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Colin Sheehan

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Quasquicentennial Anniversary of Golf in New Haven
« on: December 08, 2020, 02:44:13 PM »
After seeing the thread about Robert Pryde's courses, it reminded me to share this.

This year marked the 125th anniversary of the royal & ancient game coming to the Elm City.
Here is a link with a significant amount of material   

It includes a pamphlet from Robert Pryde’s speech to the New Haven Colony Historical Society in April of 1947 followed by a number of items I was able to track down at the New Haven Museum, as well as obituaries from the Yale Manuscripts & Archives’ online files of the very Yale alums mentioned in Pryde’s speech. (Yale once published an annual list of alumni obituaries until 1952, which have since been uploaded to the archive’s website.) Included is an overlay of the no longer existing New Haven Golf Club layout that began at the corner of Winchester and Division Street superimposed on the present-day neighborhood. The slideshow concludes with nearly every reference to New Haven-related golf in the Yale Daily News online archives from 1895-1901. It is a fascinating story of Yale students, alums, and New Haven residents’ sudden and profound enthusiasm for the game. What’s interesting is how it started with a chance encounter between Justus Hotchkiss (at his home on the corners of Wall and Church Streets) and Robert Pryde, at the time a 25-year-old Scottish cabinet maker. Here is an index of the YDN articles.

And separately, I created an additional slideshow of Yale alumni obituaries from those same online archives. It includes anyone who had a relationship to the New Haven Golf Club, New Haven Country Club, the team, the Ray Tompkins Memorial or more broadly to the game. I hope you find this link equally fascinating. Also, if you only read one obituary, I encourage you to check out the last one in the series, which is for Major Frederic Borsodi ’39, for whom the student championship is dedicated.
Here is a link to the glossary of the obituaries.

Here's the proof for a small, scorecard being done by letterpress in New Haven.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2020, 01:33:44 PM by Colin Sheehan »

Neil Regan

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Re: Quasquicentennial Anniversary of Golf in New Haven
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2020, 12:13:00 AM »

That’s all really interesting, fascinating, often inspiring reading.
Just reading about Walter Camp can you send down a rabbit hole of American history.

The obituary of Borsodi ‘39 must cause any reader to pause in silence and gratitude for those who kept us free.
Straight into the Navy from Yale, re-joined after Pearl Harbor, 5 years a pilot, Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with 15 Oak-Leaf Clusters as a fighter pilot behind enemy lines in the years when the world was on the edge, shot down and hit the ground between lines in a raging battle, rescued by a tank that then broke down, they ran 300 yards through German firing, he escaped with his life, then back overseas at the end of 1944, only to die testing a new fighter plane.
Always remember.

I don’t see 2 still well-known names in your collection:
Jess Sweetser ‘23
Herbert Warren Wind ‘37

Grass speed  <>  Green Speed

Colin Sheehan

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Re: Quasquicentennial Anniversary of Golf in New Haven
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2020, 08:47:57 AM »
I'm glad you liked it. Borsordi was indeed an incredible individual. I love the bit where he returned to the United States in a captured German bomber.

How about Charles Banks a member of the banjo and mandolin club?

Unfortunately, Yale ceased publishing the semiannual alumni obits in 1952. I would have liked to read about Samuel Morse, William Langford, Herb Wind and more of the YGT members who won all those national championships during the teens, twenties and thirties in that university-specific format.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2020, 10:41:25 AM by Colin Sheehan »

Neil Regan

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Re: Quasquicentennial Anniversary of Golf in New Haven
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2020, 08:32:57 PM »
So maybe a banjo instead of a bagpipe as you walk off the 18th on summer evenings ?
Grass speed  <>  Green Speed

Jim Hoak

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Re: Quasquicentennial Anniversary of Golf in New Haven
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2020, 09:03:18 PM »
Inspiring, Colin.  Brings tears!
What a history of a great course!


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