TPC River Highlands: A Unifying Golf Course in Connecticut

The TPC River Highlands has been the host site of the Travelers Championship for over three decades, making it one of the PGA TOUR's oldest and most prestigious events. This year, the tournament holds even greater significance as it has been designated with a $20 million purse and boasts a high-caliber field, including the world's top five-ranked players: Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Patrick Cantlay, and Viktor Hovland.

Here are five key things to know about TPC River Highlands as it prepares to welcome the world's best golfers to Connecticut.

  1. Nutmeg State Unifier: TPC River Highlands is strategically located in the heart of Connecticut, a state that experiences a surprising division in sports loyalties. Connecticut, with its small land area of only 4,842 square miles, is split down the middle by the Connecticut River. This geographical divide often translates into sports allegiances, with the eastern half of the state leaning towards Boston-based teams like the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins. Meanwhile, the western half tends to favor New York teams such as the Yankees, Giants, Knicks, and Rangers. Despite these divisions, TPC River Highlands serves as a unifying force, conveniently accessible from all corners of the state via Interstate 91. The tournament attracts historically robust attendance, with over 200,000 spectators attending throughout the week. The overwhelming support from the crowd and corporate engagement enables the event to raise over $2 million annually for charitable causes.

  2. History Lesson: In the early 1980s, the PGA TOUR sought an alternative venue to the overcrowded Wethersfield Country Club. They turned to TPC Network, which sent renowned architect Pete Dye to scout for properties suitable for a major renovation. Dye's search led him to Edgewood Country Club, located 12 miles southeast of downtown Hartford. Originally established as Middletown Golf Club in 1928 by Robert Jack Ross, a skilled amateur golfer and city engineer, the course showcased excellent drainage and sandy soil—a perfect foundation for golf. In 1984, the PGA TOUR relocated the Sammy Davis Jr.-Greater Hartford Open to the revamped TPC Connecticut. After subsequent renovations by architect Bobby Weed, with input from players Howard Twitty and Roger Maltbie, TPC River Highlands emerged in 1991 with its current layout. The course now weaves through residential areas, offering scenic views along the Connecticut River and incorporating notable holes like 11-14 along the river, the lake-surrounded 15-16-17 trio, and the par-4 18th hole with its stadium-style concave shaping. The property also includes a spacious driving range, a five-hole short course, and a learning center that houses the First Tee of Connecticut.

  3. Low Scores Await: TPC River Highlands provides an enjoyable challenge for PGA TOUR professionals. Measuring 6,849 yards with a par of 70, the course favors accurate play off the tee rather than pure power. While long hitters like Bubba Watson have found success here, other players with a more strategic approach have also claimed victories in recent years. Brad Faxon, Fredrik Jacobson, and Harris English are among the lighter hitters who have triumphed at TPC River Highlands. The course has witnessed impressive scoring feats, including Jim Furyk's record-setting 58 in the final round of the 2016 Travelers Championship, the lowest 18-hole score in PGA TOUR history. Additionally, Patrick Cantlay's 60 in 2011, achieved as an amateur, stands as the lowest score ever recorded by an amateur in a PGA TOUR event. The course's scoring potential ensures that