Pete Dye, a legend of 20th-century golf architecture, died on the morning of Jan. 9. He was 94 years old.
Dye, along with his wife Alice, who passed away in February 2019, teamed up to design some of the most recognizable golf courses in the world throughout his illustrious career. The Dyes together designed iconic courses like the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass (as well the complementary Dye’s Valley Course), home of the PGA Tour’s The Players Championship; Teeth of the Dog at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic; Harbour Town Golf Links and the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island in South Carolina; Crooked Stick Golf Club and The Dye Course at French Lick Resort in his native Indiana; The Golf Club in Columbus, Ohio; and both courses at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, including the Straits Course, which will host the 2020 Ryder Cup.
Pete and Alice Dye were married for 69 years, meeting in Florida while studying at Rollins College. Alice was captain of the women’s golf team and met Pete, who played on the men’s team. Alice graduated in 1948, but Pete dropped out of school. Two years later, somewhat at Alice’s direction, the pair were married and settled in Indianapolis.
The couple were selling insurance for several years, at which point Pete Dye wanted to pursue course architecture. The Dyes traveled around, including overseas, studying the great designs of the world. Ultimately, Pete established the design business in the Indianapolis area. His first 18-hole project was Heather Hills in Indianapolis (now Maple Creek Golf & Country Club), to which Alice referred to with a smile as her first solo design.
In 2015, Dye first started showing signs of dementia while working on a greens-renovation project at The Golf Club in Columbus, Ohio, one of his most treasured designs. Three years later, Alice went public with Pete’s condition.
Dye’s final complete golf-course design project was, true to form, a family effort. In St. Michael’s, Md., Pete, Alice and son P.B. renovated the former Harbortowne Golf Links, designed by Pete’s brother, Andy. The course opened as The Links at Perry Cabin in 2019, affiliated with the Inn at Perry Cabin resort.
Pete Dye is survived by his two sons, Perry, 67, and Paul Burke (P.B.), 64, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.