In 1984 the Greater Hartford Open (now the Buick Championship) moved to the TPC at River Highlands, which has one of the Tour's most tantalizing holes--the drivable par-4 15th. A Tour player can lay up with a five-iron, flip a sand wedge to the green and easily birdie the hole two or three times this week. But few guys will play safe because it's impossible for Tour players to see a green 282 yards away and not think eagle. In truth, though, bogeys will be more common than eagles at 15 because the two-tiered green is protected by a lake to the left, a deep, rock-hard swale to the right and sloping bunkers on the right and left.
As great a hole as the 15th is, I still pine for Wethersfield Country Club, the original site of the tournament. It was there, while looping for Arnold Palmer in the early '80s, that I witnessed the most entertaining celebrity pro-am ever.
Arnold started poorly before finally ripping a great drive. His playing partner, Mickey Rooney, congratulated Arnold by doing a somersault as we walked off the tee. Mickey wasn't exactly Paul Hamm, but the move thrilled the spectators. Mickey then announced that he'd do a somersault every time Arnold hit a good shot. Unfortunately, Mickey didn't do many more somersaults that day, but he did enough to make a bad round memorable.
*For 28 years--the last three months with his golden retriever, Woody--Gorjus George has drawn the yardage books that the pros use.
DAVID WALBERG (LUCAS)
DIAGRAM BY GEORGE LUCAS
No. 15 * Par-4 * 297 Yards