be a paratrooper, serving in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Infantry. However, once World War II ended, Dye was stationed in North Carolina, where he became a greenskeeper at the Fort Bragg Golf Course.
After his discharge, Dye enrolled at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., where he met Alice O’Neal, an outstanding amateur golfer whom he married in early 1950. They moved to her hometown, Indianapolis. There, Dye sold insurance and was very successful. All the while, he played golf so well that he bested Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer at the 1957 U.S. Open, and then captured the 1958
at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, which opened three years later.
The 2004 PGA Distinguished Service Award recipient, Dye’s work life was forever altered during a 1963 visit to Scotland. He toured renowned courses St. Andrews, Muirfield, Prestwick, Carnoustie and Royal Dornoch, noting their use of pot bunkers, wooden bulkheads, undulating fair ways and postage-stamp greens, and decided to incorporate them into his own future layouts. Dye’s golf course architect business progressed when he returned home. His first great course, Crooked Stick Golf Club (site of the 1991 PGA Championship) in Carmel, Ind., opened in
“Pete builds courses that really don’t give you a break
mentally – that’s his biggest course characteristic – and the
Straits is that kind of course.”
—Dirk Willis, PGA Manager of Golf Operations and Director of Golf
Indiana State Amateur Championship.
By his mid-30s, Dye decided on golf course design as a living, after taking turf sessions at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. Alice partnered in the new venture and now, nearly 50 years later, is still known as the “First Lady” of golf course architecture in the U.S. The Dyes’ first design was the nine-hole El Dorado course near Indianapolis, which is now part of Royal Oak Country Club. Their first 18-hole course – nearby Heather Hills – came in 1962, and was since renamed Maple Creek Country Club. Also that year, Dye designed Radrick Farms Golf Course
• Crooked Stick Golf Club, Carmel, Ind. (1964)
• Teeth of the Dog, Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic (1971)
• Oak Tree Golf Club, Edmond, Okla. (1974)
• TPC at Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra, Fla. (1980)
• The Honors Golf Club, Ooltewah, Tenn. (1983)
• PGA West Stadium Course, La Quinta, Calif. (1986)
• Atlanta National Golf Club, Alpharetta, Ga. (1987, with son P.B.)
• Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa, South Course in Ranch Mirage, Calif. (1988)
• The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, S.C. (1991)
• Pete Dye Golf Club, Clarksburg, W.Va. (1994)
• Paiute Golf Club Resort, Snow
Mountain (1995), Sun Mountain
(1996) and Wolf (2001) Courses,
• Dye Course at PGA Golf Club in
Port St. Lucie, Fla. (2007)
• The Pete Dye Course, French Lick (Ind.) Resort (2009)
Other notable Dye designs
78 THE OFFICIAL PROGRAM OF THE 2010 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP
1964. Using the Scottish courses as models, Dye transformed flat cornfields into wide fair ways and fair landing areas. He added demanding approaches, replete with railroad ties, strip bunkers, sand and grass pot bunkers, mounds and blind shots.
Another key milestone in Dye’s career occurred in 1967, when he designed The Golf Club near Columbus, Ohio. Dye asked for input from Nicklaus, a local who had begun a storied golf career of his own. The pair soon co-designed Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, S.C. Nicklaus credits Dye with paramount influence on his own approach to course design. And he’s not alone: Bill Coore, Tom Doak, John Harbottle, Butch Laporte, Tim Liddy, Scott Poole, David Postlewaite, Lee Schmidt, Keith Sparkman, Jim Urbina, Bobby Weed, Rod Whitman and Abe Wilson have all worked for Dye at some point in their development as leading golf course architects.
This year the spotlight is on the Straits course, which opened in 1998 and bears all of Dye’s fingerprints. “Pete builds courses that really don’t give you a break mentally – that’s his biggest course characteristic – and the Straits is that kind of course,” says Dirk Willis, manager of golf operations at Destination Kohler and PGA director of golf at Whistling Straits. “The player is