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10 of the Best Pete Dye Golf Courses

By: Golfshake Editor | Fri 10 Jan 2020 | Comments

Pete Dye, the prolific golf course designer, who has passed away at the age of 94, was among the best known and most significant figures in his field of architecture. Bringing a visually distinctive and bold philosophy to his creations, the American's layouts - numbering over 200 worldwide - are dramatic, intimidating, memorable, with many having become iconic due to their regular hosting of major championships.

Like any great artist, Dye's courses have always drawn strong reactions, sometimes critical, but his influence and status cannot be overstated. Creating a brand with his late wife Alice, who frequently collaborated together, Dye Design has now extended to younger generations, ensuring that a name that is synonymous with the game shall continue to be heard in future.

Reflecting on the golf courses that he has left behind, we have taken a glance across the map to pick out some of the best known that encapsulate what Pete Dye was all about.

Harbour Town Golf Links

Located on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Harbour Town was designed by Pete Dye in 1967 with input from Jack Nicklaus, and it's arguably his finest, regarded as one of the leading public courses in the United States and has been home to the RBC Heritage - a favourite event of PGA Tour players - for 50 years.

The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass

Dye's most famed design, the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass was intended to deliver drama, and it unquestionably has through decades of hosting The Players Championship, featuring one of the most recognisable holes in golf in the par 3 17th, the uniquely shaped island green being the brainchild of Alice Dye. 

Whistling Straits

Backed by the millions of Herb Kohler, Pete Dye paid homage to the links courses of the British Isles by mapping out Whistling Straits, a striking course that is breathtaking in its scope, qualities that have been showcased through the PGA Championship in 2004, 2010 and 2015, with even more eyes to come in 2020 at the Ryder Cup.

Ocean Course at Kiawah Island

Pete and Alice unveiled the Ocean Course in 1991 just in time for an infamous Ryder Cup that became known as the War on the Shore. Exposed to the Atlantic Ocean, this fearsome layout can terrorise golfers, but Rory McIlroy found it to his liking when he ran away with the Wanamaker Trophy in 2012. The PGA Championship shall return in 2021.

Teeth of the Dog

Located in the Dominican Republic, Teeth of the Dog is revered as the best golf course in the Caribbean, a visual masterpiece, spectacularly running alongside the ocean, with seven holes hugging the coastline. Opened in 1971, this venue continues to captivate golfers travelling from across the planet.

Crooked Stick

Dye's first popularly known design, situated in Alice's hometown of Indianapolis, Crooked Stick is a typically striking fare, best remembered for hosting the 1991 PGA Championship, crowning John Daly's unlikely victory. In later years, this course has welcomed the Solheim Cup and PGA Tour events won by Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson.

Blackwolf Run

Opened in 1988 to great acclaim, Blackwolf Run in Wisconsin is another public venue, featuring the River Course and Meadow Valleys Course that have been combined to host the U.S. Women's Open on two occasions, won by Se Ri Pak in 1988, and Na Yeon Choi in 2012.

Austin Country Club

This private club in Texas has a long history, but only moved to its present site, this Pete Dye creation, in 1984. While it is overshadowed by many of the designs featured above, regular viewers of televised golf will recognise the course for having been host to the WGC Match Play since 2016.

PGA West Stadium Course

The PGA West Stadium Course in La Quinta, California, was deemed so difficult for professionals that they refused to return to the Bob Hope Classic in 1988 unless it was removed from the event. However, decades later, the Stadium Course has been restored to the tournament now known as the Desert Classic.

The Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort

Pete Dye's eponymous course at Indiana's French Lick Resort was a late example of his style, famously sketched on a napkin, a vision that was transformed into a scenic and elevated layout. Colin Montgomerie won the 2015 Senior PGA Championship on this intense and dramatic design, which is unforgettable to play.

So, there you have it, just a sweeping example of Pete Dye's legacy. His golf courses will live on.

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