Architect Profile: Pete Dye

Architect Profiles, Architects

Architect Profile: Pete Dye


Pete Dye, a successful amateur golfer who won the 1958 Indiana State Amateur and Indianapolis District Championship, was born in 1925 in Urbana, Ohio. His passion for golf course design began after his father built a nine-hole course on the family farm where Pete worked and played for years.

Pete and Alice Dye met at Rollins College and were married in 1950. Alice was instrumental in many of Pete’s most famous designs. A champion amateur golfer in her own right, she supported Pete making a career change in his mid-30s from insurance sales to golf course design. The couple built a few courses in Indiana in the early 1960s, but they gained fame after the opening of Crooked Stick, The Golf Club, and Harbour Town in the mid-to-late 1960s.

The Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass, perhaps Dye’s most famous course, was built for The Players Championship in the early 1980s and has hosted the tournament every year since. Courses like Sawgrass and Whistling Straits show how Dye wasn’t afraid to use visual intimidation to test a golfer’s mettle. It’s common to see all three schools of golf course architecture (strategic, penal, heroic) in a single Dye course, showing how versatile he was.

Pete’s practical, hands-on approach to course design and construction was different from many of his counterparts at the time. He was also a great mentor, making a huge impact on many golf course architects (see the Dye Family Tree below) who are still working in the field today. Dye was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2008, one of only six golf course architects to receive the Lifetime Achievement category award (Donald Ross in 1977, Robert Trent Jones in 1987, Alister Mackenzie in 2005, C.B. Macdonald in 2007, and A.W. Tillinghast in 2015 were the others).

Pete Dye died in 2020 at the age of 94.


Quick Facts

Open Links Courses: 134

World Ranked Courses*: 4 (Teeth of the Dog, Kiawah Ocean, The Golf Club, Whistling Straits)

USA Ranked Courses*: 22

Majors Hosted**: 11


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Top Ranked

Public < $100


In the heat map above, the size of the circle is determined by the number of Pete Dye courses in a particular state and the color of the circle is determined by the accessibility of those courses. The greener the circle, the more public courses there are in that particular state. Indiana (24 courses) and Florida (23) offer the most Pete Dye courses, followed by South Carolina (12), California (11), Colorado (6), and Wisconsin (6).

The Pete Dye Golf Trail in Indiana consists of seven publicly accessible courses within a few hours’ drive of each other.  Also, Destination Kohler in Wisconsin offers a cluster of Dye’s highest-ranked courses, which are all public. Dye did not design many courses outside of the United States. The largest cluster is at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic, which has three courses that are part of the resort, headlined by Teeth of the Dog.

Family Tree

Pete Dye and his “first generation” family tree. The tree expands much further into the “second generation” (e.g. Doak > Hanse, DeVries, Hepner) so Dye’s lineage will continue on for a long time

Further Reading

  • Bury Me in a Pot Bunker by Pete Dye

  • Pete Dye Golf Courses: Fifty Years of Visionary Design by Joel Zuckerman

  • Crooked Stick Golf Club by Chris Wirthwein


Open Links Website

To find Pete Dye courses near you, register for free on our website. In addition to our golf course search engine, you can view course reviews from fellow passionate golfers, submit course reviews, view courses from around the world on a map, view in-depth course profiles, track courses played, create a wishlist and save course notes.

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