Jacksonville Sports Day

THE PLAYERS: The Passing of the Architect

Paul (Pete) Dye, who enlivened modern golf architecture by building distinctive and difficult courses that could make both expert and average golfers scratch their heads in frustration and whose career was as long as it was notable, has died at age 94.

He designed dozens of courses, many of them done in partnership with his wife of 68 years, Alice.

Some of Dye’s courses are among the most well-known in the world: THE PLAYERS Stadium at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., home of THE PLAYERS since 1982; Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, S.C., site of an annual PGA TOUR event since 1969; Whistling Straits (Straits Course) in Haven, Wis., a three-time PGA Championship venue.

THE PLAYERS Championship will be held at TPC Sawgrass, March 9-15, 2020.

“Every potential site I see brings new challenges, and I continue to learn more every day,” Dye wrote in 2013 in an updated edition of his 1994 memoir, Bury Me in a Pot Bunker. “My inspiration comes from the golfers themselves, who, in spite of kicking and cursing find a trip around a Pete Dye golf course is always memorable.”

Utilizing small, sloping greens, pot bunkers, severe mounding and strategically located water hazards, Dye built courses that messed with a golfer’s mind before he settled over a shot.

His work seemed to characterize the philosophy of the legendary British writer Bernard Darwin that “golf at its best is a perpetual adventure” and that “it ought be a risky business.”

Dye’s edgy creations—“Golf is not a fair game, so why should I build a fair golf course,” he said—stood in sharp contrast to his disarming and generous personality. “I get a kick out of overtipping people who usually don’t get any tip at all, like the girl at the ice-cream counter., Dye told Golf Digest in 2002. “It leaves her happy and makes my ice cream taste better.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *