Travelers: Where to Watch, How to Get Autographs

So, I've given you all you need to know to get to the Travelers Championship, now I have some ideas for you once you get through the gates.

Get a pairing sheet. It might not seem important, but once you're out on the course, you’ll want to know where to find your favorite player. The pairing sheet is the best and easiest way to do that. The tournament charges you for it, but I'm pretty sure it's just a dollar or two, and it's worth it.

Where to Watch

There are two schools of thought when it comes to being a golf spectator. 

First, you can walk the course, stopping at different holes to see the players coming through at that particular time. This is good if you want to take in all the beauty the course has to offer.

You'd be surprised, but the TPC at River Highlands looks much different in person than it does on TV. The changes in elevation, and the sloping greens are most surprising when you are actually out there. 

Now walking is great exercise, but the course is big, and you might not want to spend all that time on your feet. If you want to pick an area to walk, my choice would be the back nine. The holes are much more interesting than the front nine, and there's a better shot to see exciting golf.

The second method of golf watching is the "sit and wait" approach. Basically, you park yourself on a hole and watch each group of players as they come by you. The big advantage here is that you get to see every player, because they all have to play that hole. 

The question is, which hole should you chose? I'm going to stick with the back nine here. A lot of people set up right on the hill at the 18th green, which is a nice spot, and it's close to everything. 

However, I have two other suggestions. The course's signature hole is the 17th. It’s a gorgeous and difficult par 4 that wraps around a lake. If you sit on the hill about halfway down the fairway, you'll be able to watch players tee off and you'll be right there for their second shots to the green. You also get a good look at their putts on the 17th green.

You can also look across the lake and watch players hit their tee shots on the difficult par 3 16th hole.

Another spot for viewing multiple holes is by the 15th green -- the most exciting hole on the course. It's a 296-yard par 4, which players will try and reach with their tee shots. What makes it exciting, is that any mistake will cost the players dearly. 

Many balls end up in the lake, and many more end up on the cart path or even in the woods. It was an errant shot on this hole that more or less cost Larry Mize the championship a few years back.

Park yourself just behind the green, and you can see some amazing golf shots. You can also see the 16th from here, and directly behind you is the 18th tee.

Turn around and you'll be so close to the players you can almost feel the breeze as they rip their drives up the 18th fairway.

What to Do

There's plenty more to do out at the TPC during tournament week. The Travelers has opened a new Fan Zone in the old driving range. It includes games, a rock wall and even a concert stage.

The tournament is putting on concerts on Friday and Saturday nights after the conclusion of play.

There's plenty of food, and dozens of vendor exhibits around the course, so you'll want to check those out too.


One of the questions I'm asked most while out at the tournament, is about how willing the players are to sign autographs. The answer is: it depends. 

The players really are some of the nicest guys you can meet and they are usually always happy to sign a hat or an autograph book. 

However, you have to know when to ask. Do not approach a player during his round. If they are walking between holes on the course, they are highly focused and have their "game faces" on. If you ask for an autograph then, they will say no, or possibly even ignore you altogether. 

Think about it, every bad shot they make could end up costing them thousands of dollars. Imagine if you had $3,000 riding on whether or not you make a typo on a proposal you type up. You wouldn't want anyone distracting you!

Once their round is over, and they've signed their scorecard, most of they players will be happy to sign something for you, and especially for your kids.

They are good guys who know the fans are what keep the sport so popular.

So, I hope my 12 years of experience covering the tournament have helped you formulate a plan of attack if you're coming out to the TPC this week. 

Enjoy the golf and stay safe on the course.

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