The Travelers Championship

The PGA Tour rolls into Cromwell, Connecticut this week for the Travelers Champions at TPC River Highlands. Titleistblog.com was on-hand to catch some of the action during Wednesday's pro-am tournament.

Click here to view some pictures…

 The Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands

Adam tees off at Bethpage Black.

Hello Everybody,

I hope this blog finds everyone well. Sorry it's taken me a few days to post an entry this week. I was pretty exhausted after the US Open. It was an interesting 5 days in Farmingdale. A lot of starts and stops and also long days. I sat in my hotel room for most the day on Thursday watching the television coverage and also the rain come down outside my window! It made for a long day so I was anxious to get started on Friday morning. I felt good after my first round and was striking the ball as well as I have for quite some time. It gave me a confidence boost which is exactly what I needed to start my second round less than 90 minutes later. I was able to play 11 holes in my second round before they called play due to darkness. Needless to say it was an exhausting way to start the tournament but I was pleased with my performance so I had some momentum going into Saturday.

On Saturday we had an early tee time to finish our second round. I had a decent day but was feeling pretty tired so I went back to the hotel and got a little rest before we were called back out to start our third round around 5:30pm. We got a couple of holes in before the rain was back in full force and once again play was called for the night. The US Open is always an interesting major and this year's weather made it even more interesting than usual!! More rain than I think I've ever even seen at The Open Championship! The USGA was faced with several challenges and for the most part got the course ready as best they could given the circumstances. I know the spectators were muddy from head to toe so thanks to everyone that came out and weathered the storm so to speak! Congratulations to Lucas on a great victory.

I'm in Europe for the next few weeks. I'm spending some time with my Mum and it's been great since I don't get to see her very often. I'm also going to play in an exhibition match in Sweden against Henrik Stenson on Monday for charity. I'll let you know how it goes next week!

I also want to announce our winners for our US Open/Open Championship Trivia Contest from our June/July Clubhouse Newsletter.

1st place: Patsy Mangan
2nd Place: Crystal Barnett
3rd Place: Michelle Marshall
4th Place: Tony Evans
5th Place: Katie Smith

Congratulations to all the winners! Thanks to everyone that participated and be sure to sign up in the clubhouse section of my website to receive our newsletter! We will have more contests in the future so it's a fun way to share your golf knowledge and win some prizes.

Shifting gears, I was saddened to hear about the two separate auto accidents that occured this past week involving family of two golfers. My thoughts and prayers go out to Chris Smith who lost his wife, Beth Smith, in a tragic automobile accident in Indiana. My thoughts are also with Skip Kendall who lost his mother in a separate car accident last week. Life is so very fragile and my thoughts are with both families during this difficult time.

Until next time, take care.
-Adam

U.S. Open Notes – Graduated Rough

Talking to our players this week, Titleistblog.com heard the same chorus of comments over and over. This course, as long it is, will play fair. If you keep your Titleist in the short grass, and hit the greens, you will be in the mix. Everyone seems to be in favor of the "graduated" rough the USGA has been using since 2006. This practice removes the one size fits all penalty of missing the fairway. Here at Bethpage Black, just missing the fairway is a far better place to be than a truly wayward drive. The first 6 feet off the fairway finds the intermediate rough around 1.5" long; the next 20 feet or so, the first cut of the primary rough, will be 2.5 - 3" long; and the rest of the primary rough, from that 20 foot mark to the gallery ropes, will be 4 - 6 inches deep or even higher fescue.


Graduated rough on display at Bethpage Black during the U.S. Open.

The Best Seat in the House

Are you heading to Bethpage for the U.S. Open this weekend? Titleist.com's favorite spot to watch the action is from the grandstands behind the 15th tee and 16th green. If you can get a seat, it’s one of those places where you will be able to see any number of shots from the world-class field.

The 15th hole is a 459-yard Par 4. During the 2002 U.S. Open it was the hardest hole on the course and this year you can expect the same. For starters, it is straight uphill, and then it finishes at the most undulating green on the course. If a player misses the fairway here, depending on his lie, he may find himself hitting driver-wedge-wedge.

The 490-yard Par 4 16th hole comes right back down the hill at you. It is the most wind affected hole out there. The players hit out of a chute from the top of a hill. Whatever the wind is doing, it just smacks the ball when it flies past the corridor of trees. Thanks to the downhill topography of the hole, you should see some fairly short approach shots, especially from the fairway.

  

The green at Bethpage Black's 17th hole.

Then to your left will be the 17th hole. It is a 207-yard Par 3, protected by heavy bunkering all the way around the “figure eight” green. There is potential to see some creative short game play all the way around this hole.

The added bonus of this vantage point is that it is not far from the clubhouse, practice areas, merchandise pavilion, and concessions. All you need to do is walk down between the 1st and 18th fairways and head over to the grandstands. The gallery areas will be soggy at best, and there is plenty of mud. By camping out at 15/16, you will see booming drives on 15, precision approaches on 16, long irons to a back pin on 17, and plenty of chipping and putting without ever having to cross Round Swamp Road.

Of course if you are dying to see the monster Par 4, the 525-yard 7th hole you’ll have to cross the road and head about as far out as you can get. That hole is the longest in U.S. Open history by 10 yards. It would be a bear of a hole if it was straight, but is a hard dogleg left, with trees protecting the corner. It might be worth slogging through the muck to see how the best of the best tackle the challenge.

Whatever your plans, enjoy your time at the 109th US Open Championship!

U.S. Open Preview – Zach Johnson

 

The 2009 U.S. Open field boasts 15 amateurs, the most since 1981. Titleist Brand Ambassador Zach Johnson played a practice round Tuesday at Bethpage with three of them.Johnson told Titleist.com that he, “thoroughly enjoyed the day. They are all great players and terrific young men.” When asked if they picked his brain during the day, Zach said, “about my equipment mostly. They have played on some big stages, so the atmosphere wasn’t so shocking to them. They were more interested in why I have the set composition I have, and what club I will use in a particular situation. They’ll be all business this week.”

Clearly these players will not be particularly awed by the atmosphere surrounding the national championship, nor sharing the tee with the proud owner of a green jacket. Zach wasn’t the only one in the group with some impressive hardware. Among Johnson’s playing partners were the 2007 British Amateur champion, the 2009 NCAA Championship runner-up, and the owner of several prestigious amateur titles. Between them the three amateurs have combined for starts in The Masters, British Open and the 2008 U.S. Open.He’s claimed six Tour wins, including the 2007 Masters, so Titleist.com asked Zach if he remembers being in their shoes. “Sure. It brought back memories of my first Open at Shinnecock; playing my practice round with Davis Love and listening to his strategy and advice,” said Johnson. “It’s how you hope it works. Someone did these things for you and now you can pass it on to the next generation of playerscoming up.”Click here to check out the set composition that Zach is using at Bethpage this week. Here's hoping it's the right formula.

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