Offset bunkers on the right and left frame the tee shot of the opening hole on the Chardonnay nine. Be sure to check the hole location, as a steep tier intersects the middle of the green. The uphill approach is to a hole that is either front or back.
The only hole that can be considered a drivable par 4 on the property, this drive offers quite the decision. The tee and green sit at the same elevation, but your drive will have to get there on the fly to find the dance floor. The prudent play is to lay up to 100 yards, short of three monster bunkers.
Enjoy your perch atop the third tee, which is the highest point on the property. Your tee shot drops 80 feet from the back tee to a green surrounded by three bunkers, which typically makes the hole play 10-15 yards shorter. Shots short and right can funnel down the green.
On this short but demanding tee shot, you will find five bunkers and out-of-bounds to the right. For those feeling a little more cautious, laying up to 175 yards keeps you short of the trouble. Three bunkers are short of the green, which is just 26 paces deep.
The longest par 5 on the property usually plays uphill and into the wind, and features a hazard on the left and two bunkers on the right that come into play for the drive. A nice line for your layup is at the right greenside bunker.
One of the longest and toughest par 4s on the property is a little easier if you favor the left side of the hole. The right side features a fairway bunker off the tee, and a greenside bunker that is one of the deepest on the course.
This drop-shot par 3 is surrounded by four bunkers, including two especially deep ones short left. Pay attention to the hole location, as this green features two distinct tiers.
This downhill par 4 features the only original tree at Poppy Ridge on the hillside left, but the bigger danger is a hazard that runs down the entire right side of the hole. Three bunkers front the right side of the green, which is 40 paces deep.
A good line for this somewhat hidden drive is at the clubhouse flagpole in the distance. Big hitters can jump the first fairway and reach the second, which begins at 200 yards from the green. A pond comes into play on the left side at 50 yards from the green.
The Merlot nine begins with an uphill par 4 into the teeth of the prevailing wind. Favor the right side to avoid the 65-yard bunker that runs down the left. A deep bunker protects the front-right side of the green.
This slightly downhill par 3 plays across a small valley and over an intimidating bunker that protects the entire front of the green. But avoid the temptation to over-club, as there is another bunker behind this narrow green that is just 30 paces deep. A ridge also bisects the left and right sides of the green.
Avoid the two bunkers on the right side of the fairway, as there is plenty of room left. For the bold, a drive that carries the second bunker leaves less than 130 yards in. The shorter the approach the better, as the green is protected by bunkers left and right.
The fairway of this dogleg-left par 4 begins to bottleneck at 175 yards out from the green, just past the long bunker on the right. Once you turn the corner, the green is open in the front, while there is a bunker left and two on the right.
Enjoy the view of the Livermore Valley, as this par 5 tees off from the second-highest point on the property. The tee shot drops more than 40 feet to the end of the first fairway, which leaves 230 yards to the green. A safe layup to 140 yards keeps you short of all three bunkers on the left.
This skinny fairway shrinks to 20 yards in width at its narrowest point. Out-of-bounds lurks left, while a steep drop-off to the seventh fairway awaits right. The fairway slopes left-to-right, setting up an approach to a green protected by long bunkers on each side.
The seventh hole turns around and runs the opposite direction of No. 6. The fairway snakes uphill through a valley to a green that slopes strongly from back to front.
You feel like you can practically throw the ball to this downhill par 3, but the green is barricaded by five bunkers. Beware of a hollow that can suck balls off the left edge of the green.
The closing hole on the Merlot nine takes you back to the clubhouse for a dramatic finish. The pond on the left comes into play for the last 200 yards of the hole. The right fairway bunker in the distance is a good line off the tee. Favor the right side of the green, as a hollow on the left can take your ball toward the water.
A tee shot hit to 155 yards stays short of two fairway bunkers on the left. The approach plays slightly uphill to a two-level green that is protected by three bunkers.
The most intimidating par 3 on the course features a green that is fronted by a pond. For those that play the forward tees, the pond is considered a lateral water hazard with a drop zone. Two bunkers can also catch balls that finish long.
A bunker that wraps around the left side of the fairway and another to the right make this a tight tee shot. A drive past the bunker on the right leaves less than 110 yards in. The offset green is also protected by a big bunker short and a smaller one long and right.
This tough par 4 usually plays uphill and into the wind, with an intimidating 70-yard fairway bunker positioned to catch shots that miss right. Bunkers short left and right protect a green that is just 34 paces deep.
Bombers can clear the bunker on the right at 275 yards, or the bunkers on the left at 295 from the back tees, but everyone else must squeeze a drive between the three fairway bunkers. You can then choose to lay up to 150 yards short of another fairway bunker, or get closer to the green by staying left. Those trying to knock it up by the green are helped out by a downward-sloping fairway.
A drive that finishes 175 yards out stays short of the bunker on the right and leaves a flat lie. A drive that travels further will get some extra roll, but it will also have to sneak past bracketing bunkers. Be prepared to negotiate a downhill lie with a drive that tries to get closer to a green surrounded by four bunkers, plus water on the left.
Slightly shorter than the second hole on this nine, this par 3 also requires a brave shot over water. When the wind is blowing, this can become the toughest par 3 at Poppy Ridge.
This par 5 generally plays into the wind, but when the conditions are right, the brave can go for this short par 5 in two. If your drive skirts the three fairway bunkers in the landing area, you can decide to safely lay up to between 85 and 55 yards out, or attempt to carry a creek that cuts in front of the green.
The only closing hole on the property that is a par 4 still challenges you with a lake to the right of the green. The right side is open off the tee, but an approach from that angle must take on a carry over the water.