Poppy Hills joins Pebble Beach as Nature Valley host
Nature Valley First Tee Open adds another host for Champions Tour players and First Tee juniors
March 20, 2014
- The event, which will be held Sept. 22-28, will have a new feel with newly redesigned Poppy Hills. (Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The Champions Tour announced today that the newly renovated Poppy Hills Golf Course will join Pebble Beach Golf Links as host venues of the 2014 Nature Valley First Tee Open in Pebble Beach, Calif., from Sept. 22-28.
Poppy Hills will replace Del Monte Golf Course, which hosted the tournament with Pebble Beach from 2005 through 2013. Bayonet Golf Club is the only other course to share host duties with Pebble Beach for the popular event – at the inaugural tournament in 2004.
“We couldn’t be more excited to add Poppy Hills to the rotation of courses for this year’s Nature Valley First Tee Open,” said Champions Tour President Mike Stevens. “This is truly a special week for our players because of the time they are able to share with the young people of the First Tee. We can't think of a better way to reward their hard work than to provide them with the opportunity to play these two iconic courses. We look forward to a lengthy partnership with Poppy Hills.”
Poppy Hills co-hosted the PGA TOUR’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am from 1991 to 2009. Poppy Hills is also tournament home for the Northern California Golf Association, and became the first course to be owned and operated by a regional golf association when it opened in 1986. Poppy Hills underwent an extensive 13-month renovation that began in March of 2013.
“We are thrilled to host the Champions Tour at the new Poppy Hills,” said Brad Shupe, general manager at Poppy Hills. “The First Tee is the perfect partner for Poppy Hills and the NCGA Youth on Course program. The renovation captures our beautiful forest setting in Pebble Beach, and the course will play firm, fast and fun for all ages.”
Original architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. returned to reinvent Poppy Hills, restoring each hole to its natural elevation along the forest floor, softening doglegs and contours, redesigning all 18 greens with bentgrass, eliminating rough and introducing native waste areas that help reduce irrigated turf by nearly 25%. Drainage and irrigation were updated, and the entire course was sand capped, further promoting firm and fast conditions year-round.
The Poppy Hills clubhouse, restaurant and driving range were also completely renovated.
“All of the players, and especially me, are excited about returning to Poppy Hills where many of us competed on the PGA TOUR,” said Champions Tour professional Mark O’Meara, a five-time winner of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am. “Champions Tour professionals love to play top quality courses and with the addition of Poppy Hills to the Nature Valley First Tee Open that’s exactly what we’ve got. I look forward to seeing the positive renovations they have made to the course and I’m sure all the players will enjoy the changes.”
“This is going to be fantastic for the tournament and we are looking forward to having the Champions Tour professionals and The First Tee juniors competing at Poppy Hills for the first two rounds this September,” said Steve John, Chief Executive Officer of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation.
The Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach will be televised on Golf Channel, the exclusive cable provider of the Champions Tour.