Head Greenskeeper, Yale Golf Course
Interviewed on September 7, 2004
Interview (51 mins)
Mike Moran started mowing greens at age 12, thus earning the nickname “mow.” In 1975 he graduated from U. Mass. at Stockbridge with a degree in Turf Management. He worked both East and West Coast courses before coming to Yale as Master Gardener more than 20 years ago under Harry Meusel, when David Paterson was the Director of Golf. He was told of changes to the second green (which had been like the eighth), the sixteenth green, and the third green (which had been a “double punchbowl”). Mike’s favorite holes are the eighth and thirteenth. By his estimation, the best golfers to play Yale include John Daly, Tom Lehman and Jeff Maggert in the Hogan Tour, as well as Widner, USGA Junior Amateur winner and now a golf coach. His favorite stories include Sam Snead being escorted from the course by Harry after he used a wedge on the ninth green, and Sammy Davis Jr. being asked to leave because he had had “too much grape.”
Mow talks about Harry Meusel’s major beautification program that inlcuded the planting of laurel, rhododendron, and daffodils, as well as evergreens, which were planted “to protect cart paths from stray balls.” The evergreens have now been removed, but one can still find the weeping black pines between the seventh and eighth fairways. The Japanese garden by the thirteenth fairway was also developed by Harry. Among his experiences on the course, Mike helped to scatter Al Wilson’s ashes behind the third green. And for those who are interested, Mike has files, including maps of all greens, that he is willing to share.