Inside the course: TPC River Highlands

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A view of the TPC River Highlands course in Cromwell, Conn.
June 19, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
Fast facts
Course superintendent Thomas M. DeGrandi
Original architect Robert J. Ross and Maurice Kearney (1928)
Course redesign Bobby Weed (1998)
Par value 70
Number of TOUR events as host venue 28 (including 2011)
Course ranking Ranked 32 (out of 52) in difficulty on the PGA TOUR in 2010
Yardage history 6,841 (2009-present)
  6,877 (2008)
  6,820 (1991-2007)
  6,531 (1990)
  6,786 (1984-'89)
Grass Bentgrass (tees, fairways, greens); Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, fine fescue (rough)
Tournament Stimpmeter 10.5 ft
Sand bunkers 119
Water hazards 5
Course tour Click here
Course record
Player
Kirk Triplett
Phil Mickelson
Scott Verplank
Brad Faxon
Kenny Perry
Year
2000
2001
2001
2005
2009
Round
3rd
3rd
4th
4th
1st
Finish
3rd
Won
T17
Won
Won
Holes-in-one
Player Hole Year
Chad Campbell 16 2010
Tag Ridings 11 2009
Craig Perks 8 2007
Bo Van Pelt 16 2007
Patrick Sheehan 5 2006
Blaine McCallister 8 2004
Mark Calcavecchia 5 1999
Brent Geiberger 11 1999
Brad Fabel 8 1999
Len Mattiace 11 1998
Larry Nelson 8 1996
Allen Doyle 8 1996
Dan Pohl 8 1995
Glen Day 11 1994
Glen Day 16 1994
Jerry Anderson 11 1992
Roger Maltbie 16 1992
Fran Quinn 16 1992
John Adams 5 1990
David Peoples 5 1990
Mike Donald 16 1987
Vance Heafner 5 1986
David Lundstrom 16 1985
Lee Rinker 8 1984
2010 Rankings
Most Difficult Hole
If there is any wind, this is often the toughest hole on the course. There's no water, but there are traps on the right side of the fairway, and another large bunker in the fairway on the left. It's 311 yards for the pros to reach that left bunker, but just 250 yards for amateurs. It takes two extraordinary shots to get home in two. Then there's a green that slopes severely from back to front. Pro or amateur, par is an excellent score here.
2010: 0 eagles, 46 birdies, 306 pars, 103 bogeys, 9 double bogeys, 0 others.
Easiest Hole
This is the first pivotal hole of your round. There are enough bunkers here to market the adjacent land as beachfront property. A solid drive will still leave you more than 250 yards to the green. Although this may be no big deal for the professional, amateurs must be aware of their limitations. It would take a miracle shot to land a 3-wood between the two bunkers guarding the front of the green. The smart play is to look for a large landing area between 100 and 150 yards from the green, take out an iron and lay up. This will allow you to hit a lofted club into the green on your third shot, lessening the chances of ending up in one of those nasty greenside guardians.
2010: 5 eagles, 156 birdies, 270 pars, 28 bogeys, 4 double bogeys and 1 other.
TPC River Highlands2010 rankings Last 24 years
Hole Par Yards Avg. Score Rank Avg. Score Rank
1 4 434 4.052 5 4.091 7
2 4 341 3.828 15 3.941 14
3 4 431 3.897 13 4.002 12
4 4 481 4.162 1 4.199 1
5 3 223 3.045 6 3.112 6
6 5 574 4.726 18 4.803 18
7 4 443 4.017 9 4.006 11
8 3 202 3.03 8 3.048 8
9 4 406 3.884 14 3.901 16
10 4 462 4.147 2 4.172 3
11 3 158 2.912 12 2.942 13
12 4 411 3.968 11 4.016 10
13 5 523 4.731 17 4.848 17
14 4 421 4.039 7 4.036 9
15 4 296 3.782 16 3.935 15
16 3 171 3.069 4 3.114 5
17 4 420 4.116 3 4.185 2
18 4 444 4.009 10 4.119 4
Course origins
As the soothing bagpipes emanate through the cool morning air and across the dew-ridden landscape of the TPC River Highlands, it signals the opening ceremonies of the Travelers Championship. The setting for the Travelers Championship is an all too fitting throwback to the ancient game founded in Scotland and a reminder of the original course architect, R.J. Ross, cousin to legendary architect Donald Ross.
The River Highlands course was not always the gallery-friendly venue viewers experience today. The original piece of property was designed in 1928 and was known then as Edgewood Country Club. It laid untouched until 1982, when the Travelers Championship was looking for a new home to replace the original venue, Wethersfield CC. The Greater Hartford Jaycees, who ran the Travelers Championship, hired Pete Dye to come to Connecticut and build a championship course to host the event.
Instead of building a new course, Dye recognized the potential the property that housed Edgewood CC possessed and decided to redesign the existing course. The TPC Connecticut, as it was called then, hosted its first Travelers Championship in 1984, with the first champion at the venue being Peter Jacobsen. Many of the new holes on the back nine, especially the finishing holes, were designed with spectators in mind, many containing natural amphitheaters for ideal viewing. However, with the great taste of change already on their plates, the course was redesigned again in 1989 and renamed the TPC River Highlands. A most fitting name, considering the course sits high atop the Connecticut River. The redesign was undertaken by golf course architect Bobby Weed, with assistance from Howard Twitty and Roger Maltbie. The TPC River Highlands is second only to the TPC Scottsdale for most spectators at a TOUR event.
In summer 2008 the new practice facility opened. The 23.5-acre facility is adjacent to the new First Tee of Connecticut nine-hole golf course. --Source: Golf Course Superintendents Assocation of America
Tournament course history
Course Location Years
TPC River Highlands Cromwell, Conn. 1984-present
Wethersfield CC Wethersfield, Conn. 1952-1983
This week's Kodak Challenge hole
HOLE: The par-4, 296-yard 15th at TPC River Highlands
LAST YEAR: The 15th played to a stroke average of 3.782, with players recording 6 eagles, 168 birdies, 227 pars, 52 bogeys, 9 double bogeys and 2 others.
DESCRIPTION: Unless you're playing for the Travelers Championship title, or you're having the round of your life, take out the driver and have some fun. You will have few opportunities in your life to say you drove a par 4 at a TPC. In windy conditions, the pros often hit an iron off the tee, leaving a full wedge to the green. (Click here for a tour)

The TOUR will be in Cromwell, Conn., this week for the Travelers Championship. Learn more about the host, TPC River Highlands.

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