|TPC River Highlands|
|Course Par Value: 70|
|Course Yardage: 6844|
|1||4||434||This is a straightforward hole. You hit your drive down into a valley, keeping the shot low to obtain extra roll. Your second shot is up the hill to an undulating green that has a ridge running through the middle. Most players would hit a 3-iron.|
|2||4||341||The drive is uphill and only the pros, or delusional weekend hackers, even consider going for the green. One of the best characteristics about River Highlands is you have to think before you swing. Smart players will hit their drive along the right side of the fairway, taking trees and traps out of play for their approach. A drive down the left can land in a fairway bunker or kick down the slope behind a tree. A solid drive up the right side leaves a short iron to the green. Watch out for severe breaks on the putting surface. This is one of two good chances for birdie.|
The best thing about this hole is that there are no bunkers protecting the green. If you're not a long ball hitter, it's possible to hit a long iron or fairway wood and run it onto the putting surface. It's important not to overswing on your drive. Try to keep the ball in play so you can have a clear second shot.
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.
You have to hit it hard and straight if you hope to make par or better here. The green is protected by five bunkers. If possible, keep the ball below the hole because the putting surface slopes considerably from back to front.
|6||5||574||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.|
This is a flat, straight hole. Avoid the fairway bunkers on the right side and you'll have a relatively open shot to the green. Again, the putting surface is tricky, sloping from back to front. Try to keep the ball below the hole.
The key here is making the proper club selection, having the confidence that you can hit that club 167 yards, then ignoring the water as you make your normal swing. Funny, it's so much easier to say than to do. On this hole, short is soggy and long is three-putt.
|9||4||406||This is the only hole on the course that had to be altered because of construction of homes. The fairway has been narrowed, the rough increased and some blue spruce trees have been planted to frame the hole and protect the homes. The best drive clears the first bunker on the right side of the fairway, leaving about a 7-iron to the pin. Playing the ball too far right may mean playing your second shot over difficult greenside bunkers.|
|10||4||462||Just try getting home in two. What's so difficult? If you hit your drive past the large tree on the left side of the fairway, you're looking at about 175 yards to the center of the green. However, that green sits on a small plateau, and balls that are slightly left or right deflect away. "Up-and-down" is a familiar phrase here. You hit your approach close to the green, chip on and one-putt for par if you're lucky.|
|11||3||158||If there's no wind, this is a dartboard. There's rarely a day on this hole where a casual breeze doesn't come along and take a high, straight shot and blow it off course. It's a lot of fun to play because almost everyone has a shot at getting the ball close.|
|12||4||411||The secret here is not to hit the ball too long. The fairway begins to slope away from the tee about 100 yards before the green. From that position, the green is elevated, so you're hitting on a downslope to an elevated green guarded in front by bunkers.|
|13||5||523||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.|
|14||4||421||The green cannot be seen from the tee because it's situated on the other side of a hill. A good drive is down the right side of the fairway, just to the left side of the fairway bunkers. From there, it's a downhill shot to a large, undulating, well-protected green.|
|15||4||296||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.|
|16||3||171||This hole always plays longer than it looks and coming up short means splashdown. There is no fairway for the faint-hearted. Traps await anyone who overclubs, but at least you can hit the ball from the sand. This is one of the few relatively flat greens on the course. It's getting there that's half the fun.|
|17||4||420||It's very difficult to come out ahead on this hole. Push the ball to the right and you're in the lake. Try to play safely out to the left and you can end up in a fairway bunker or, worse yet, on a sidehill. Par quickly becomes a fond memory as you try to navigate the water or hit a miraculous missile that ends up caroming off the greenside pylons and into the drink. During the tournament, many spectators congregate here to cheer balls that find the water. They should be forced to play the hole so they can see how difficult and frustrating it is.|
|18||4||444||It isn't just the green that undulates on this hole. The fairway does also, leaving golfers with uneven stances even if their ball was driven right down the middle. Fairway bunkers right and left place a premium on driving accuracy, and bunkers to the right of the green and a swale to the left leave little margin for miscue on the approach. Imagine trying to hit a dart from 170 yards to win the tournament with ten of thousands of people watching during the final round of the Travelers Championship. It's hard enough with just the other members of your foursome standing by.|