Most athletes at Yale draw a sharp line between their academic and athletic careers. But Ben Wescoe’s ’10 passion for golf has enabled him to combine both.
“He wears on his sleeve his love of the game and his respect for the traditions,” head coach Colin Sheehan ’97 said. “It’s a delight as a coach to have a player like that who cares so deeply about the sport.”
Wescoe’s deep commitment to the sport stems from his involvement in all aspects of golf, not just the game itself. His passion for landscape architecture and art has brought him closer to the sport and created a new love for the game.
“My new love for the game is the golf course itself, especially the sea-side links courses, which are courses on the shore,” Wescoe said.
Wescoe’s senior thesis exemplifies this fervor. The History of Art major is writing his senior essay on golf course architecture, specifically Royal West Norfolk Golf Club in Brancaster, England, through which he will make connections to contemporary landscape artists Maya Lin, Richard Long and Andy Goldsworthy.
“I hope to prove golf courses can be appreciated as landscape art, not just as a playing field for sports,” he said. “I have some wonderful faculty advisors who have supported me and encouraged me and who share my enthusiasm for the project. It’s been fun to combine my passion for golf with my art interest.”
Despite Wescoe’s claims of a newfound love in the golf course itself, his teammates and coach insist that this modest golfer can hold his own with a club in his hands.
Sheehan has been particularly impressed by his ability to improve each year a Yale — something he admitted doesn’t usually happen.
“He was a very good player when he arrived, but he has blossomed into one of the finest players in the Ivy League,” Sheehan said.
For his teammates, Wescoe’s intangibles are just as impressive and match his ability to play the game.
“He’s a great player, a great leader, a great representation of Yale golf,” teammate Brad Kushner ’13 said. “He definitely has helped out the freshmen this year by showing us around and just being there for us when we need help or have questions.”
Wescoe’s leadership and passion for the sport extends beyond his golf and into the New Haven community at-large. Frustrated about the inaccessibility of the game for many people, Wescoe decided to do something about it. This year he started the Yale First Tee program, through which he hopes to introduce New Haven’s youth to golf.
“We will be giving lessons and mentoring,” he said.
Such poise on and off the course helps to explain why Wescoe’s favorite professional golfer is Tom Watson.
“He [Watson] grew up in Kansas where my whole family is from, and he went to Stanford, which I thought was really sweet because it’s a great academic school,” Wescoe said.
After graduation, Wescoe hopes to attend Cambridge for one year, completing a master’s program in the department of the history of art and architecture. He is looking to do independent architecture research and pursue studies in golf course architecture and landscape art.