Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fairly or not, Poppy Hills has spent the last 18 years as the redheaded stepchild of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Not only did Poppy replace the beloved Cypress Point Golf Club in the tournament's course rotation in 1991 -- after the PGA Tour dropped Cypress because of its membership policies -- but the course quickly became known for a lack of seaside vistas, an abundance of doglegs, and too many six-hour rounds.
Now, according to KSBW Action News 8 in Northern California, Poppy may soon be replaced in the AT&T rotation by Monterey Peninsula Country Club's Shore course, a gem by the ocean that has more in common with AT&T tournament courses Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill.
The report said that Monterey Peninsula's membership is currently considering the proposal to join the AT&T, though the membership did reject similar overtures in 2005. As the report points out, however, the economy is much different than it was four years ago, and the club may want the attention to try and lure new members. 
As someone who has walked Poppy a half-dozen times and actually played Monterey Peninsula, it's no contest which course has the more memorable holes and stirring views. And another thing. Tiger Woods never did much like Poppy, and he wasn't the only one.
With the U.S. Open coming to Pebble Beach in 2010, and with Monterey Peninsula possibly joining Pebble and Spyglass in the rotation, expect Woods to return to the AT&T next year.
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