Speak of New Haven, and a number of frightening images come to mind. For the Harvard women's golf team, the Yale golf course is the worst.
Harvard landed in the middle of a field of 15 teams at the Yale Intercollegiate tournament last weekend. The official final results were not available at press time.
After the first day of competition, Harvard was ninth, behind Yale's second team. The Crimson was able to pull ahead one place over the Elis during the second day, moving to an unofficial eighth-place overall.
Harvard was led by captain Alexis Boyle (85-87) and junior Suzanne Ranere (91-91). Senior Megan Murray, junior Christy Nielsen and senior Harlan Fabrikant also played.
The Yale course is considered to be one of the toughest in the country, and Harvard only has one chance each year to brave it.
Everyone seemed to take away the same impression: the course is fiendishly hard.
"Accuracy is the key; there are blind shots to the green and sloped fairways," Nielsen said. "You can't just think about hitting long; you have to be playing your shots."
For the Crimson, the challenge of the course is not merely physical.
"We struggle mentally there knowing that it's so difficult," Fabrikant said. "I think that some of my teammates have nightmares about that course."
The weather, though outwardly cooperative, implemented some subtle sabotage on the second day.
"We didn't get rained on, but it poured [Saturday] night and the ground was soaked," Fabrikant said. "That made it hard reading some putts from the green."
Although Harvard may not have fulfilled its own expectations, the performance at Yale was a step up from the team's previous outing at Dartmouth the weekend before.
The team stands to benefit if it can take the lessons of Yale to Mt. Holyoke this weekend. The Harvard team is very familiar with the course at Mt. Holyoke and historically has done very well there.
"We realized that if we can just clean up our short game, with putting and chipping, we can drop a lot of strokes that way," Nielsen said.