Robert Trent Jones II to Renovate Poppy Hills

The Northern California Golf Association (NCGA), which owns and operates Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif., has announced that plans to renovate the course have proceeded through the Monterey County permit system.

All formal appeals - including that of the California Coastal Commission - also have been completed. Work on the project is set to begin in early 2013.

According to Lyn Nelson, CEO of the NCGA, the impetus for the renovation was a 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."

Robert Trent Jones II (RTJ II), known for building environmentally responsible golf layouts throughout the world, designed the original layout at Poppy Hills in 1986 to use 100 percent recycled water. The renovation will cut water consumption by reducing the area of irrigated turf by 14.5 acres while simultaneously lengthening the course from 6,857 to more than 7,000 yards.

RTJ II is coming off several major renovations, including the two layouts at Princeville on the island of Kauai; The Wisley in England; Hyatt Regency Coolum in Australia; Ponduk Indah in Indonesia; and Royal Calcutta Golf Club in India.

Firm chairman Robert Trent Jones, Jr., says, "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 course will be sand-capped to improve drainage. New green and bunker complexes will be designed and built. RTJ II will significantly modify five holes and modestly alter the remaining 13.

Once the course reopens in 2014, Nelson says that Poppy Hills will look to host national tournaments such as the USGA's Amateur Public Links or Men's Mid-Amateur. "At Poppy Hills we pride ourselves on delivering an affordable, championship golf experience within the gates of Pebble Beach - to NCGA members and to the golfing public."

Between 1991 and 2009, Poppy Hills was one of three host courses in the PGA Tour's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. It was also the site of the 1991 NCAA Men's Division I Golf Championship.