Top college campus golf course nearing renovation

Top college campus golf course nearing renovation


The college golf course that tops the Golfweek’s Best list of campus tracks is expected to get a facelift in the near future, and a recent decision should help push that renovation along.

Yale University’s course, which is nearly a century old, was given a boost when the city planning commission for New Haven, Connecticut, signed off on the upcoming project that will refurbish the C.B. Macdonald and Seth Raynor design to its original state.

In the process, up to 1,500 mature trees could be felled, one of the reasons the project has been held up to this point.

The course led the most recent college campus course rankings released by Golfweek, back in 2022. This list focuses on courses owned and/or operated by colleges or other campuses, with data pulled from Golfweek‘s massive database of course rankings.

This has been the site of every significant Connecticut state championship, two USGA Junior National events, and NCAA Regionals in 1991, 1995, 2004, 2010, 2015 and again in 2022. The course has also been the home of the Nike Connecticut Open.

According to a story in the New Haven Register, the project still needs to pass through an approval process from the Army Corps of Engineers, but then the work on the 278-acre parcel can begin:

Victoria Chun, director of athletics at Yale, said her goal has always been to be “a great partner to our neighbors.” An example was her decision to open the golf course to the general public rather than be membership-based.

The neighbors have also long accessed the course for walking and sledding. Chun said going forward, Yale will develop a 1.5-mile cross-country skiing trail when there is a heavy snowfall. Residents can also walk along the paved path from the entrance to the clubhouse.

The positive impact of the course renovation includes the removal of invasive plants and conservation measures that will lessen the need for city water when ponds on the course are dredged to increase storage capacity and a new computer-controlled irrigation system is installed. The renovation will upgrade tees, greens, bunkers and fairways, lengthen the course, realign the golf cart path and plant 35 acres of native grasses.

Chun said the university plans to hire an arborist to take stock of the course’s trees and then develop a management plan.


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