Course Spy: Poppy Hills Golf Course
There's a straightforward bag drop and no overbearing starter, and the cart girl comes around right on schedule. It's the kind of treatment intended for the average Goldilocks golfer: not too cloying, not too stingy, but just about right.
PACE OF PLAY
Like other famous courses on 17-Mile Drive, Poppy shoots for four-hours-thirty but rarely hits that number. Unless you rise with the roosters, expect to linger behind a corporate outing or a sluggish group of tourists. Welcome to Monterey.
The pros absolutely hate the bumpy greens and doglegs that take the driver out of their hands here, but this pine-shaded course is a pretty sweet test for the average golfer. Plus, those bumpy greens are pretty standard out here, anyway.
Poppy Hills is the poor stepchild in the AT&T rotation, but it's still enjoyable and priced accordingly. Savvy shoppers should join the Northern California Golf Association before playing: membership is $40, but you'll save $145 on the round.
This course is kind of like a Jennifer Aniston in a neighborhood of Angelina Jolies: not a big star like Pebble, and not as good as Spyglass. But for all that, it's pleasant and well priced. And besides, let's face it you're no Brad Pitt.