Poppy Hills set to host 2018 U.S. Girls' Junior Am in California

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. - To most golfers, Pebble Beach Golf Links is ground zero for tournament golf on the Monterey Peninsula. You can't blame them, considering their TVs are bombarded with images from the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February and the PURE Insurance Championship of the PGA Tour Champions in September. The 2018 U.S. Amateur in August and the 2019 U.S. Open next June only add to the exposure.

But, truth be told, the real tournament capital of California is two miles away at the Poppy Hills Golf Course. Especially if you're talking amateur events. Poppy Hills, owned by the Northern California Golf Association, hosts more than 75 NCGA tournaments and events a year. A sign near the first tee is switched out regularly to honor whatever event is being contested that day.

Poppy Hills, which had a long run from 1991-2009 as one of the three courses of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and co-host of the Champions Tour's Nature Valley First Tee Open with Pebble Beach in 2014, is ready for its first USGA championship next week, the 2018 U.S. Girls' Junior Amateur, set for July 16-21.

A record 1,606 entries attempted to qualify, the fifth consecutive year it has set a record for entries. The field of 156 players, representing 14 countries and 33 states, will compete in two rounds of stroke play on July 16-17. The top 64 players advance to match play. The two players who win five individual matches will meet in the 36-hole championship. Spectators can walk the fairways for free.

Poppy Hills will be set up at 6,132 yards, and the nines flip-flopped into the original layout by Robert Trent Jones Jr., so most of the matches can finish near the clubhouse. His masterful redesign debuting in 2014 has created a dynamic, firm-and-fast test of golf, featuring lots of sand and virtually no rough or water (except one hole, the 10th for the championship and first for everyday play). Pat Hurst, a former LPGA Tour star, won the Girls Junior in 1986, one of 23 Californians to win the event. The next California champion could be Yealimi Noh, a 16-year-old from Concord, Calif., who cruised to victory at the 43rd Girls Junior PGA Championship in Kentucky this week. She's a long hitter who dominates par 5s. She recently decommitted from UCLA to focus on turning pro at some point. That's how good these girls are.

"People who have never come to a U.S. Junior Girls think, 'Aw, they're so cute with their ponytails. They can't hit it out of their own shadow'," said USGA Championship Director Tracy Parsons. "If you watch these players compete, you'll be surprised and in awe at how they play. Our champion is exempt for the U.S. Women's Open. That is a testament to the level of competition."

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed and photographed more than 1,000 courses and written about golf destinations in 20 countries for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfpass and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
1 Comments
Commented on

I was a Peninsula resident for 40+ years, and was around for the construction and opening of Poppy Hills ... it's a terrific layout, and will be a great challenge for these Girls ... good luck to ALL !

Related Links
Poppy Hills Golf Course was originally built in 1986, but in 2013, spurred by the need to replace the course's irrigation system, Robert Trent Jones Golf Course Architects embarked on a major renovation project. The new design cuts water consumption by reducing the area of irrigated turf while at the same time lengthening the course from 6,857 yards to more than 7,000. Beyond the environmental improvements, the layout was also reinvented to incorporate new and different challenges.
12 Images
By Staff
From a round at Pebble Beach to 17-Mile Drive, Jason Scott Deegan offers up the top 10 reasons to plan a golf vacation to one of America's iconic destinations.
3 Min Read
Matt Ginella and Mike Bailey report on the new-look Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, which re-opened April 4 after more than a year under the knife at the hands of original course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr.
1 Min Read
Jason Scott Deegan's top 10 public golf courses in northern California are spread throughout the region from the rocky coast of Monterey to the mountains near Lake Tahoe.
4 Min Read
More from the author
9 Min Read
May 12, 2022
Sensei Lanai, a Four Seasons Resort, can help golfers get in better shape - physically, mentally and emotionally - on and off the course.
3 Min Read
May 9, 2022
We round up the golf books titles worth your leisure time.
6 Min Read
May 5, 2022
Despite a limited Greek golf culture, this 72-hole golf resort offers everything a golfer could want.
4 Min Read
May 3, 2022
At the moment, mask and testing mandates are in a state of flux. Many international destinations are relaxing rules to encourage overseas travel. We recently took advantage to visit Greece for the first time.
4 Min Read
May 2, 2022
Playing Del Monte at Pebble Beach Resorts on its 125th birthday reminded us that historical, classical golf is the best golf.
2 Min Read
May 2, 2022
I'm participating in a Youth on Course 100 Hole Hike this summer. Why aren't you?
Popular
2 Min Read
April 28, 2022
Famous, historic and exclusive clubs are all offering rounds to help with turf research in 2022.
6 Min Read
May 9, 2022
Here's how to play - and stay - where the pros play.
1 Min Read
April 21, 2022
This new heavyweight just might be the king of all golf books.
4 Min Read
April 25, 2022
New offerings from big names and some smaller-brand curiosities abound this month.
Load More
Now Reading
Poppy Hills set to host 2018 U.S. Girls' Junior Am in California