New Golf Facility Named in Honor of Longtime Yale Coach
The David Paterson Golf Technology Center, a new facility to enhance the training and performance of the men’s and women’s teams, was formally dedicated on May 3. Lead donor Harry L. You ’83 M.A. was recognized for his generosity, as were fellow golf supporters John B. Beinecke ’69, William S. Beinecke ’36, Michael L. Friedman ’55, James C. Israel ’90, and James A. Warner ’81.
Named in honor of longtime Yale golf coach Dave Paterson, who is retiring, the new center is a state-of-the-art indoor golf area located on the second floor of the historic Payne Whitney Gymnasium.
The facility features four hitting banks and a 630-square-foot professional putting green with 100 square feet of surrounding fringe. It includes a putt training system that provides real-time feedback based on 28 parameters of a putting stroke; a K Vest, which measures the path of the hips, shoulders and arms through the swing; and video swing analysis software.
Speaking at the dedication, Tom Beckett, director of Yale Athletics, said, “Teaching is at the heart of what Yale does. To be able to say to students and faculty that we provide you with world-class facilities is also what Yale takes pride in.”
Ellen Brophy ’08, captain of the 2007–2008 women’s golf team, said the players already had the opportunity to take advantage of the new facility. “Being able to just come to the gym right on campus has been amazing,” she said. “Players come by in between classes to hit a few balls or roll a few putts, and they come by late at night. It just makes it so easily accessible.”
Andrew Denenberg ’08, captain of this year’s men’s team, noted, “I think it is a bit ironic that there is a technology center named after Dave Paterson, because he is pretty much the most old-school guy I know. I remember the first time I had troubles with my swing as a freshman I asked him for some help and he said, ‘Just hit it, harder.’”
In his remarks, Paterson recalled an anecdote about a new scholar’s first visit to the Payne Whitney Gym, “who, when he saw a man walk out with a bag of golf clubs, said ‘Don’t tell me you have a golf course in there as well? ’” He noted that thirty-three years later, the gym does indeed have an indoor golf course, albeit through a projection screen.
Harry You praised Paterson’s virtues as a coach, teacher, and mentor: “It reminds me of the old saying that ‘A great teacher affects eternity, but he never knows exactly where his influence may end.’”
(June 27, 2008)