One of the greatest designers of all time has passed away, leaving a legacy of some of the world's best and most famous courses


Pete Dye Passes Away Aged 94 – ‘The Picasso Of Golf Architecture’

Legendary golf course designer Pete Dye has passed away at the age of 94.

The man behind TPC Sawgrass, Harbour Town and Whistling Straits has more than left his mark on the golfing world.

Many have paid tribute to Dye, including Greg Norman who described him as the “Picasso of golf architecture.”

The American grew up in Ohio and learnt to play the game on a nine hole course built by his dad.

It was there where he fell in love with the game, with his dad giving him a job of watering greens with a garden hose.

He would go on to become a fine player.

Dye won the Indiana State Amateur and played in the US Open as well as six US Amateur Championships.

In the 1958 Trans-Mississippi at Prairie Dunes, he lost to Jack Nicklaus in the semi-finals.

Nicklaus first met Dye when he was just 16 and the pair went on to become great friends and design partners.

“Pete was the most innovative course designer in my lifetime and certainly the golf world should mourn the loss of this great man,” the Golden Bear wrote in a long message on social media paying tribute to his friend.

Dye had been designing courses since the 50s and did so with his wife Alice, starting with the modest El Dorado south of Indianapolis.

He journeyed to Scotland in the 60s and got inspiration from the country’s great courses and applied it to his work.

“When I came back to the States,” Dye said in an interview with Jeff Silverman in 2014, “I had the idea I had to try to make it look like some of those courses over there.”

He’ll go down as one of the all-time greats in the course design field with a phenomenal portfolio of work.

In 2008 he became only the fifth golf course designer to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame—joining Donald Ross, Alister MacKenzie, C.B. Macdonald and Robert Trent Jones.

His golf courses have hosted and still do host everything from Majors to WGC’s and PGA Tour events.

Pete Dye’s has designed courses at:

TPC Sawgrass
Harbour Town
Whistling Straits
Mission Hills
Crooked Stick
Kiawah Island
Trump National LA
Austin Country Club
TPC River Highlands
TPC San Antonio
Casa de Campo – Teeth of the Dog
PGA West
TPC Louisiana

Related: What courses has Pete Dye designed?

How the golfing world paid tribute to Pete Dye

Jack Nicklaus:

The golf world lost a great friend today in Pete Dye.

I first met Pete when I was 16 years old.

Pete was 30, and we played an exhibition with Sam Snead in Urbana, Ohio.

We became friends; we played a lot of golf together; and we designed courses together.

It was Pete who inspired me to start designing courses more than 50 years ago, and so in many ways I owe my second career to him.

I think Pete Dye was the most creative, imaginative and unconventional golf course designer I have ever been around.

Pete would try things that nobody else would ever think of doing or certainly try to do, and he was successful at it.

If there was a problem to solve, you solved it Pete’s way.

In the end, Pete’s way usually turned out to be the right way.

I followed Pete. I loved Pete. Barbara and I loved Pete and his wife Alice. We lost Alice less than a year ago and now Pete today. We have lost two wonderful people.

Pete was the most innovative golf course designer in my lifetime, and certainly the golf world should mourn the loss of this great man.

It is the end of the era, but Pete’s legacy in golf course design will endure because of the courses he has designed and the courses people will play for years and generations to come.

They will enjoy them, perhaps copy them, and certainly be inspired by them.

PGA Tour commisioner Jay Monahan:

We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Pete Dye, a true friend of the PGA Tour and one of the most important course architects of this or any generation.

A 2008 inductee into the World Golf Hall of Fame, Pete’s influence is far-reaching, leaving a global imprint on both the amateur and professional games.

He designed some of the best known golf courses in the world, though none more recognisable than The Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.

It was here that Pete masterfully brought Commissioner Deane Beman’s revolutionary stadium golf concept to life, melding Deane’s vision with a brilliantly designed course that is celebrated annually as one of the game’s great strategic courses during The Players Championship.

Pete, though, was always quick to credit his beloved wife, Alice, with his success, including the concept for his most famous hole, the 17th island green at TPC Sawgrass.

Together, Pete and Alice made a formidable team in golf and life, and with sons Perry and P.B., themselves successful course architects, they are recognised as one of the most accomplished families in golf.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Dye family.

Greg Norman:

Today golf has lost a man whose everlasting imprint will never be forgotten.

He was the Picasso of golf architecture & changed 20th century golf course design.

He started me on my design career & taught & challenged me to be naturally different.

RIP my dear friend Pete Dye.

Rory McIlroy:

This morning I played an enjoyable round on Mr. Dye’s master creation [TPC Sawgrass].

His life had and will continue to have such a profound impact on the game.

Colin Montgomerie:

Sad to hear of the passing of Pete Dye.

One of the great innovators of golf course design.

PGA of America:

Pete Dye left an imprint on the world of golf that will be experienced for generations, painting wonderful pictures with the land that continue to inspire, entertain & challenge us.

The PGA is saddened by the passing of this dear friend of the PGA Professional.

Suzy Whaley – PGA of America President:

Pete & his late wife Alice formed the greatest force in golf design history.

The Dye family will forever be linked to many of the thrilling championships in PGA history & for something that they intended all along – that we embrace golf’s life values.


The LPGA mourns the loss of legendary golf course designer, Pete Dye.

Pete and his wife, Alice, were longtime friends of the women’s game and made a lasting impact on the LPGA and the golf world.

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