HARTFORD, Conn., March 1, 2007 - A ceremonial groundbreaking today marked the start of construction on a $5 million golf facility, which will be used both as a practice facility for PGA TOUR Professionals during the Travelers Championship and as a learning center for youth golf programs by The First Tee of Connecticut.
Located at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn., the facility is made possible through a partnership of Northeast Utilities/Connecticut Light & Power, the Travelers Championship, The First Tee of Connecticut, and the PGA TOUR. In addition, the project is supported by multiple legal, engineering, and architectural organizations including Faxon & Booth Golf Design, which is lead by PGA TOUR Professional Brad Faxon; the Greater Hartford area law firms of Robinson & Cole LLP, Levy & Droney P.C., and Day Pitney LLP; civil engineering firm Fuss & O'Neill; architects WP + G; The Keystone Companies; and Fortunato Construction Group.
The entire facility will enlarge the golf course's current practice area from 5 acres to 22 acres. The project would not have been possible without the generosity of Northeast Utilities/Connecticut Light & Power, which donated more than 100 acres of land to the project.
"Northeast Utilities is pleased to support the Travelers Championship, a landmark event in the state of Connecticut that is good for our economy, our communities, and for the many local charitable organizations that benefit from its financial support," said Charles Shivery, president & CEO of Northeast Utilities. "Also, we recognize the value of sports in child development. The First Tee of Connecticut offers invaluable life lessons for the state's children, and we are pleased to aid in the organization's growth by donating land to create this impressive facility."
A premier feature of the facility will be the expanded driving range, increasing its length from 260 yards to 360 yards. Additionally, the facility will include a short practice course, 11,000 square-foot putting green, 13,000 square-foot chipping area, and 110,000 square-feet of tees.
The project will provide a state-of-the-art practice facility for PGA TOUR Professionals during the Travelers Championship. The quality of practice facilities is vitally important to the PGA TOUR Professionals, and will significantly elevate the quality of the championship in their opinions.
"We are proud to be the hometown title sponsor of the new Travelers Championship," said Andy Bessette, executive vice president of The Travelers Companies, Inc. "We are committed to developing a world-class golf event that PGA TOUR Professionals will enjoy playing and spectators will look forward to attending year after year. These renovations are a key component in a strategic plan to revitalize Connecticut's legendary PGA TOUR event, and we are grateful for the support of the many organizations making this possible."
The facility will also be utilized by The First Tee of Connecticut, a youth development organization that uses golf as its vehicle to teach life skills and character development to children throughout the state. More than 36,000 children statewide are benefiting from The First Tee of Connecticut programs, which include in-school instruction, group lessons, regional teams, and scholarships.
"We are grateful for the development of this facility, which will provide an opportunity for The First Tee of Connecticut to have a home base in central Connecticut, and to expand our programming for golf and life skills to youth from throughout the region and the state," said Bruce Wilson, president & CEO of The First Tee of Connecticut.
The facility will be operational for the 2008 Travelers Championship, to be held in June 2008.