Let's take a look at some of his famous designs, including TPC Sawgrass, Whistling Straits, and 2021 PGA Championship host, Kiawah Island.
What Courses Has Pete Dye Designed?
American Pete Dye has become one of the most iconic golf course designers of all time and when you take a look at some of the courses below, it is not hard to see why.
But it took him a long time to get involved in the golf design game because after he attended Rollins College in Florida, where he met his wife Alice, he got involved with insurance at his father’s firm.
However both Pete and Alice had had very good amateur golf careers and Pete especially yearned for a life of some kind, in golf.
Design was the avenue they both took and they formed a partnership that has produced some of the most recognisable holes and courses ever, many of which have been on display at big tournaments like the Players Championship, and in 2021 their work was on display at the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, and also at Whistling Straits for the delayed Ryder Cup.
Let’s take a look at some of his most iconic creations.
Casa de Campo Teeth of the Dog (Dominican Republic)
One of Pete Dye’s most famous designs, Teeth of the Dog in the Dominican Republic is visually stunning thanks to a set of incredible par-3s.
One of Dye’s first golf course projects, the 18-holes at Crooked Stick in Indiana are most famous for John Daly’s incredibly unexpected PGA Championship victory in 1991.
It is said the course was constructed a year after Dye returned from Cruden Bay and the American looked to implement a lot of what he saw in Europe into his designs. For example pot bunkers, blind shots, sleepers and several other design intricacies were a common feature in a lot his designs in the USA.
A course that hosts the RBC Heritage every year on the PGA Tour, Harbour Town is one of Dye’s most recognisable designs, especially the 18th hole with its famous lighthouse.
The course opened in 1967 and the Dye’s constructed the layout with the help of Jack Nicklaus. If any of you reading this ever played the old Tiger Woods games, you will know just how tight and narrow this course is thanks to the pines, bunkering and small greens.
Kiawah Island (Ocean)
The Ocean course at Kiawah Island was built for big events, as shown by the fact that it was completed just weeks before the 1991 Ryder Cup which famously became known as the ‘War on the Shore’.
It hosted the 2012 PGA Championship won by Rory McIlroy, and produced an incredible 2021 PGA Championship too with Phil Mickelson emerging victorious at the age of 50.
Pete Dye designed the last of 12 golf courses at the Mission Hills Shenzhen Resort in China.
Of course this is Dye’s most famous creation as it hosts The Players Championship every year, but its most iconic hole, the island green par-3 17th was actually the handiwork of his wife Alice.
The original design was supposed to have water just on the right-hand side but she had other ideas. Indeed the three finishing holes are all spectacular.
Trump National – Los Angeles
The course may have had a difficult period around the time of its construction, but Trump National – Los Angeles will give stunning views to the Pacific as you can see on the image above.
Host of the 2021 Ryder Cup, the Straits course in Wisconsin was opened in 1998 and has become famous for hosting big tournaments as well as amazing players and crowds with its seemingly natural design.
Just make sure you do not ground your club in any sand on the property because no matter where you are, it will be a penalty. Just ask Dustin Johnson.
Other notable mentions: Austin Country Club, Barbaroux, Barefoot Resort (Dye), Blackwolf Run (Meadow Valleys, River), Domaine Imperial, French Lick (Pete Dye), Laguna National (Masters), Las Vegas Paiute (Snow Mountain, Sun Mountain, Wolf), Medalist, PGA (Dye), PGA West, The Farms, The Golf Club, The Honors Course, TPC River Highlands, TPC San Antonio.
For more golf course content, check out the Golf Monthly website.