Poppy Ridge Celebrates 15 Years
This summer, the NCGA celebrates an important milestone on the occasion of Poppy Hills’ silver anniversary.
But 10 years after Hills’ debut, in 1996, NCGA membership benefits were enhanced two-fold with the opening of Poppy Ridge in Livermore. The 27-hole Rees Jones-designed facility quickly established a reputation for its enjoyable sequence of holes spread across three nine-hole picturesque routings, as well as its comprehensive practice facility and outstanding restaurant. This summer marks the 15th anniversary of Poppy Ridge GC. Below are important dates in the development of the second NCGA members’ course.
February, 1993– NCGA President Bob Foster announced that the NCGA has entered into an agreement to develop a course near Livermore. Poppy Ridge, as it was called almost from the beginning, was planned as a 27-hole facility over 283 acres with architect Gene Bates preparing the initial route plan. The land for the project is estimated to cost $3 million with the total project estimated at $18 million. It is also estimated that 95,000 members live within a 65-mile radius of the course. The firm of Weiskopf and Morrish as well as Rees Jones expressed interest in the final design commission with Rees Jones selected by the committee led by Director John Sirman.
November 17, 1994 – Groundbreaking ceremonies announcing the beginning of construction of Poppy Ridge are held. The timeline from purchase to groundbreaking is a little less than two years, not analogous in any way to Poppy Hills’ experience. Architect Rees Jones said, “I am often asked whether it is better to have a good site or a good client. I think we have both here.” Early on, the target date for opening was set for October 1, 1996.
November, 1995 – Poppy Ridge is completed and moves into its grow-in stage.
October 1, 1996 – Poppy Ridge opens right on schedule. The rare feat of a course opening as planned is a tribute to all involved. Harkening to the nearby wine country, the three nines are named for grape varietals: Chardonnay, Merlot and Zinfandel. The nearly 300-acre property opens with only one tree in play amongst the 27 holes. Now there are nearly 400 dotting the landscape, which, due to aggressive water management and promotion of firm and fast conditions, now mimics a Scottish heathland course.
January, 1997– The Poppy Ridge clubhouse opens. The mission-style architecture and stunning views make for a very popular gathering place. Porter’s Restaurant quickly develops an outstanding reputation as a lunch hotspot in the Livermore Valley. The stunning setting will a prove popular venue for weddings (33 were held at the course in 2010).
2001 – Poppy Ridge is the National Golf Course Owner’s Association “Golf Course of the Year.” The organization also honored the facility as a “Beginner Friendly Course.”
2005 - Zagat Guide rates Poppy Ridge as one of the top 15 courses in the nation for value.
NCGA Member Benefits at Poppy Ridge
- Rates are 45% lower than the public rate
- A 20% discount on all regularly-priced merchandise at the award-winning golf shop
- A 10% discount at Porter’s Restaurant at Poppy Ridge
- Free club fittings, a $100 value, are offered through the golf shop. Fittings are performed by trained club fitters
- Complimentary clinics with golf professionals take place April 1 – Labor Day on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
- Youth on Course access for certified youth
- Hotel discounts at the Hawthorn Suites Livermore Wine Country and the Larkspur Landing Pleasanton
- Free Internet access is available via portable devices and laptop computers. A staff member can provide the daily key that allows access to the NCGA Member Wi-Fi network within the clubhouse