The Golf Course at Yale
-Rankings as of 8/26/2013...70th best course in the US (Golf Magazine), 35th Best US Classic Course and #1 University Course (Golfweek)
To be frank, The Golf Course at Yale is a mind-blower. The land is severe and the golf architecture big and bold. At the time of construction (1925), Yale had the biggest construction budget of any golf course due to the severity of the land. And CB MacDonald and Seth Raynor embraced the bold nature of the land and built a golf course that is very extreme. Now, I love extreme golf courses...so I love Yale.
The course starts out fine and, what I thought was, bold. But when you get to the third hole, the extreme boldness ramps up. In fact, walking from the 2nd green to 3rd tee my playing partner warned me, "Prepare to get your mind bent." But even with his warning, I was not ready for it.
With the green blind off the tee and approach (nestled behind the mound off the left of this photo), the golfer doesn't know what to expect. And this builds the drama as the 2nd shot is hit and the green approached.
This type of excitement is only beginning as you hole out your putts on the 3rd hole.
The fairways have amazing contours and they seem to blend wonderfully into the greens.
With the 9th green (Biarritz) being the boldest version of the MacDonald/Raynor template I've seen, aside from the original at North Berwick.
If the course were to find some way to continually improve its maintenance practices, I think they'll have a World Top 10/25 type of course. In my opinion, it is some improved maintenance practices away from being in the same league as The National Golf Links of America and Fishers Island.
Any fan of big, bold, and extreme golf courses need to rush to Yale to play this gem.