Building the Yale Golf Course
Yale won the first national intercollegiate championship sponsored by the USGA in 1897. Yale went on to win thirteen of the next twenty championships. Harvard and Princeton split the other seven. However, in 1922 Yale had not won for seven years. Late in 1922, George Townsend Adee wrote to the Director of the University’s Athletic Association with a vision that was to change the course of Yale golf. He wrote from concern and frustration. More and more Yale undergraduates were taking to golf, and Race Brook Country Club was becoming so crowded that they were forced to go even further afield. The New Haven Country Club was closed to undergraduates. Even more worrisome, Princeton had had its own course, Springdale Golf Club, since 1895, and now Harvard was moving to build a course of its own and had started raising money earlier that year. It must have tweaked Adee that Harvard’s opening fund-raiser was an exhibition match that pitted Francis Ouimet, 1913 US Open champion, and Jesse Guilford, 1921 US Amateur champion against Bobby Jones (then a Harvard Law School student) and none other than Yale’s own Jess Sweetser.