Summer 2018

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Visualization and Creativity:The Robert Trent Jones Jr. redesign is visually stimulating. Jones did a great job of giving players multiple options to each hole location. Competitors will need to demonstrate creativity around the green complexes. • Selecting the Best Route to the Hole: Some of the hardest plays at Poppy Hills are just trying to decide on how to play a shot. Players will have a lofted option, a ground option and everything in between. • Club Selection for Shot: After the player has selected the shot/route they want to play, the next task will be choosing the correct club. Having a variety of wedges, and low lofted clubs is crucial to success. • Shot Execution:The high lofted shots are going to require skill, but most importantly full commitment from the player. Tight lies really increase the level of difficulty, so the shot commitment needs to be 100%! The low running shots will place a premium on alignment and distance control. Stay in the Fairway: Being in play off the tee is a must at Poppy Hills. In order to score, players will need to be in the fairway to maximize spin and control on their approach shots. Our greens play firm and without the proper spin, players will have a hard time getting their ball close to the hole. • Tee It Lower: A lower tee height will take side-spin off driver shots. This will reduce the amount the golf ball curves, giving players a better chance of hitting the fairways. • Hit Something Besides Driver: The sand-capped fairways can play firm and fast. Controlling distance and trajectory by keeping driver in the bag on some holes will increase players' chances of being in proper position off the tee. • Sight Lines Off the Tee: Choosing the proper line off the tee is a crucial element for scoring success. Finding the correct fairway bunker/tree to use as a sight line off the tee will aid in alignment, but also allow a more confident swing. Choosing the Correct Wedges for the Week: Poppy Hills will be playing tight and fast so players will want a variety of wedges in their bag for success around the greens. A low bounce option is an absolute must. • Low Bounce SandWedge:With the collection areas, deep bunkers and tight lies, competitors will need to be comfortable with a low-bounce sand wedge. The low bounce will allow the leading edge of the sand wedge to work closer to the turf, thus allowing for the tight-lie shots that the players will encounter. • Spin: Having the correct wedges doesn't only give you shot options, but it allows you to manage your spin rates on approach wedges. Approach wedges will require a premium on spin as well as distance. To get the ball close to what will be tough hole locations players will need proper trajectory and spin rates. • Lofts: Having the correct lofts/gapping on their wedges will be crucial to short game success. Players will need to carry a high-loft option (60 degree) as well as something in the lower loft range (50 degree). With these different loft options, players can choose a variety of trajectories and spin level for each shot. NCGA.ORG | SUMMER 2018 39 The Bookends Tale of the Tape: No.1, par-4, 387 yards (above) No.18, par-5, 484 yards (opposite) Two holes to keep an eye on at the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship will be the opening and closing holes. The course will be playing its original routing for the championship. No.1: Arguably one of the toughest opening holes west of Augusta National, players must be careful off the tee. A left-to- right sloping fairway funnels into a bunker. Get in there and you'll have some work left to save par. Up at the green, there's more bunkers guarding the right edge. No. 1 kicks off a tough opening stretch at Poppy Hills. Don't be shocked if a lot of players walk away with a quick 1-up lead in match play. No.18:We can't wait to see some matches come down the final hole. Players will have the option of going for the green in two (but beware the towering pine!) or laying up to play it safe. The green is protected by bunkers on nearly all sides so accuracy will be a must. In a nutshell, it's going to be a fantastic match play hole. Given that the clubhouse and Porter's overlook the green, this will be a popular spot to watch the action.

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