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John Reitman

By John Reitman

Austin tapped to lead Yale Golf Club's revival


Yale finally has its man.

Jeffrey Austin, who spent seven years as superintendent at Quail Hollow Country Club in Painesville, Ohio, including the last four as director of agronomy, has been named the new superintendent at Yale Golf Club in New Haven, Connecticut. A former assistant at Augusta National for four years where he helped prep for the Masters, Austin succeeds Scott Ramsay, who left more than a year ago after 17 years at Yale for the Country Club of Farmington.

042921yale1.jpg"I am honored to accept the superintendent position at the Yale Golf Course," Austin said in a Yale University news release. "To become the next steward of such a historically important course like the one at Yale is exactly what I have worked for throughout my career. The lessons that I have learned will ensure that I provide the best available conditions on a daily basis to our golfers. I am looking forward to joining (general manager) Peter (Palacios) and the entire Bulldog family."

At Augusta, Austin trained interns and oversaw the pesticide application program.
"Jeff spent his formative years within our industry working as a core member of my team," Augusta's Brad Owen said in a news release from Yale. "While here, he demonstrated agility in his ability to listen and learn, strengthen his understanding and application of agronomy practices and a passion for our sport and the cathedrals on which it is played. We are proud to call Jeff an Augusta National alumni and look forward to seeing him every year when he returns as our invited guest to assist us with our tournament."

Yale Golf Club reopened on April 13 after being closed almost exclusively since the end of the 2019 season. Before the course could open in 2020, the Yale campus, including the golf course, was shuttered last March due to the pandemic. All employees across all sectors of campus operations were sent home. According to Vicky Chun, the athletic director at Yale since July 2018, what she described as a "skeletal crew" was permitted to stay on and work a minimal number of hours to maintain the golf course.

A $400,000 drainage-improvement project had recently been completed when Ramsay left. With the course closed for most of a year-and-a-half, whoever replaced Ramsay would have his work cut out for him.

Austin earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Dayton and is a graduate of Penn State's two-year turfgrass program.

"We already knew what we needed," Yale Golf Course general manager Peter Palacios told the Yale News. "We needed to find someone who not only had the economic [knowledge] but also was able to be someone we can put in front of our distinguished alumni or administration or those individuals who are supporters of the Yale Golf Course when the time comes to really talk about how we're going to maintain the golf course."

A 1926 C.B. MacDonald classic that is ranked as the No. 1 campus golf course in the Golfweek's Best list, Yale opened for the season April 13.

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