scottish feel of the game. Tom Watson who shot a 65 opening day said, “you can almost hear the bagpipes,” and you actually can most evenings as a bagpiper serenades the sun as it sets into the Pacific.
A majority of the front nine, including the closing five holes, are played among the sloping dunes. Views of the Pacific Ocean are dramatic while the extremely undulating, multi-tiered greens, will have you testing your imagination. Throughout the links are patches of environmentally sensitive areas which are off limits to golfers in order to protect the endangered dune vegetation. Course rules allow for a free drop if you end up astray in the protected locations. When the northwest trade winds are up, it makes for a challenging round.
Golfers are required to lodge at one of Pebble Beach’s hotels if they want to book a tee-time more than one month in advance.
Combining beautiful vistas of the open ocean surrounded by fog overhead and an immaculate course at your feet, Spanish Bay Golf Links is truly a wonderful golf experience.