Gil Hanse tapped to restore the Yale University Golf Course

It’s been a long time coming, but Yale University’s golf course is finally getting the restoration it has so badly needed, and it’s being done under the direction of Gil Hanse.

The Yale Golf Course is legendary for its 1920s golf architecture designed by Charles Blair Macdonald and Seth Raynor. The course opened in 1925 and has been a staple ever since, with appearances on most major top-100 lists. However, the ravages of time began to weigh heavily upon the course itself, with it falling into disrepair in the 70s and 80s. Some efforts have been made recently to reclaim the fairways and greens from tree overgrowth and bunker deterioration, but they’ve been piecemeal at best, without a concerted effort behind them.

Enter Gil Hanse: aside from his work as a golf course architect, he has also spent considerable time restoring courses, with such projects as Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania and the Lower course at Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey part of his resume.

“The restoration of Yale Golf Course is the most significant restoration opportunity we have been entrusted with,” Hanse said in a Yale press release. “The tremendous history of the design, the original significance of the course, and the potential that exists within its landscape are truly staggering. In restoring the scale of the design and the property, we have the opportunity to reacquaint the golf world with one of the landmark courses in the history of American golf course architecture.”

One ace up his sleeve is access to the course’s original design plans, courtesy of the university. Also at his disposal are multiple aerial shots, ground imagery, maps, and notes. Some of the specific goals include a faithful restoration of the greens and fairways, as well as to bring back the “grand scale” of the grounds.

The massive undertaking will be funded by Yale alumni in the amount of $25 million and is expected to start at the end of the 2022 season and lasting 22 to 24 months.

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