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Campus Golf, 1896

The fact that the links of the New Haven Golf Club are over a mile distance from the Campus partly accounts for the origin of a new phase of the game among the students.  The Seniors, who have always reserved the privilege of playing games on the Campus ground, have instituted what is commonly known as “Campus Golf.”  This is played simply with a hockey stick and tennis ball, yet there is an opportunity for considerable dexterity in the play.  A putter or driver is occasionally used, but the danger presented by the use of a real golf ball has prevented its adoption.

The newness of the game frequently furnishes amusement for spectators, though vexations to the players because the tennis balls which are to be seen rolling over the Campus in various directions are often picked up by a well-meaning passers-by and thrown back, much to the disgust of the player, who is endeavoring to approach a distant hole.

The regular course consists of six holes rudely cut in the ground and separated by almost equal distances. Although the position of the first “tee” is not settled, the round is usually begun in the road just opposite the steps of Dwight Hall, the objective hole being just behind President Woolsey’s statue. In this approach the TreasuryBuilding must be circumvented, so that the hole is one of the most difficult in the course. The next drive is towards South Middle, and the hole lies a few feet away from the southwest corner towards the arch of at Vanderbilt. Turning back towards the west there is a short approach towards the third hole which is situated a few yards in front of the Chittenden Library. Then comes the longest drive of the course, but as the ground is perfectly level and there are no obstructions it is an easy matter to make the distance in four strokes.  The hole is situated at that entrance of Lawrence which is next to Phelps Hall. The course extends then along the walk in front of Lawrence and Farnum to the fifth hole in the corner formed by Farnum and Battell Chapel. To complete the circuit the players returned to Dwight Hall, the sixth hole being near the steps leading towards Alumni Hall.

The best record so far made over this course, is twenty-three strokes, and is held by A. C. Sherwood ’97. Almost every afternoon matches are played over this course, which excite considerable interest as to their outcome.  The game seems to be growing daily in popularity and it would not be surprising if in a short time a regular tournament should be arranged amongst members of the Senior class.  As there has been no objection on the part of the Faculty and with a careful observance of the rules relating to the Campus, there seems to be no reason why the game should not continue to flourish in the future.

From the Yale Alumni Weekly, November 19, 1896, page 7

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