Think moving your ball around a PGA Tour course is tough? Try getting players, fans, workers, volunteers and officials around a venue — never mind to and from it.
Yet that’s exactly what every tournament must do. The Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands, just outside of Hartford, Conn., often has an even tougher job than most, as the event falls directly after the U.S. Open on the schedule.
This year, many of the players in the Travelers field spent U.S. Open week at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., a mere 90-minute drive on I-90W. More commonly, though, transporting top pros between our national championship and the Travelers entails chartered cross-country flights, as was the case following the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego.
Regardless, it’s a serious undertaking to transfer all the people involved to all the places they need to be — on time and in one piece. Travelers tournament director Nathan Grube details just some of the moving parts.
ONE PLAYER AIRPLANE
Travelers personnel secures a full flight on a commercial airline. Each player in the field can reserve up to three seats. The amenities include Wi-Fi, food and gift packages to keep the players’ kiddies happy.
MANY, MANY TAXIS, UBERS AND LIMOS
Reps from the Travelers and USGA work in conjunction at the Open site to ensure players and their posses make it to the airport and flight on time — with a little help from a private security line.
200 COURTESY CARS
When the chartered flight touches down at Connecticut’s Bradley International Airport, tournament volunteers greet the travelers with snacks and more goodies for the little ones.
They also help with luggage. In no time, players and their guests are ushered to gratis Enterprise rentals. “Generally, the process takes 20 minutes after landing,” Grube says.
75 GOLF CARTS, 40 MOWERS, ABOUT 40 UTILITY VEHICLES AND FOUR GREENS ROLLERS
Tour officials need to get around the host course, right? So do a group of 60 to 70 grounds staff and volunteers.
The 4:00 a.m. shift mows and rolls greens, rakes bunkers, changes hole locations, places tee markers, removes dew from all surfaces, blows debris, etc.
The 4:00 p.m. shift does some of the same as well as mows fairways, removes pin flags and tee markers, repairs divots and ball marks and does bunker touch-ups.
AN UNDISCLOSED NUMBER OF POLICE VEHICLES
“We work closely with multiple municipalities and their police departments,” Grube says, “with Cromwell [Conn.] PD leading the way.”
St. Francis Hospital’s medical services comprises an on-course staff of 25 to 30 EMTs, docs, nurses and paramedics.
“We have one of the more comprehensive medical programs on Tour,” Grube says.
“Comprehensive” sums it all up nicely.