Welcome to the Spring edition of the Hills and Ridge Golf Club Newsletter.
As you may have heard, we recently received some exciting news. In February, the USGA announced that Hills will be the host site for the 2018 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship. Yes, one of your home courses is going to host a national championship!
While we couldn’t be more thrilled, it’s not the only thing that has us bouncing into the new season.
Here at Hills, we’re also excited about our new expanded menu at Porter’s in the Forest. We began serving full dinners starting March 23. We also recently became the No.1 rated restaurant in Pebble Beach so please plan a meal or two around your next visit to the Monterey Peninsula. Over at Ridge, meanwhile, The Grill continues to host a number of special culinary events that will delight you and leave you truly satisfied.
In closing, I would like to enthusiastically congratulate Marcus Synegal and Lupe Orazco on their recent achievements.
Lupe, who has been on our team at Poppy Hills for 19 years, just graduated from Rutgers with a degree in turf management. He is the first in his family to earn a college degree and is one of the most inspirational people I have ever met.
Marcus just earned his Class A membership with the PGA. He was part of the team that reopened Hills and is exceeding everyone’s expectations by efficiently and professionally administrating more than 300 outings per year. Well done gentlemen!
Poppy Hills Superintendent
Turf TalkLetter From the Hills Superintendent
The spring golf season is in full swing here on the Monterey Peninsula and Poppy Hills is great shape.
The much needed winter rains have helped thirsty fairways and greens grow denser. This new density makes the greens more receptive and an overall better playing experience for our members and guests.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank the members for their contributions to course care. Your efforts in raking bunkers, repairing ball marks and adhering to the cart policy have made Poppy Hills a great experience for all who play here. All 150,000 members should be very proud of each other and your course.
We realize that the cart policy at Poppy Hills may be unpopular with some of our members. This policy is in place for a number of reasons. The primary reason for the cart restriction is to keep the golf course in premier condition for nearly 50,000 rounds.
The other equally important reason is water. We have a very limited and costly supply of water on the Monterey Peninsula so conservation is vital to our golf operation. Increased cart traffic on fairways will lead to a greater demand for water and we simply do not have enough water.
Our water conservation efforts go all the way to the grass selection in our fairways. All areas except the putting surfaces were planted with perennial ryegrass and fine fescue. The fine fescue is very drought tolerant which allows us to provide excellent conditions while using less water.
The high drought tolerance is a benefit to fine fescue—the species has a low tolerance for traffic. We realize this may be unpleasant for some of our members but it is a necessary practice to provide great playing conditions for 50,000 annual golfers and to conserve water.
Play well and Play more!
Executive Chef Johnny De Vivo
Porter’s in the Forest
Porter’s in the ForestWhat’s Cooking?
If you haven’t been to Porter’s in the Forest yet, or are planning your next visit, now is a great time to see us.
This spring, we’re cranking things up in the kitchen.
For starters, earlier this month we began serving full dinners. For you, that means mouth-watering filet mignon, juicy rib-eye steaks and a wide range of fresh, locally-caught sustainable seafood.
Another exciting addition to Porter’s in the Forest is the arrival of chef de cuisine Daniel Furey, who comes to us from the acclaimed Harvest Inn by Charlie Palmer in St. Helena wine country. We’re thrilled that he’s bringing his skills to our tables and are positive that your taste buds will agree.
As usual, we’re also always taking advantage of the micro-seasons that bless our local agriculture. Two of our local purveyors, Serendipity Farms and Mariquita Farm, are now delivering spring ingredients such as asparagus, morel mushrooms and ramps, which are often referred to as wild leeks.
Other highlights in the kitchen include the continuation of our on-site fermentation, which among other delicacies has resulted in homemade sauerkraut, delectable prosciutto and even black garlic.
To me, it’s all about giving our guests–both the golfer and non-golfer–the best dining experience possible.
While there’s a slew to choose from behind the Porter’s in the Forest bar, don’t miss the Afternoon Blues. It’s the perfect drink to unwind with whether you’ve finished a round of golf or are just hanging out with friends out on the deck.
The accolades for Porter’s in the Forest keep rolling in.
In the May issue of Golf Digest and on GolfDigest.com, Porter’s is named as an Editor’s Choice Award for Best Golf Pubs 2016. The award is part of a first-ever program for Golf Digest that represents the Best Things in Golf with an emphasis on lifestyle properties, products and services.
Porterhouses and Roundhouses
Among those who’ll be playing a key role in the spring expansion of Porter’s in the Forest is food and beverage director Joe Valencia.
The 54-year-old Valencia, who’s been at Porter’s since September, has a background that’s as diverse as chef Johnny De Vivo’s menu.
Originally a bartender, Valencia’s early years also feature stints as a newspaper reporter and high school basketball coach. The Southern California native also happens to be an accomplished kickboxer and has trained in karate.
Prior to his arrival at Porter’s, Valencia was the general manager at Rio Grill in Carmel. He also once owned a restaurant in Emerald City, better known as Seattle.
“My philosophy is that the customer has to have a great experience. And that’s what we deliver at Porter’s,” Valencia said. “I’m all about the customer.”
While you shouldn’t expect to see Valencia throw a roundhouse, you’ll still see his martial arts training in action on the floor.
“A big thing with martial arts is to find your inner ch’i and stay in the now. That helps me be a better manager,” Valencia said.
Poppy Hills to Host 2018 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship
A United States Golf Association championship is on its way to Poppy Hills.
The USGA recently announced that Poppy Hills, the home course of the NCGA, will be the host site for the 2018 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship. The first U.S. golf course owned and operated by a regional association, Poppy Hills will make its USGA championship debut July 16-21.
“We are proud to welcome Poppy Hills as a USGA championship host, and confident that this respected golf course will provide a worthy test and an enjoyable experience for the world’s best female junior golfers during the 70th U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship,” said Diana Murphy, USGA president. “Poppy Hills and the NCGA are proven industry leaders, particularly in resource management, and we applaud and support their efforts on behalf of the game.”