Considered in many circles to be the most influential golf course architect of the last five decades, Pete designed courses for five decades,
and he came by that career naturally.
His father designed and built a nine-hole golf course on his mother's farm in Urbana, Ohio, and Pete grew up playing and working on this course.
A YOUNG CHAMPION
In 1938 Pete competed in a pro-junior tournament at the Dayton Country Club.
He went on to win the Ohio State High School Championship and was a medalist in the Ohio State Amateur.
Pete Dye and Alice O’Neal bonded over a common pastime–golf.
Alice and Pete were married in 1950, and they moved to Indianapolis where Pete became a star salesman for The Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company.
Before he was 30 years old, Pete was one of the few Midwest members of the Million Dollar Round Table.
“EXTRAORDINARY GOLF TALENT”
At 31, Pete qualified for the U.S. Open in 1957 at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, but shot 152 (+12) to miss the cut by two strokes, as did Arnold Palmer.
Seventeen-year-old amateur Jack Nicklaus was eight strokes behind them at 160.
A CHAMPION LADY GOLFER
Alice Dye was the winner of more than 50 amateur golf titles including 9 State Championships in Indiana, three State Championships in Florida, the Women’s North and South, the Eastern, and was a member of the 1970 Curtis Cup Team.
She went on to win two USGA Senior tournaments, two Canadian Senior tournaments and a gold medal in golf at the Senior Olympics.
THE FIRST DESIGNS
Pete and Alice began by building a nine-hole course just south of Indianapolis called El Dorado, now titled Royal Oak Country Club.
They built their first 18-hole course, Heather Hills, now named Maple Creek Country Club.
Pete’s boss couldn’t believe he could do such a thing, nobody ever heard of golf course architect then.
- ALICE DYE TOLD GOLF.COM
FATHER OF MODERN GOLF COURSE ARCHITECTURE
Pete began incorporating Scottish concepts into his designs.
This, in turn, influenced future golf architects, and Pete has been hailed as the father of modern golf course architecture.
Pete and Alice Dye’s designs have been presidential favorites.
La Cana Golf Club in the Dominican Republic is a favorite of President Bill Clinton and Luana Hills on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu is a first choice of President Barack Obama.
TEAMMATES THROUGHOUT THE YEARS
Pete and Alice co-designed championship caliber golf courses all over the globe including:
PGA West in La Quinta, California
The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Resort in Kiawah, South Carolina
Harbour Town Golf Links and Long Cove Club on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana
Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin
Teeth of the Dog in La Romana, Dominican Republic
Tournament Players Club at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
“Every time you build a golf course, it’s not a golf course when you get there. You have to improvise.”
First female President of the ASGCA
First female Independent Director of the PGA of America
50+ amateur golf titles
Donald Ross Award
Creator of the “Two Tee System for Women”
Indiana Hall of Fame
Heritage of Indianapolis Award
Old Tom Morris Award
PGA Distinguished Service Award
PGA Lifetime Achievement Award
World Golf Hall of Fame
Donald Ross Award
Indiana Hall of Fame
MASTERPIECES LIVE ON
Pete designed courses even in his later years, while Alice continued to crusade for making courses manageable for women.
BORN INTO THE GAME
Paul (“Pete”) Dye, born December 29, 1925 in Urbana, Ohio, to Paul and Elizabeth Dye, was a legend in the field of golf course design and construction throughout the expanding world of golf.
LOVE & WAR
World War II
interrupted Pete’s high school education, and in 1945 he served in the 82nd Airborne Infantry of the United States Army. Upon his discharge, he attended Rollins College, where he met Alice O'Neal.
CHAMPION GOLFER, HEART OF A DESIGNER
In the 1950s, Pete and Alice Dye were pursuing their golf careers.
Pete won the 1958 Indiana State Amateur Championship after a runner-up finish in 1954 and 1955.
He also played in the 1957 US Open, where he finished ahead of both Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.
Alice was earning a name for herself in golf as well and went on to claim the US Senior Women’s Amateur title on her way to more than 50 titles.
Although champion golfers, the Dyes’ interest was really in the design and maintenance of courses.
THE BEGINNING OF A LEGACY
In 1959, Pete decided to leave the life insurance business to devote his time to designing and building golf courses.
Supporting the career change and partnering with him in the new venture, Alice accompanied Pete on a visit to noted golf course architect, Bill Diddle, in his log cabin at Woodland Country Club.
Mr. Diddle was not too encouraging about the economic rewards of the golf course architecture profession.
Undaunted, Pete and Alice pursued.
A 1963 trip to Scotland profoundly impacted Pete's subsequent designs.
Touring the great Scottish courses, he was influenced by the features he saw including small greens, pot bunkers, undulating fairways and wooden bulkheads.
Golf is not a fair game.
So why should I build
a fair course? PETE DYE
WORLD CLASS CO-DESIGNERS
In the ‘80s and ’90s the Dyes co-designed numerous courses which are now hailed as some of the most iconic courses in the world.
“Alice and Pete Dye were a dynamic duo, a genuine partnership, in every sense of the phrase,” said President Greg Martin, ASGCA.
ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY COURSE DESIGN
Pete was acclaimed for his innovative, environmentally friendly designs.
He lent his expertise in the renovation of The Kampen Course of Purdue University's Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex.
The Kampen Course incorporates Pete's drainage and irrigation designs and wetlands areas that help recycle and purify water that drains onto the course.
The course additionally serves as a living laboratory, combining turfgrass research and environmental studies.
HONORS & AWARDS
Both Pete and Alice were recipients of the Donald Ross Award and members of the Indiana Hall of Fame.
In 2004 Alice was voted the recipient of the PGA's First Lady of Golf Award, and in 2008 Pete was honored by the World Golf Hall of Fame with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The ardent golfer
would play Mount Everest
if somebody put
a flagstick on top. Pete Dye
HOME ON THE COURSE
On January 9, 2020, golf legend Pete Dye passed away at 94 years old. His influence on the sport will live on as golfers continue to play on his beautiful courses for years to come.
In 2019, Alice Dye —“The First Lady of Golf Architecture”— passed away at 91 years old and will be remembered as a pioneer in designing courses alongside her husband.
In almost 69 years of marriage, Pete and Alice Dye’s inseparable partnership and iconic designs made an everlasting impact on local and global golf communities.