May 4, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Saturday, May 3, 2008 marked an extensive upgrade for the Yale golf program and Payne Whitney Gymnasium. The David Paterson Technology Center was dedicated in honor of longtime Yale golf coach, Dave Paterson.
The Center is a state-of-the art indoor golf area located on the 2nd floor of the historic Payne Whitney Gymnasium. It features the latest technology and equipment to enhance the quality of training and the performance of the men's and women's teams.
Highlights of the Center include four hitting banks and a 630 square foot professional putting green with 100 square feet of surrounding fringe. In addition, the complimentary technology includes a putt training system which 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.
The dedication began with hors d'oeuvres and drinks in the hallway of the Center. The group then moved into the Kiphuth Trophy Room, a room featuring Yale athletic memorabilia dating back to 1842, for speeches and the presentation of plaques to the donors. Athletic Director Thomas Beckett began the proceedings with the first speech of the evening. He spoke about the Payne Whitney Gymnasium and the mission of the Yale Athletics.
"Teaching is at the heart of what Yale does," said Beckett. "To be able to say to students and faculty that we provide you with world class facilities is also what Yale takes pride in."
He then introduced the 2007-2008 men's and women's golf captains, senior Andrew Denenberg and senior Ellen Brophy. Ellen took the microphone first to talk about how the golf teams have been able to use the center so far and what it has meant to the team.
"Being able to just come to the gym right on campus has been amazing," said Brophy. "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."
Following Ellen was men's captain Andrew Denenberg. He roused many laughs from the crowd with his lighthearted and fun account of Coach Paterson and the technology center.
"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," said Denenberg. "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.'"
After the captains finished, Thomas Beckett took the podium again to introduce Coach Paterson. Before doing so he briefly drew a comparison between Coach Paterson and Robert Kiphuth, pointing out their illustrious careers, but also their ability to teach their students. He then introduced Coach Paterson who came to the microphone amid an eruption of cheers. Coach Paterson spoke about his career at Yale, told a few anecdotes and thanked many of his friends and donors. The story that garnered the most laughs and applauses referenced the first time he visited Yale:
"I came here in 1975 and I remember visiting the Payne Whitney Gymnasium," said Paterson. "The athletic director at that time was Lenny Kiphuth, Bob's son, and he was telling me about an English administrative assistant he had shown around the 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?'"
33 years later, Payne Whitney finally has its indoor golf course, albeit through a projection screen.
Coach Paterson then introduced his long-time friend and donor to the facility, Harry You, a graduate of the School of Management in 1981. He reiterated a sentiment that had come across in every speaker so far, the ability of Coach Paterson to affect so many people as a coach, teacher and mentor.
"It reminds me of the old saying that, `A great teacher effects eternity, but he never knows exactly where his influence may end,'" said You.
Coach Paterson's influence and teaching will continue on through eternity at Yale through the center that now bears his name.
Finally, Thomas Beckett and Coach Paterson came back up to the podium to present each donor with a mounted gold key to the center. The men receiving plaques were:
Harry L. You M.A. `81 John B. Beinecke `69 William S. Beinecke `36 Michael L. Friedman `55 James C. Israel `90 James A. Warner `81
The proceedings then moved back into the center, where Coach Paterson and Harry You cut the tape, officially opening the center. Coach Paterson stepped into the golf simulator and christened the center by taking the first shot on the 18th hole of St. Andrews. St. Andrews is located in Coach Paterson's home country of Scotland and is known as the "home of golf."
Report filed by Charles Moore `10, Yale Sports Publicity