First President of the Eli Club and first Yale Golf Club champion
Interviewed on October 5, 2004
Interview (53 mins)
John Schleicher was born and raised in New Haven and graduated from Colorado College in 1950 where he learned to play golf. He returned to N.H. and began caddying at the Yale golf course for $3-4 per round. He snuck on the course in the evening to play and was often ejected by the Perkins. Non-Yale members were encouraged in the 1950s, and he joined in 1953 for annual dues of $50. In 1955, a Yale Golf Club Association (also known as te Eli Club) was formed with 51 members (mostly non-Yale affiliated); the numbes rose to 200 by 1980. Schliecher was the first president, and Dick Tettleback was president for the last 25 years.
The first Eli Club tournaments were the member-member, member-guest, and club championship events in 1956. Schleicher himself won this first club championship (30 years after the course opened!), with little play except the men’s golf team. Players used water from wells and hand pumps at # 2,4,5,6,11, and 13. The clubhouse had shop, locker room & lunchroom, and the fireplace served both shop and locker room. In 1980’s non-Yale members were restricted.
His best score here was a 66, he played to a 1-2 handicap and he had holes-in-one on #5 and #15. He remembers watching Ed Sullivan & Cary Middlecoff play the course. Longest member of club that he knew was Moe Decker.
He invented, patented and now distributes a devise to paint the inside of hole cup white, to speed up play and for the PGA to show up on TV.