GolfPass - The Approach | GolfPass Grass Guru - TPC River Highlands
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TPC River Highlands

TPC River Highlands – GolfPass Grass Guru

Travelers Championship • Hole 18 • Par 4 • 444 yds

This week we have the Travelers Championship…

At TPC River Highlands in good ol’ Connecticut. I know both the tournament and course well, having worked the tournament myself. I watered the greens that helped Jim Furyk shoot the first and only 58 in a PGA Tour event. NBD. Jim when you see this, just throw a shout out my way. Although I like the routing of the course, I’m actually not the biggest fan of River Highlands when it comes to the bunkering.  It’s also an extremely slope-y course. Not hilly in that it goes up and down but slope-y in that everything finds its way to the central retaining pond.

This makes for some good golf, but even more challenging maintenance. Imagine cutting grass on a 30 degree slope. Mower, barely hanging on and ready to flip over to crush you as you roll down onto the next fairway. Maybe even the pond. Now try to handle a constantly on the verge of slipping mower, while mowing lasers. I’d pay good money just to watch them cut the rough.

The BOTW is on…

Hole 18, a good finishing hole made great by the surrounding stands, and natural stadium seating. When you come up to the green complex you’re entirely enveloped by spectators either on the grass or in the stands. Even when no one is there you can feel the grandeur. The cherry on top are two smaller bunkers green side right that only add to the spectacle. They aren’t too hard for a pro to avoid, but rolling into one can make for a messy out. It leads to a sloping green and a run out zone. Add in the surrounding stands and the most people anywhere on the course, and it could make for a pretty hazardous end to one of the easier courses on tour. Or you can have Jordan Spieth hole out for the win from that very same bunker. Either works.

The 18th hole at TPC River Highlands.
The 18th Hole at TPC River Highlands with the surrounding grandstands and natural stadium seating. (Photo: Eric MacPherson)

If you want to see some good golf…

And live in the tristate area I’d really recommend going up there. The field is better than it’s ever been. The course will get chewed up, which would have been a nice respite had Gary Woodland not beat up Pebble. They also have a great Pro Am if you somehow get sick on Wednesday and have to work from home, wink wink. TPC River Highlands is a fun parkland course that’s easy, but enjoyable. It’s like The Office, you’ve already rewatched it all the way through 10 times but you better believe if it’s on you’re not changing the channel.

Cover Photo: Jeff Yardis / TPC River Highlands

Eric MacPherson knows a lot about golf, but even more about grass. Having worked in golf for what seems like forever, and going on to graduate school in turfgrass, he’s able to walk mow a green, and change the shaft in your favorite driver. He’s worked on some of the east coast’s primer golf clubs doing everything from washing carts to building brand new putting greens. He’s also volunteered at several high profile Tour events including a major and the President’s Cup. The only thing he likes more than pushing a walk mower on a crisp morning, would be teeing it off. Shoot Eric a message at eric@golfpass.co or check out his other blogs here.

Eric MacPherson
eric@golfpass.co