Birdies Before Backchecks

Howard Baldwin’s return to Hartford is the best thing that’s happened to hockey here since…well…Howard Baldwin.

Howdy in Hollywood

“Howdy,” as he was once known, knows that the NHL isn’t returning to Hartford anytime soon.  He realizes that a fan base for the game has to be rebuilt.  Based on attendance at AHL games and the local ratings for a good Stanley Cup finals series, he has his work cut out for him. 

Having covered the original New England Whalers and being married to the former secretary to Whalers general managers of yore Jack Kelley and Ron Ryan, we wish him well. 

But first things first!  We have a “major league” event coming in less than two weeks.  The field for the Travelers Championship is coming around quite nicely, and so is the course.  Superintendent Tom DeGrandi has the TPC River Highlands rounding into excellent shape.

I was there a few days ago, and my favorite spot was between the short par 4 15th and the par 3 16th.  There you’ll find Hole 15.5, a 71-yard “par 1” to the Travelers umbrella floating in the water.

You don’t have to be a golf fan to support the Travelers (it’s still tempting to call it the GHO, but Travelers has really done a hell of a job with it after rescuing the tournament from the brink of oblivion).

Even if you couldn’t care less about golf, it’s still a fabulous lawn party.  Hope to see you there.


About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
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6 Responses to Birdies Before Backchecks

  1. Ok, again I have to admit, I’m not a hockey fan – yet. I still have to figure out why a bunch of guys on the ice chace after the puck and beat themselves up. I will though make an effort to watch if/when Hockey comes back to CT.

    As for the Golf Tournement, I do remember it being the GHO, as well as The Bob Hope Classic (I think) and didn’t Sammy Davis Jr. have the title to it as well? I’m trying to ‘rob’ back some memories from when I was a youngster growing up in Hartford and Windsor.

    • Gerry says:

      It was Sammy’s tournament. Hope played in the pro-am a few times.

      • I knew it was one of them, just couldn’t remember which on. I still think of it as the GHO, tough for me to say Travlers even though I live near the golf course.

    • Li'l Em-Kel says:

      It never was “The Bob Hope” tournament, but I remember a pre-tournament stage show on which Bob appeared. He cracked that he played with Davis that day, and when Sammy swung the club his jewelry went farther than the ball.

      Good one, Bob.

  2. Joan says:

    My dad was a golfer and took me and my sisters to the GHO a few times when Sammy Davis name was on it. Bob Hope was playing the pro-am and I went up to him on a fairway (as he was walking to where his ball had landed) and asked him for his autograph. He wouldn’t give it to me and was really not very nice. As a kid, I was really hurt & disappointed. But Lee Trevino and Flip Wilson were really fun and nice to the spectators. Oh, the memories of those long ago days!!

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