The feature work surrounding the ninth green became much more defined this week. It is now much easier to understand the risk-reward options the new ninth hole will present. The above view shows the two bunkers behind and right of the green, the beginnings of a creek bed, and the natural sandy area that is draped across the slope to the left of the green.
Below is a look at the ninth green from a the top of the hill (the seventh green is in the distance top the left):
You can see that the fairway of the old version plateaued, and then fell steeply. The new fairway is a sweeping slope, unveiling a new strategy for the second shot of this par 5. The unearthed creek that crosses in front of the new green will make players decide if they want to go for the green, or lay up well short of it. The new green also slid down the hill to the left.
Below is a view of the run-up to the creek. You can see that there will be room to clear the creek short of the green if you stay to the right.
For those of you who have played Poppy Hills since its inception in 1986, you will remember that the tee shot for this hole has evolved. It was originally designed with two distinct teeing areas, as you can see below:
The new version of the ninth hole has two bunkers closer to the middle of the fairway to challenge players trying to bomb their drives and get home in two. The latest measurement in the field has the back tees playing 530 yards. The pink paint indicates where the two newer and smaller bunkers will be.