Golf Course Architecture - Issue 60, April 2020

59 a perfect fit with Alice’s more sensible approach. Alice was the one that brought Pete back down to earth. “One of my favourite things about Pete’s designs is that he and Alice were geniuses about moving golf holes. You would see a hole that moved left to right, and they would always offset the green right to left. Pete inspired us all to think outside the box. He really enjoyed making the best players in the world struggle. I told him to his face that I had played holes of his where – in the same hole – I thought he was an absolute genius and a lunatic!” “What I admired most about Pete is that he really didn’t have much ego; he was just as happy working on a golf course in a housing development as he was on a big tournament site, as long as the client didn’t restrict his creativity,” said Tom Doak. “He liked to tease people, and he treated everyone the same, from the lowliest guy on the crew to the billionaire client to Jack Nicklaus. “I was fortunate to be tagging along with him the week of the first event at the TPC at Sawgrass in 1982, when every professional golfer wanted to take issue with his design of the course. He didn’t do press conferences and try to cash in on the attention. He listened to the players’ criticisms, but he also went out to watch them play, and see how the course worked. We would go to one hole after another, and wait for one of the players to get himself in a terrible predicament, and then watch him hit a spectacular recovery to save par, and Pete would say, “Well, that hole’s playable,” and we would go on to the next one. When asked about the controversy, he said, “Golf is a controversial game, and I’m glad to be part of it. “Too many people nowadays try to measure greatness by how many top- ranked courses an architect produced in his career, but Pete did a lot of his work from flat desert or swamps, so top 100 lists are a poor measure of his ability. He could create a greater Dye’s influence spread even into Europe. German architect Christoph Staedler said: “Although indirectly, I personally owe Pete my career as a golf course architect. In 1974 I took part in the World Amateur Team Championship, which was held on the course that Pete always described as his own favourite: Teeth of the Dog in the Dominican Republic. I was so fascinated by the infinite variety of creative, bold design ideas that I spontaneously decided to design similarly creative golf courses myself later on, if there was a demand for them in Germany one day, which fortunately was triggered by Bernhard Langer’s Masters victory in 1985 and the resulting golf boom. Without Pete Dye and this key experience on his course Teeth of the Dog, I probably would not have become a golf architect and my life would have been completely different. I am infinitely grateful to him for that. Much to my regret I never got the chance to meet him in person, it would have meant so much to me.” Far afield Photo: Casa de Campo