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Many of the stories of Yale golf have been told, hole by hole, over the eighty-plus years at the present Yale course. We conclude with brief commentaries of some of the many highlights of these eighteen holes. We have drawn this sketch from a variety of sources, beginning with Charles Banks, who trod the entire preserve for months and who supervised the construction from start to finish. He wrote a lengthy preview of the course for the Yale Alumni Weekly that appeared in its August, 1925 issue. His insightful descriptions remain so strikingly apt today and his language is so vivid that we begin each hole with his words. We also draw on interviews with and commentaries by David Paterson, Peter Pulaski, and Scott Ramsay and on our own years of playing the course.

George Bahto’s meticulous account of C. B. Macdonald, The Evangelist of Golf: The Story of Charles Blair Macdonald (Sleeping Bear Press, 2002), is an essential work of golf scholarship, and we are grateful to him and to Sleeping Bear Press for their permission to reproduce the hole drawings that he did for his own account of the Yale Golf Course in that book.

The first score card, 1926

Total Course Yardage

                              At present                        In 1926
Long tees                6,749 Par 70                      6,533 Par 70
Regular Tees           6,122 Par 70                      6,099 Par 70
Short Tees              5,468 Par 70, W 71            5,577 Par 70

Current Course Rating/Slope

                              Men                                   Women
Long tees                73.5/140                           79.6/146
Regular tees            70.5/139                           76.8/140
Short tees               66.9/128                           70.8/125

As of the opening of the 2009 season, the current record scores are the following:

  1. Best women’s score: 72 by Caroline Keggi in 1984 and Linda Kinnicutt in 1989
  2. Best men’s amateur score: 64 by Tim Petrovic in 1987, playing for University of Hartford
  3. Best men’s professional score: 63 by Jon Christian in 1992, playing in the Ben Hogan Tour’s New Haven Open (now the Nationwide Tour)

Yale students heading off the 1st tee, 1950’s

> Hole #1 “Eli”

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