News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Rub of the Green

November 7, 2009

Rub of the Green: Course architect Pete Dye has had lasting impression on game

It would seem that the more you learn about Pete Dye, the golf course architect, the more there is to admire about the man. It was decades ago when Dye determined that the insurance business was not for him, and he decided to begin designing golf courses. Even Pete, himself, in all likelihood, couldn’t have known the impact he was going to make on the golf world.

When The Cook Group offered him the opportunity to construct The Pete Dye Course at French Lick, Pete accepted the challenge with nothing more than a handshake to finalize the deal.

After being asked what would happen if he became ill and wouldn’t be able to complete his work on the French Lick course, he advised that his wife and partner, Alice O’Neal Dye was perfectly capable of finishing work on the course on time and on budget. Alice has won many golf championships throughout Indiana and beyond.

Pete Dye has no plans to retire. He still sports a seven handicap, not bad for a man of 84 who still spends several hours at a time walking a hilly course, doing what he calls, “fixing my mistakes”. His attention to detail and his meticulous grooming of a tract of land that is available to become a golf course, sets him apart from many designers.

Dye has returned to The Pete Dye Course at French Lick more that 130 times since work began on the course. It opened on time April 24, 2009.

Dye is quick to give Alice all the credit for a famous hole for which he usually gets the accolades. The watery 17th at the TPC at Sawgrass in Jacksonville, (FL) has witnessed as much or more drama as any hole anywhere. Dye indicates that it was Alice who suggested that an island green should be utilized there. He followed her advice and the rest is legendary.

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