A proposal to construct a top-notch golf facility in nearby Woodbridge, Connecticut and upgrade the well-known Course at Yale is currently awaiting consideration by the University and the city of New Haven.
The proposal, spearheaded by investor and Yale Corporation Senior Fellow Roland Betts ’68, was first introduced this July to the administration of the town of Woodbridge. It suggests that Redan Reserve LLC, the company of which Betts is the chairman, transform the existing golf course at the Country Club of Woodbridge into a “championship [top-100] ranked golf course.”
The plan would also include a partnership with the University in which Redan would restore and operate the Course at Yale as well as construct a lodging facility of approximately 80 rooms on its nearby land. According to the proposal, hotel operations would be provided by The Study in New Haven.
“The Redan Reserve concept is an intriguing one that is of significant interest to our Board of Selectmen and many of our residents,” Woodbridge First Selectman Ellen Scalettar said. “[Woodbridge] awaits news from Redan Reserve regarding Yale’s interest — and the city of New Haven’s interest — in the Redan Reserve project.”
According to Redan’s proposal, which is expected to cost $3.5 million, the restoration of the Course at Yale would be “faithful” to its original, historic design, while the revamped course in Woodbridge would be “entirely modern and unique.” Both courses would be open to the general public and built with the explicit intention of being ranked among the top 100 courses in the world, according to the proposal for the course.
At a Woodbridge town meeting in late July, residents expressed “great interest” in the proposal, Scalettar said. And on Aug. 1, the Woodbridge Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to continue negotiating with Redan on the purchase of the whole 153-acre property. In addition, the town will also explore a second option that would convert the property to open space.
New Haven City spokesman Laurence Grotheer said Mayor Toni Harp has had one preliminary meeting with Betts to discuss the plan. Grotheer did not provide further information on the topic.
Director of Golf Operations at The Course at Yale Peter Pulaski did not respond to multiple requests for comment this week.
Though it is unclear how far negotiations between the city and University have gone, the town of Woodbridge has support for the deal. At the same meeting where selectmen decided to continue conversations with Betts on the proposal, the selectmen also voted to not renew the town’s contract with Billy Casper Golf, a company that manages over 140 golf courses throughout the U.S. BCG has been responsible for managing the already existing 18-hole golf course at the country club for the last three years, and its contract expires on Dec. 31 of this year.
The selectmen elected to move forward with Redan, edging out a competing proposal present in July by Pennsylvania-based real-estate company Toll Brothers. The Toll Brothers plan suggested the construction of 80 “adult housing units” on 42 acres of land, according to reports by the New Haven Register. The board voted unanimously against the proposal, noting in a press release that zoning and other concerns outweighed the plan’s financial merits.
If the proposal is ultimately approved by all concerned parties, the new course would be designed by Gil Hanse. Hanse was most recently responsible for designing the golf course in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Olympics.