Next stop is the Travelers Championship at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut. I was fortunate enough to be invited out to this gem a few weeks ago and experience the TPC just as it was being prepped for this weeks tournament. The course is in fantastic shape and the conditions are prime for some low scoring.
The first hole that needs to be called out is #15. It seems like the PGA is really amping up the action by including course designs to allow for a driveable par 4 almost every week, and this is definitely one of them. This 296 yard Par 4 is easily reachable for a lot of the guys on tour, but it’s not without risk. There is a water hazard if you miss left and off to the right the green is surrounded by sand and not a lot of room to miss beyond that. Expect to see a lot of guys going for it on this hole. After watching Brooks stick it 3 feet from 330 yards last week at Harbour Town, don’t be shocked if we see one go in here.
Expect #13 to be another fun hole to watch, this is a 534 yard par 5 that we should expect to see a lot of guys going for in 2. If that’s the choice, the players will be have a long approach into a small green tucked behind a small pond off the greens front left edge. even so, there is room to miss this green long here, but I expect we will see a lot of 3’s from the field, but to do that, they will need to be accurate off the tee with not a ton of room to land the ball. There’s water off to the right and train tracks running along the left side of the fairway.
I haven’t given a lot of love to the front, but to be honest, it doesn’t touch the layout of the back. The front 9 was originally Middletown Golf Club and is the bones of the course. It wan’t until the 1980’s when the PGA came in, bought the club and put in the back 9, which is absolutely stunning. While there are some challenges through the first 9 at River Highlands, for the class of pro’s playing this week, I don’t see it posing to much of a challenge to these guys who should be shooting some low scores.
Holes #5 and #6
Holes #5 and #6 should be a good back to back with #5 being a really long Par 3 at 233 yards. While I wouldn’t expect this to be a real threat to the players, due to its length, par would be a good score here.
Following up from the long 5th is the #6, 578 yard Par 5, which has a plethora of sand hazards scattered throughout the fairway. I don’t expect to see all the players trying to get there in two, but we definitely can expect to see some of the longer hitters sticking this green in 2. I love the fact that the two par 5’s here that are reachable in 2 is absolutely awesome, I love me some eagles.
Holes #17 and #18
Finally to close this one out, what a finish we can expect with 17 and 18 coming in. #17 is an absolute beast, not in length, but in layout. It’s guarded by water all along the right side making it imperative to hit a good tee shot. If the players are able to accomplish a good tee shot, they should have a good look coming in, but its a smaller green which has to be approached over water to get a good look at birdie. Don’t let this 400 yard par 4 fool you! Birdie’s don’t come easy here.
Finally the home stretch, 18! this hole is a beauty! Its long and its straight with no room to miss on either side. Miss left and theres a high chance these guys will be in one of the many fairway bunkers placed perfectly within the landing areas. Miss right and you’ll be buried on the side of a large hill where the rough is extremely unforgiving. Not sure if you remember, but this is the the hole where Speith holed out of the green side bunker to beat Daniel Berger in a playoff. EPIC.
All in all, the course is in fantastic shape and primed for some low scores. Will we see a sub 60 this week? Never know, Jim Furyk did it just a few years back in 2016, setting the course record at 58. Bonkers! I want to see it again! Never know, as the PGA Tour says…
“These guys are good.”