Hartford's historic golf tournament, rechristened the Travelers Championship in 2007, will once again attract some of the PGA Tour's top golfers to Connecticut this summer. The 2012 Travelers Championship, formerly known as the Greater Hartford Open (GHO), is scheduled for June 18-24, 2012. It is part of the FedEx Cup season.
A little history: Hartford's PGA event had its humble beginnings in 1952, when the first Insurance City Open was held. Then, as now, the event was a fundraiser for a community-based non-profit (formerly, the Greater Hartford Jaycees; today, the Greater Hartford Community Foundation). The switch to golf in 1952 followed an unsuccessful turtle race held by the Jaycees in 1951. The tournament's longevity is testament to America's growing passion for the game of golf, and, er... waning interest in turtle races!
The name change: With Buick out as title sponsor at the conclusion of a three-year agreement in 2006, Hartford's PGA tournament needed a new corporate supporter. The merged St. Paul Travelers Companies stepped up in April of 2006 to sponsor the event through 2010. In February of 2007, St. Paul Travelers announced it would become the Travelers Companies, and the PGA event got a more manageable and recognizable name. In 2009, the Travelers Companies' extended their commitment to sponsoring the tournament, ensuring there will be world-class golf competition in Connecticut at least through 2014.
The course: The Travelers Championship is played at the Tournament Players Club at River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut. Golf fans will have a chance to watch their favorite pros take on one of the country's toughest courses. Directions to the Tournament Players Club are available online. There is plenty of parking available on site for a fee. Download your free copy of the Spectator Map, which is available in .pdf format.
The golfers: Golfers who have committed to play in the 2012 Travelers Championship include defending champion Fredrik Jacobson, 2010 winner and 2012 Masters Champion Bubba Watson, 2007 winner Hunter Mahan, Keegan Bradley, Patrick Cantlay, Tim Clark, Ben Curtis, Chris DiMarco, Lucas Glover, Padraig Harrington, J.J. Henry, Ryo Ishikawa, Zach Johnson, Robert Karlsson, Jerry Kelly, Kelly Kraft, Matt Kuchar, Justin Leonard, Bryden Macpherson, Sean O’Hair, Louis Oosthuizen, Carl Pettersson, Ian Poulter, Patrick Rodgers, Charl Schwartzel, Webb Simpson, Vijay Singh, Kyle Stanley and more. They will compete for $6 million in prize money.
Travelers Championship Tickets: There are three ways to purchase tickets for the Travelers Championship. Use the online ClicknPrint option, and you will be able to buy your tickets and instantly print them using your own printer. To purchase tickets by phone, call toll free, 866-840-8821. Tickets ordered after June 13 will be held at Will Call. Tickets may also be purchased at retail outlets, primarily Big Y supermarkets.
There are two daily admission tickets for the Travelers Championship: a PRACTICE ROUND ticket is valid any one day, Monday through Wednesday; a GENERAL ADMISSION ticket is valid any one day, Monday through Sunday. Children ages 15 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult.
Tickets may also be purchased at the gate during the tournament. Higher rates apply. Gates open a 7 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday and at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. A schedule of events is available online.
Spectator Tips: The Travelers Championship offers helpful tips for spectators at its Web site, including what to bring and not to bring (no coolers, no purses larger than a fanny pack, no cameras Thursday through Sunday during the tournament), plus proper golf spectator etiquette.
How to Volunteer: As the Greater Hartford Community Foundation's largest event, raising more than $1 million each year for community programs for children and others, the Travelers Championship relies on the generosity of volunteers for its success. Volunteers are needed for everything from selling apparel to running youth tournaments to mingling and meeting the needs of the pros to keeping score or setting up for social events. To offer your assistance or to volunteer your group, whether it's for a day or the entire week, complete the online volunteer registration form.
Where to stay: If you're coming to watch the golf tournament from out of town and need hotel accommodations, the Travelers Championship Web site has several suggestions for area hotels that are convenient to the course. You can also compare rates at Cromwell-area hotels with About.com's travel partner, kayak.com.