Jun 24, 2011
07:53 AM
Discover Connecticut

Weekend Discovery: TPC River Highlands

Weekend Discovery: TPC River Highlands

The challenging No. 17.

Former resident of nearby Hartford Mark Twain used to refer to golf as "A good walk spoiled," and this weekend featuring the final two rounds of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell will certainly be ruined for some aspiring PGA pro with dreams of victory. For the rest of us, however, it should be a great tournament based on the level of talent playing as some of the top players in the world not named Phil or Tiger are here this week. If you're headed out to watch some of the tournament—and we recommend that you do as it is just a terrific event—here are a few things you should know about the golf course itself.

If you're not familiar with TPC River Highlands, it was designed with the concept of "stadium golf" in mind, meaning that it would be specifically suited to hosting a PGA tour event. The TPC stands for Tournament Players Club, a special national designation that means that the course is of the highest quality and capable of hosting PGA Tour professionals, including offering a state-of-art practice facility and other special amenities. The course was originally built in 1928, but then was redesigned by renowned golf course architect Pete Dye in 1982, with some additional tweaks done in 1989.

From the tournament's website:

The course meanders over 148 acres, with stately corridors of mature maple, oak, sycamore and eastern white pine trees framing gently rolling fairways. The course features Bentgrass from tee to green surrounded by bluegrass fescue roughs. Numerous lakes and ponds add to the layout’s beauty, with a well-balanced mixture of long and short holes creating an exciting amd memorable golf experience. The most notable stretch is Nos. 15 – 17 which play around a four-acre lake. When you include the home hole, the four-hole collection is, according to PGA TOUR Professional Stewart Cink, “four of the most exciting finishing holes in a group anywhere in the world.”

While we suggest that you take the time to walk the entire course—in particular, holes No. 10 through No. 14 that stretch along the Connecticut River—there are a few spots that offer terrific views of the golfing action. Sadly, a lot of these prime places have been filled with corporate tents and other exclusive entry structures, making it difficult for general admission ticket holders to enjoy them, such as around the 17th and 18th greens. If you can find space behind the green at No. 16, that's a great vantage point because you can watch players hit into a tough green and then tee off along one of the most challenging holes on the course. And the 18th, with its bowl-like green, is one of the most exciting finishing holes in all of pro golf because of the large number of spectators that can watch here, often making for an energetic throng that can charge up an already dramatic environment.

Wherever you go, enjoy the tournament!

For more info, visit travelerschampionship.com.

Weekend Discovery: TPC River Highlands

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