Yale Golf Course is back in business.
The course, which is ranked No. 1 on Golfweek’s Best Campus Courses in 2019 and is perennially the top college campus course, closed for the season last November.
But after an unusually long nine-month closure due to COVID-19, Yale University hired Peter Palacios Jr. to become the golf course’s new general manager, according to yaledailynews.com. Palacios replaced Peter Pulaski, who had served as general manager for 20 years, and one of his first decisions was to make the course free to play for Yale students on weekdays after 12 p.m.
“The goal is to number one, restore the golf course to its original design and bring the golf course playability conditions back up to championship-caliber level in order to host NCAA tournaments and other big events,” Palacios told yaledailynews. “Even though we are three miles apart [from campus], apparently there is a big disconnect between the university and the golf course, and one of the main goals is to try and reconnect that. The primary goal is number one to get the students involved and get the students educated into what value the golf course can bring to them.”
There are restrictions in place during the reopening:
- Only residents of Connecticut can register for tee times; students must be classified as “in-residence.”
- Connecticut residents cannot bring out-of-state guests.
- All rounds will start on No. 10 and end on No. 8, as the ninth hole is closed as part of a construction project. (Yale’s website says a 17-hole round will be deemed a complete round.)
- The clubhouse, pro shop, driving range and practice putting green are also closed for now.
A native of Laredo, Texas, Palacios has been around the sport of golf his whole life. His father played on the Mexican tour and owned a golf shop for more than 30 years in the Rio Grande valley, while his uncle served as the resident golf pro for a country club in Saltillo, Mexico. Palacios played golf and earned a bachelor’s degree at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. He has worked at golf courses across the country, from Texas to Florida to Wyoming. Palacios’ most recent post before accepting the job at Yale was the Eau Claire Golf & Country Club in Wisconsin.
Yale Golf Course, which opened in 1926, also lost 17-year course superintendent Scott Ramsay during the closure. His position remains unfilled, and Palacios said finding a new superintendent will be a priority for him come winter.