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TPC River Highlands

TPC River Highlands

TPC River Highlands

Hole #15 296 yard par 4

Often one of the most exciting holes in golf is a drivable par four. When all of the design features have been ticked and the hole is strategically positioned in the ideal place on the golf course, it can make for a very exciting finish to any golf tournament.  For example, this week at the Travelers Championship, TPC River Highlands has one of the finest drivable par fours on the PGA TOUR. The design of the 15th hole has everything this hole needs……..an abundance of risk and reward. The hole is in a great position on the back nine to add excitement and follows a reachable par five and a medium length par four.


TPC River Highlands, Par 4 15th Hole

Photograph by Steven Cox

On Sunday, as the players approach the 15th hole they will see that the hole is located on the back left plateau 26 yards deep and 4 yards from the left edge, which is the easiest of the four locations.  Given the contours of the green that allows for a ball to feed down to the hole, if the player hits a good tee shot he will have an excellent chance to find the putting surface and make an easy birdie or even eagle. However, with a miss left the player may find the water and if he bails out right he could find himself in the chipping area where it is difficult to get the ball up and down as the putting surface is elevated some 4 to 6 feet.

So when you’re watching the Travelers Championship today, with a little luck a player might go eagle/birdie/eagle during the middle three holes on the back nine….or alternatively with one bad swing at the 15th hole it might cost the player a chance to win the Championship.

      

The picture above highlights the changes made to the 15th Hole following the renovation this past year. In addition to the short cut being extended around the left side of the green (with the removal of the back left bunker), the teeing ground and surrounds were re-built and enlarged to provide greater flexibility on set-up, the front left plateau was softened to allow for a hole location, and trees and bunkers were removed on the left side to allow for spectators to view golf. All terrific enhancements.

2 Comments

  • Gary Albin Posted August 7, 2016 5:27 pm

    Drivable Par 4 are exciting, but they sure put the brakes on pace of play and create back ups like on most shorter Par 5. What is the Tours policy on waiving up after everybody get on the green when you have groups waiting on the Tee?

    • Stephen Cox Posted August 8, 2016 3:00 pm

      Thank you for your post Gary. You’re absolutely right, drivable par 4’s can certainly have a detrimental effect on the pace of play, but if the Committee is proactive it can be managed. For example, last week at the Travelers Championship we posted a sign to the players on the entrance to the 15th tee asking them to wave up the group behind before putting. Most groups obliged, but occasionally this didn’t happen (for various reasons) so a member of our Committee would speak with the players and ask them to reinstate the wave up. This strategy is fairly consistent with other events on the PGA TOUR such as the 10th at Riviera and the 15th at TPC Summerlin. Hope this helps.

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