Former Dean of the Graduate School of Music, Yale University and Chairman of Golf Committee in the 1970’s
Interviewed on September 4, 2005 [conducted by telephone by John Godley]
Interview (22 mins)
Born in Minnesota and began playing golf at age 7. Attended the U. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Played several PGA events as an amateur in the early 1950’s. When he came to Yale as music school dean he was a 7 handicap; his best score at the Yale Golf Course was a 69. Appointed by Kingman Brewster as chairman of a golf committee to upgrade the golf program, which was “in disarray”. “Widdy” Neale, “a nice person and a good secretary of the athletic department and CSGA, was running the course as his own”. No more than 8,000 rounds were played per year. Nelson, was joined on the committee by Dick Tettelback, Burt Resnick, Herb Emanuelson, Richard Broadbent, & Herbert W. Wind. In looking for a Director of Golf they considered many prominent people, several suggested by Philip Nelson’s good friend, Byron Nelson [no relation]. “But, the name of David Paterson kept coming up”. He fit their desire to have a golf person, but one with an intellectual and cultural background. Paterson was a graduate of the art school at the University of Glasgow, as well as a PGA Tour and club professional. Philip Nelson is very proud of the fact that he had a part in finding the person that has been the Director of Golf and as served as the golf coach for more than 30 years.
Nelson has made 10 trips with David to the British Isles to play golf, and he now spends each summer with his wife at St. Andrews. He confirmed the truth of the rumor that there had been talk of selling the golf course, [when it became subject to New Haven city taxation] but that corporation members Erwin Miller and Bill Beinecke had vetoed that idea. He believes the current golf course is the second oldest collegiate course.