Inside the course: TPC River Highlands

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Rogash/Getty Images
A view of the TPC River Highlands course in Cromwell, Conn.
June 17, 2012
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 29 (including 2012)
Course ranking Ranked 41 (out of 51) in difficulty on the PGA TOUR in 2011
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
Patrick Cantlay
Year
2011
Round
2nd
Finish
T24
Holes-in-one
Player Hole Year
D.J. Brigman 11 2011
Nate Smith 5 2011
J.B. Holmes 11 2011
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
2011 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.
2011: 0 eagles, 36 birdies, 289 pars, 118 bogeys, 12 double bogeys, 0 others.
Easiest Hole
Theoretically, almost everyone has a shot at getting home in two on this relatively short par 5, especially if the wind is at your back. This is a pivotal hole and pin placement is a huge factor. If it's on the left side of the green, a low, boring shot to the green will most definitely role to the back or into a trap behind the green. From there, it would take an amazing shot to get the ball close because the putting surface slopes severely toward the water. Playing a safe second shot to the right of the pond provides a much better angle to attack the pin. If the pin is on the green's right side, there is a cluster of bunkers protecting it. It may be less risk for the reward.
2011: 20 eagles, 208 birdies, 167 pars, 47 bogeys, 9 double bogeys and 4 others.
TPC River Highlands2011 rankings Last 25 years
Hole Par Yards Avg. Score Rank Avg. Score Rank
1 4 434 3.927 8 4.085 7
2 4 341 3.84 13 3.937 14
3 4 431 3.916 9 3.999 12
4 4 481 4.233 1 4.201 1
5 3 223 3.07 3 3.110 5
6 5 574 4.677 16 4.797 18
7 4 443 4.033 6 4.007 11
8 3 202 3.064 4 3.049 8
9 4 406 3.826 14 3.898 16
10 4 462 4.152 2 4.171 3
11 3 158 2.884 12 2.940 13
12 4 411 3.811 15 4.009 10
13 5 523 4.631 18 4.838 17
14 4 421 3.886 11 4.031 9
15 4 296 3.677 16 3.926 15
16 3 171 2.916 9 3.107 6
17 4 420 4.042 5 4.180 2
18 4 444 3.982 7 4.114 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

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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