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John Reitman

By John Reitman

The road back is a slow one for Yale Golf Course

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The past year has been, to say the least, uh, interesting at Yale Golf Course.

The No. 1 campus golf course in the Golfweek's Best list, Yale will open for the season April 13, after some offseason improvement projects. There are a lot of if's, and's and but's in that reopening.

Through June 27, the 1926 C.B. MacDonald classic in New Haven is open only to Connecticut residents with an active Yale Golf Course account.

There's more.

Everyone must maintain social distancing of at least six feet at all times throughout the property, including parking lots and playing areas. Respect of social distancing applies not only to fellow golfers but also to golf course staff. Anyone not following social distancing policies will be asked to leave, according to a release by Yale GC general manager Peter Palacios Jr.

All golfers must have a facial covering in their possession at all times, but facial coverings are not required while playing golf. They are required while on the property (checking in for tee time, in the parking lot, etc.), while driving and riding in a cart with another passenger and they must cover the nose and mouth at all times.

Although the course will open, the clubhouse, pro shop, driving range and snack bar will not.

Yale Golf Course only has been open for a few months in the past year-and-a-half. After closing at the end of the season in 2019, it did not reopen again until Sept. 28, 2020. Trouble started long before that. 

Between the time when the course closed in November 2019 and the Covid outbreak more than a year ago, Yale lost longtime superintendent Scott Ramsay, CGCS, who left for The Country Club of Farmington in Connecticut, as well as general manager Peter Pulaski.

The Yale campus was shuttered in mid-March, including the golf course, which the university traditionally treats as part of the overall university infrastructure rather than a standalone golf entity. 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.

Palacios still has not hired a superintendent to replace Ramsay, who left Yale last March.

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