David M. Ragaini
“Believe It or Not”
Dave Ragaini (Class of 1963) was a three-time letter-winner on the Yale golf team, but some say that his career highlight was a stroke he made playing on his knees to win a bet. At the 207 yard par 3 at the Wykagyl Country Club in New Rochelle, New York, Ragaini swung a 3-wood while kneeling and scored a hole in one — making it into Ripley’s “Believe It or Not”!
After Yale Ragaini had additional golf achievements — standing on his feet. Most notably, in 1971, after a seven-year competitive absence, Ragaini stunned some of the Metro New York region’s best professionals by taking the 49th Westchester Open Championship at the Wykagyl Country Club. At the time, he was a twenty-nine-year-old amateur who was singing commercial jingles for a living. He took on and beat, among others, former Masters and PGA Champion Doug Ford, PGA Tour star Don Massengale and Dick Siderowf, British Amateur Champion. Ragaini sank long putts to save pars on the final two holes.
Twenty years later, Ragaini, with partner Cliff Taylor of Spring Lake, Michigan, won the second National Senior-Junior Amateur at the Cobblestone Country Club in Palm City, Florida. After a 70-67 start, they clinched the 54-hole event with an eight-under 64 scramble score.