Golf courses California San Mateo Poplar Creek Golf Course

Poplar Creek Golf Course

1700 Coyote Point Dr, San Mateo, California, 94401
Type: Public
No. Holes: 18
(650) 522-4653
Architect: Stephen Halsey (8)
                       Jack Daray Jr. (7)
                      
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Detailed description of Poplar Creek Golf Course

Poplar Creek Golf Course, is a Public, 18 hole golf course located in San Mateo, California.

Originally built in 1933 as a way to aid unemployed laborers during the Depression and named San Mateo Municipal.

Since the middle 1960's the course has averaged nearly 100,000 rounds per year, making it one of the most popular golf courses in northern California.

The course was closed in April, 1999 for a complete renovation and new routing plan. The renovation was designed by Steve Halsey and Jack Daray Jr. In July, 2000 the course re-opened with a new look and a new name - Poplar Creek - landmarking the flow of Poplar Creek through the golf course.

The Poplar Creek Golf Course features rolling fairways lined by nearly a thousand mature trees, four sets of tees on each hole to fit everyone's game, large, undulating greens that average almost 5,500 square feet, and five rock edged lakes with two waterfalls and streams.

Par for the course is 70. From the back tees the course plays to 6,042 yards. From the forward tees the course measures 4,768 yards. The longest hole on the course is # 14, a par-5 that plays to 537 yards. The shortest hole on the course is # 17, a par-3 that plays to 136 yards from the back tees.

Watch out for # 2, a 421 yard par-4 challenge and the #1 handicap hole on the course. The easiest hole is # 17, a 136 yard par-3.

This course has been reviewed 12 times
Golf Course ranker Photo
Redwood City, CA

$26 (cart not included), played on Wednesday, May 2014 at 6am

This course will be changing in the near future as hole 7 will be a long tough par 3, hole 16 will be lengthened from a hard par 4 to an easy par 5 and hole 18 was recently lengthened about 30 yards to make it a hard par 4 finishing hole.

Would travel: 10-20 Miles, Not Vacation Worthy
Bottom line: I would play again, Better than average course for the area, Ranks with the best in this price level
 
Price, No Houses on Course, Staff
Difficulty
Layout/ Challenge
Fairway conditions
Greens conditions
Course ambiance
Pace to play
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Value
Rank ID # : 021794
Golf Course ranker Photo
San Mateo, CA

$26 (cart not included), played on Tuesday, October 2013 at noon

Poplar Creek is an extremely popular course in the San Francisco Bay Area because it's a course that anyone, from rank beginner to expert, can play and have a challenging, but fun, time. Don't be deceived by the yardage or the course rating -- it's short, only par 70, but it was designed with the prevailing winds in mind, so some of the holes that seem so short they should be trivial play MUCH harder than they look on the card.

One thing that was done during the redesign in 2000 was to make the greens much more difficult on the shorter holes. If you are familiar with the greens there, you will find that 2-putting most of them is not a major challenge (with a few notable exceptions). But if you are not, then there are several holes where you will feel lucky to have escaped with a 3-putt -- and that's not because the conditions of the greens are bad, it's because the contours of the greens will start to play games with your head, LOL.

There is only one actually easy par 3 (#17) -- all the rest have one or more features that make them diabolical.

Hole #3 is medium-long, into the wind, and has a large pond front left and trees front right. But the wind swirls there, and feels much stronger on the tee than it is over the green.

Hole #5 is medium length with a bunker front left and gigantic mounding around the green -- and there is a severe back to front break on most of the green, and a severe left to right break on the left side of the green. If you are past the hole, good luck stopping the ball on your putt downhill.

Hole #12 is 210 yards (from the back) into the wind -- on a typical afternoon it plays more like 230, and the contours on the green mean if you are putting from one side of the green to the other (because you left your ball on the wrong part of the green), you will be lucky to 3-putt.

Hole #15 seems like it should be easy -- it's not too long and it seems to be protected from the wind a bit. The green looks pretty flat, but you will be shocked when you see the severe break your putt makes back to front when you are on the right half of the green.

The front side is par 36 and the back side is par 34, but almost everybody finds the back side more difficult than the front. There is a series of three short par 4's on the front (6 through 8) that are driveable for the big hitters -- but the only one that should be attempted (unless you are a MUCH better golfer than most of the people who play there) is hole #7. A big miss on #6 and #8 can result in unplayable lies and/or lost balls. Hole #13 doesn't seem very long, but it plays into the wind, and unless you have a big long draw off the tee and then can hit a controlled precise fade onto the green, you will be happy if you end up with a bogey.

The course conditions are what you would expect for a muni. Old divots in the places where balls usually end up mean a lot of crappy lies. You'll find patchy or spotty grass around a lot of the greens, making precise chipping and pitching more difficult than it should be, and you'll also find it in several areas on the fairways (and off the fairways), meaning you often get more difficult shots from there than you deserve. They have been working on improving the fairway conditions, and many of the patchy areas are now marked Ground Under Repair until they resod them -- meaning you get relief from the poor conditions there, but there are still a lot of places on the course that are not GUR but seem like they should be. They recently added or replaced the sand in most of the bunkers, so they play much better than they used to (which was horribly). And for the most part, the greens are extremely fast -- but they often seem to have been overwatered, so there will be hundreds of little depressions in them from the soft spikes on people's shoes. Those are extremely noticeable when the sun is low on the horizon. When the sun is high, you don't notice them, but they are still there.

It should take 3 hours to play the course if nobody is in front of you, and 3 1/2 hours is a reasonable pace of play. A four hour round will feel slow, and the 4 1/2 or 5 hour rounds you'll find on the weekends feel like you're moving at a snail's pace. And thanks to budget cuts, they don't have the marshals like they used to have 12 years ago, so it's rare that someone tries to get the pace to pick up. If you call the clubhouse about a particular slow group, they will always send someone out, but that only helps if the slow group is within sight of you.

Despite those shortcomings, I would definitely recommend this course. It's extremely fair for everyone, and with 4 sets of tees (as well as "Family tee" markers in the fairway, you will find that no matter where your game is, you can play Poplar Creek and have fun.

Would travel: 20-30 Miles, Not Vacation Worthy
Bottom line: I would play again, Better than average course for the area, Fair priced based on quality and competitive area pricing
 
Layout, Price, No Houses on Course, Staff, Pro Shop
Condition of Course, Pace of Play
Layout/ Challenge
Fairway conditions
Greens conditions
Course ambiance
Pace to play
Overall rating
Value
Rank ID # : 021266
Golf Course ranker Photo
San Mateo, CA

$21 (cart not included), played on Wednesday, September 2012 at 6am

They have been working very hard to keep this course looking good. Lots of trees, some sand traps, & not much water. It is a municipal-public course but much better than some others I have played For people that just want a game of golf with friendly people,or your from out of town and at a hotel and would just like to play a little and not bust the budget it's great. The people in the pro shop are great and very friendly, pace is usually 4-4 1/2 hours. There a snack bar at the turn, beer, booz, food. It's perfect

Would travel: 10-20 Miles, Not Vacation Worthy
Bottom line: I would play again, Fair priced based on quality and competitive area pricing
 
Price, No Houses on Course, Pace of Play, Staff, Clubhouse
Ambiance
Layout/ Challenge
Fairway conditions
Greens conditions
Course ambiance
Pace to play
Overall rating
Value
Rank ID # : 018793
Golf Course ranker Photo
San Mateo, CA

$26 (cart not included), played on Friday, June 2011 at 2pm

Played course on a Friday afternoon around 2:30 PM. Pro shop staff was very rude and impolite. Have never experienced this in my over 30 years of golfing! Tee times mean nothing - my friend and I had to wait 40 minutes past our scheduled tee time before we could tee off. I've also never experienced this in my life! Will never be back to this course even though I live 5 min away.

Would travel: 0-10 Miles, Not Vacation Worthy
Bottom line:
 
None worth mentioning
Condition of Course, Price, Pace of Play, Staff
Layout/ Challenge
Fairway conditions
Greens conditions
Course ambiance
Pace to play
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Value
Rank ID # : 014991
Golf Course ranker Photo
Foster City, CA

$51 (cart not included), played on Sunday, June 2011 at 10am

Usually very windy. Gets backed up on 2,3 &4. 2 is one of the toughest holes in the area. I think the course plays easier than the rating expecially from the back tees.

Would travel: 10-20 Miles, Not Vacation Worthy
Bottom line: I would play again, Average course for the area, Fair priced based on quality and competitive area pricing
 
Condition of Course, Price, No Houses on Course
Pace of Play
Layout/ Challenge
Fairway conditions
Greens conditions
Course ambiance
Pace to play
Overall rating
Value
Rank ID # : 014840
Golf Course ranker Photo
San Mateo, CA

$36 (cart included), played on Wednesday, October 2010 at 10am

Can get backed up on Par 3s. Front side very "scoreable" with backside providing more of a challenge for the experienced golfer. Have to golf and place your ball on right levels of greens to score. Longer hitters have an advantage on the back 9. Great course for the "ego" with even the shorter hitter having legitimate birdie tries. Easy to walk. Wind makes the course play 2 to 3 clubs longer at times.

Would travel: 10-20 Miles, Not Vacation Worthy
Bottom line: I would play again, Average course for the area, Bargain priced based on quality and competitive area pricing
 
Condition of Course, Price, Ambiance
Pace of Play
Layout/ Challenge
Fairway conditions
Greens conditions
Course ambiance
Pace to play
Overall rating
Value
Rank ID # : 012334
Golf Course ranker Photo
San Francisco, CA

$36 (cart included), played on Wednesday, June 2010 at noon

Nice course layout; very flat course with few elevation changes makes Poplar a pretty easy course to play. Water comes into play in the form of small ponds and man-made creeks. This adds to the ambience of the course. Fun to play for beginners and seniors. Easy to walk; carts are not essential. Slow play only around par-3's, but wait is not long at all. Overall, a great golf course. I highly recommend.

Would travel: 10-20 Miles, Vacation Worthy
Bottom line: I would play again, Better than average course for the area, Fair priced based on quality and competitive area pricing
 
Condition of Course, Layout, Price
None worth mentioning
Layout/ Challenge
Fairway conditions
Greens conditions
Course ambiance
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Overall rating
Value
Rank ID # : 010664
Golf Course ranker Photo
Redwood City, CA

$26 (cart not included), played on Friday, April 2010 at 6pm

Course is in good condition, but staff makes you feel like they're doing you a favor by letting you play.

Would travel: 0-10 Miles
Bottom line: Average course for the area
 
Condition of Course, No Houses on Course
Staff
Layout/ Challenge
Fairway conditions
Greens conditions
Course ambiance
Pace to play
Overall rating
Value
Rank ID # : 010002
Golf Course ranker Photo
Oakland, CA

$36 (cart included), played on Saturday, November 2009 at 10am

Go for a good time on a wide-open, short course. Build your confidence and your scoring game, especially if you are a long hitter. Relatively easy on the wallet for a full 18, although it's not dirt cheap.

Would travel: 0-10 Miles, Not Vacation Worthy
Bottom line: I would play again, Bargain priced based on quality and competitive area pricing
 
Condition of Course, Price
Pace of Play
Layout/ Challenge
Fairway conditions
Greens conditions
Course ambiance
Pace to play
Overall rating
Value
Rank ID # : 006338
Golf Course ranker Photo
San Carlos, CA

$31 (cart not included), played on Wednesday, December 2008 at noon

Good course for the price. Well maintained with good drainage. Not overly challenging - what you see is what you get. Pace of play can sometimes be slow - typical of public courses in the area.

Would travel: 20-30 Miles, Not Vacation Worthy
Bottom line: I would play again, Average course for the area, Fair priced based on quality and competitive area pricing
 
Condition of Course, Price, No Houses on Course
Pace of Play
Layout/ Challenge
Fairway conditions
Greens conditions
Course ambiance
Pace to play
Overall rating
Value
Rank ID # : 006112
Golf Course ranker Photo
Woodside, CA

$61 (cart included), played on Sunday, November 2008 at 8am

A beautiful day in November. The course is mostly flat, so lies are mostly really nice!

Would travel: 30-60 Miles, Not Vacation Worthy
Bottom line: I would play again, Better than average course for the area, Fair priced based on quality and competitive area pricing
 
Condition of Course, Price, No Houses on Course, Pace of Play
None worth mentioning
Layout/ Challenge
Fairway conditions
Greens conditions
Course ambiance
Pace to play
Overall rating
Value
Rank ID # : 005379
Golf Course ranker Photo
Burlingame, CA

$31 (cart included), played on Wednesday, September 2008 at 8am

Nearby road reconstruction makes it hard to get to this course. Hopefully it will be done by 2009.

Would travel: 0-10 Miles, Not Vacation Worthy
Bottom line: I would play again, Average course for the area
 
Layout, Clubhouse
Pro Shop
Layout/ Challenge
Fairway conditions
Greens conditions
Course ambiance
Pace to play
Overall rating
Value
Rank ID # : 004959
3.5/5
Based on 12 reviews
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