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The New Haven Register sports department is celebrating our 200th birthday by sharing 200 of the most interesting stories relating to sports in Greater New Haven over the past 200 years. Check back daily for historical updates.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New Haven's first golf course, built in 1895

Golf would have found its way to the area sooner or later. But it was a bit of blind luck that led to the creation of the city’s first course.

Robert Pryde, a Scottish immigrant, was a tradesman building an armoire for retired businessman Justus Hotchkiss on Church Street in the spring of 1895. Hotchkiss noticed Pryde’s brogue and inquired whether he knew anything of golf, still a relatively unknown sport in the U.S.

Pryde had not only played in Scotland, but manufactured and repaired clubs. Hotchkiss promptly fetched his neighbor, Yale law professor Theodore Woolsey, with whom he had discussed building a course in the area.

It wasn’t long before property along Prospect and Winchester Avenue was leased. Pryde was hired to lay out a 9-hole course. That fall, it was ready for play.

Read Chip Malafronte's complete story.

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