Golf Course Architects – Pete Dye

Social media is a buzz with condolences and prayers for Pete Dye’s family. As an avid golfer, most would be surprised that I have shown very little interest in golf course architecture. It has never interested my golfing thoughts and as such I have pretty much left this area of discussion to those who have more knowledge. Having said that, I would be remiss to not mention the passing of one of the greatest golf course architects in the modern era.

Pete Dye designed or co-designed well over 100 golf courses world wide. For a complete list check out this site called DYE DESIGNS. That is an amazing contribution to the golfing world. What an impact for sure; I cannot imagine how he manage all those projects over the years, yet he did.

Mr. Dye was also very accomplished. He was recognized by virtually everyone associated with golf course design. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia outlining some of his rewards:

Dye received the Old Tom Morris Award in 2003 from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, their highest honor. In 2004, he was the recipient of the PGA Distinguished Service Award, the highest annual honor of the PGA of America, which recognizes individuals who display leadership and humanitarian qualities, including integrity, sportsmanship and enthusiasm for the game of golf. In 2005, Dye became the sixth recipient of the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in November 2008 in the Lifetime Achievement category. The American Society of Golf Course Architects bestowed the Donald Ross Award on Dye in 1995. Dye was named Architect of the Year by Golf World magazine, awarded a Doctor of Landscape Architecture degree from Purdue University, received Indiana’s Sagamore of the Wabash award and was honored as Family of the Year by the National Golf Foundation.

Every article I read also talked about Pete Dye the man. He was a gentlemen by all accounts. There probably is no greater compliment than being respected by the greatest golfers of the 20th Century. Mr. Dye was definitely one of those rare people that when he spoke, virtually everyone listened to his thoughts. Jack Nicklaus, the greatest golfer of all time in my opinion, had this to say:

“What Pete Dye has done for the game of golf is something for which we should all be thankful,” said Jack Nicklaus in an story. “He changed the way we think about golf course design, and how design works. … Because of the attention that Pete Dye-designed courses have brought to the game, there are lots of people who are now able to make a living at golf course design. Me included.”

Again, I have never paid much attention to who designed the courses I play, but I think that will change in the future. Sometimes one has to play a little more attention to the details of things around them and this is one of those topics I think is worth pursuing thanks to Mr. Dye.

Rest in peace Pete Dye. You will not soon be forgotten.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

6 thoughts on “Golf Course Architects – Pete Dye

  1. Jim, nice tribute and thanks for including the list of Dye courses. As I perused, I was struck by how many he had done in Japan and central America. Never even suspected they played golf in Guatemala.

    On the list, there are several great courses with the most notable being the Stadium course at TPC where The Players is contested. Dye certainly wrote the book on how to use mounding and railroad ties in his designs.

    I’ve played three. Bulle Rock in Maryland, and Legends Moorland and Barefoot Dye in South Carolina. Admittedly a small sample size, but what struck me is the difficult sight lines he presents. On Barefoot, I recall several tee shots where you surveyed a pile of fairway bunkers and just wondered where you were supposed to hit it. Barefoot Dye is on the course list for my February trip/competition and I’m looking forward to another try.




    • Thanks Brian. Mr. Dye was a great architect. I heard about the sight lines before, but never really paid close attention unless I was playing. I will be interested to hear about your adventure at Barefoot Dye in February. Please let us know how it goes.

      Cheers Jim


  2. I’ve never played a Pete Dye designed course. There are a few down here, but none close by. We do have some Tom Fazio and Donald Ross and Robert Trent Jones, Sr, designed courses though and they are all great challenges. And we have one course that I know of designed by a guy named Diddel. He built mostly courses with lower budgets but they are great tests of your game. The one we have here locally has seen Arnold Palmer and even Ben Hogan playing it over the years.

    It’s not something I pay a ton of attention to either, but I can’t help but notice that some of the bigger names in golf course design created courses that I get to play on occasion.


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