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Miscellaneous Facts

The History of Yale Golf
18 Miscellaneous Facts & Stories

  1. The Yale Golf Course was taxed, by the city of New Haven, for one year [1926], then made non-taxable until the 1995, when it was again taxed [in order to keep the Yale Bowl tax-free].
  2. In 1924-25, to finance the course construction, 44 patrons each paid $1,000 ($22,500 in 2005 dollars) for Yale Golf Club life memberships [transferable only once]. The University stopped the program, because it was competing too successfully with the general-fund raising. The remaining costs of construction came from Athletic Department funds.
  3. Raynor and Macdonald prepared a drawing for routing of 36 holes in 1923, but land for course #2 was sold to a residential real estate developer in 1945.
  4. The Robert D. Pryde collection at the New Haven Colonial Historical Society included: 2 club chairs, golf clubs, Apple Tree branch, red coat, and portrait.
  5. C.B. Macdonald was part Mohawk Indian.
  6. Joe Sullivan played #9 on his knees.
  7. How Charles Banks became a course architect, and how Roger Rulewich did so by mistake.
  8. Bill Beinecke has played 400 courses worldwide; including a notable round with Watts Gunn and Jess Sweetser at the Cotton Bay Club [Bobby Jones was the absent 4th].
  9. The Laurel bushes on the #13 etc. were all transplanted from #9, under the supervision of Harry Meusel.
  10. Ken Venturi became a member of Congressional C.C. (where he won the 1964 U.S. Open) with Jess Sweetser as his sponsor.
  11. Peter Teravainen won 3 national open championships: Czechoslovakia, Hong Kong and Japan.
  12. In 1929, 100 students were playing the Yale Golf Course per day.
  13. Yale won 20 USGA College Championships and 1 NCAA Championship.
  14. Originally #4 was a par 5 and #16 a par 4.
  15. Widdy Neale was the golf coach of the 1943 national championship; and CSGA senior champion 1946, 47 and 55.
  16. The 2nd green was originally contoured like the 8th. But Harry Meusel had the “right side cut down, because it was too difficult.”
  17. Herbert Warren Wind [Yale 1937], to describe holes 11, 12 and 13 at Augusta National Golf Club, coined the expression, Amen Corner (a jazz song title). It was first used in his 1958 article for Sports Illustrated, reporting on that year’s Masters and the (incorrect) imbedded ball ruling at #12, which allowed Arnold Palmer to win his first major (and Ken Venturi to lose) championship.
  18. In his recent book Where Golf is Great (2006), James W. Finegan writes that the 16th at Scotland’s North Berwick (West), “obviously inspired the similarly eye-popping 9th green at Macdonald’s mighty Yale University course.” In fact, the Scottish professional Willie Dunn designed the Biarritz (France) Le Phare Golf Club course before 1890, which included a green with a “gully.” That contour was reproduced in the 16th green at North Berwick (West) during the 1895 extension to 18 holes. C.B. Macdonald visited both courses sometime during his 34 tours to study course design (1902, 1904 and 1906). That study resulted in redans, alps, edens, etc., but it was not until Yale in 1926 that any Macdonald/Raynor-designed hole was described as “Biarritz.”
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