The Travelers Championship: A Premier PGA Tour Event in Connecticut

The Travelers Championship is a professional golf tournament that has been a staple of the PGA Tour since 1952. Originally known as the Insurance City Open and later as the Greater Hartford Open, the event has evolved into one of the most anticipated stops on the tour. The tournament typically features a strong field of players competing for a substantial purse, which in recent years has exceeded $8 million.

As a regular fixture in the golfing world, the Travelers Championship has gained a reputation for its challenging course, enthusiastic crowds, and commitment to charitable causes. The event has raised millions of dollars for various charities in the New England area, with over $20 million donated in the past decade alone.

History of the Travelers Golf Tournament

The tournament’s roots trace back to 1952 when it was first held as the Insurance City Open. Over the years, it has undergone several name changes, reflecting various title sponsors. In 2007, Travelers Insurance Company became the title sponsor, ushering in the current era of the Travelers Championship.

Throughout its history, the tournament has seen numerous memorable moments and record-breaking performances. In 2016, Jim Furyk shot a PGA Tour record 58 in the final round, etching his name in golf history. The event has also been a launching pad for young talents, with many future stars making their mark early in their careers.

Location of the Travelers Golf Tournament

TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut

The Travelers Championship finds its home at the picturesque TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut. Located just south of Hartford, the state capital, this course has been the tournament’s venue since 1984. The scenic setting along the Connecticut River provides a stunning backdrop for the competition and offers spectators a beautiful environment to enjoy world-class golf.

Overview of TPC River Highlands

Course Layout and Features

TPC River Highlands is a par-70 course that stretches 6,841 yards, designed to challenge the world’s best golfers while also providing an enjoyable experience for amateur players. The course underwent a significant renovation in 1989 led by renowned golf course architect Pete Dye, with input from PGA Tour players Howard Twitty and Roger Maltbie.

The layout features:

  • Bentgrass greens and fairways
  • 119 bunkers strategically placed throughout the course
  • Four water hazards that come into play on six holes
  • A variety of tree species lining the fairways, including maple, oak, and pine

Notable Holes and Landmarks

Several holes at TPC River Highlands have gained fame for their design and the drama they’ve produced during the Travelers Championship:

  1. The 15th Hole: A drivable par-4 measuring 296 yards, this hole tempts players to go for the green but punishes errant shots with water and bunkers.
  2. The 16th Hole: A challenging par-3 with a peninsula green surrounded by water on three sides.
  3. The 17th Hole: A short par-4 that offers birdie opportunities but can also lead to high scores with its well-guarded green.
  4. The 18th Hole: The finishing hole is a 444-yard par-4 with a dramatic amphitheater setting around the green, providing an exciting conclusion to the tournament.

How to Get to TPC River Highlands

Directions and Transportation Options

TPC River Highlands is conveniently located in central Connecticut, making it accessible from various parts of the Northeast. Here are some transportation options:

  • By Car: The course is easily reached via Interstate 91, about 15 minutes south of Hartford.
  • By Air: Bradley International Airport is approximately 30 minutes north of the course.
  • Public Transportation: CT Transit offers bus services from Hartford to Cromwell, with stops near the golf course.

During the tournament, shuttle services are often provided from designated parking areas to the course entrance, easing congestion and improving accessibility for spectators.

Accommodations Near TPC River Highlands

Hotels and Lodging Options

Visitors to the Travelers Championship have several accommodation options in the surrounding area:

  1. Courtyard by Marriott Hartford Cromwell: Located just 2 miles from the course, this hotel offers comfortable rooms and convenient amenities.
  2. Hilton Hartford: Situated in downtown Hartford, this upscale hotel provides easy access to the city’s attractions as well as the golf course.
  3. Inn at Middletown: This boutique hotel in nearby Middletown offers a charming New England experience.
  4. Homewood Suites by Hilton Hartford South-Glastonbury: Perfect for extended stays, this all-suite hotel is about 15 minutes from TPC River Highlands.
HotelDistance from CourseAmenities
Courtyard by Marriott Hartford Cromwell2 milesFitness center, indoor pool
Hilton Hartford12 milesRestaurant, business center
Inn at Middletown7 milesOn-site dining, historic charm
Homewood Suites Hartford South-Glastonbury10 milesFull kitchens, free breakfast

Ticket Information for the Travelers Golf Tournament

The Travelers Championship offers various ticket options to suit different preferences and budgets:

  • Grounds Tickets: Provide access to the course for a single day or the entire tournament week.
  • Clubhouse Tickets: Offer enhanced amenities and access to air-conditioned spaces.
  • Corporate Hospitality Packages: Available for businesses looking to entertain clients or reward employees.

Ticket prices typically range from $45 for a single-day grounds pass to several hundred dollars for premium packages. Children under 15 often receive free admission when accompanied by a ticketed adult.

Schedule of Events at the Travelers Golf Tournament

The Travelers Championship week is packed with activities beyond the main tournament rounds:

  • Monday: Practice rounds and pro-am events
  • Tuesday: Practice rounds and player press conferences
  • Wednesday: Celebrity Pro-Am featuring sports stars and entertainers
  • Thursday-Sunday: Tournament rounds
  • Saturday: Military Appreciation Day with special events honoring service members

Throughout the week, various fan experiences, autograph sessions, and youth clinics are also scheduled, making the event enjoyable for golf enthusiasts of all ages.

Famous Players Who Have Competed in the Travelers Golf Tournament

The Travelers Championship has attracted many of golf’s biggest names over the years, including:

  • Phil Mickelson: A two-time winner of the event (2001 and 2002)
  • Bubba Watson: Three-time champion (2010, 2015, 2018)
  • Jordan Spieth: Won in dramatic fashion with a bunker shot in a playoff in 2017
  • Dustin Johnson: Secured victory in 2020 with a spectacular final round
  • Rory McIlroy: A regular participant, finishing in the top 10 multiple times

These star players, along with up-and-coming talents, continue to make the Travelers Championship a must-watch event on the PGA Tour.

Highlights from Past Travelers Golf Tournaments

The tournament has produced numerous memorable moments over the years:

  • 1956: Arnold Palmer claimed his first PGA Tour victory at this event.
  • 1967: Charlie Sifford became the first African American to win a PGA Tour event in the modern era.
  • 2016: Jim Furyk shot a record-breaking 58 in the final round, the lowest single-round score in PGA Tour history.
  • 2017: Jordan Spieth holed out from a bunker on the first playoff hole to win in spectacular fashion.
  • 2020: Dustin Johnson won the tournament in a year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, with no spectators present.

These highlights showcase the drama and excitement that the Travelers Championship consistently delivers.

Tips for Attending the Travelers Golf Tournament

To make the most of your experience at the Travelers Championship, consider these tips:

  1. Arrive Early: Parking can fill up quickly, especially on weekend days.
  2. Wear Comfortable Shoes: The course covers a large area, and you’ll likely do a lot of walking.
  3. Bring Sun Protection: Connecticut summers can be warm, so sunscreen and a hat are essential.
  4. Stay Hydrated: Bring a refillable water bottle to use at water stations around the course.
  5. Follow Etiquette: Respect the players and other spectators by staying quiet during shots and following course marshals’ instructions.
  6. Use the Course Map: Familiarize yourself with the layout to find the best viewing spots and amenities.
  7. Check the Schedule: Plan your day around specific player tee times or special events you want to see.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Travelers Golf Tournament

Q: When is the Travelers Championship typically held?
A: The tournament usually takes place in late June, following the U.S. Open.

Q: Are cameras allowed on the course?
A: Cameras are typically allowed during practice rounds but not during tournament play. Check the official website for current policies.

Q: Can I get autographs from players?
A: Yes, many players sign autographs after their rounds, especially near the scoring area.

Q: Is there food available at the tournament?
A: Yes, numerous concession stands and food trucks are located throughout the course, offering a variety of dining options.

Q: What happens in case of inclement weather?
A: The tournament has procedures in place for weather delays. In severe cases, play may be suspended and resumed when conditions improve.

The Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands offers a world-class golfing experience for both players and spectators. With its rich history, challenging course, and commitment to charitable causes, this PGA Tour event continues to be a highlight of the professional golf calendar, drawing thousands of fans to Connecticut each summer to witness the drama and excitement of top-level competition.

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