3 THINGS
Reflecting on Alice Dye’s Lasting Legacy March 14, 2019 | Liberty Corner, N.J. By Joey Flyntz, USGA

Alice Dye helped husband, Pete, with a number of his iconic golf course designs, including the par-3 17th at TPC Sawgrass. (USGA Archives)

Alice Dye passed away on Feb. 1 at the age of 91 following a career filled with accomplishments. But her creative spirit endures. One example will be front and center during this week’s Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., a layout designed by her husband, Pete, with significant input from Alice.

Here are three things you should know about Alice Dye, the architect, the golfer and the person.

She Devised No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass

Alice and Pete Dye formed one of golf’s premier design teams. However, when building TPC Sawgrass, the annual home of The Players Championship, the 17th hole was proving to be a challenge.

Unsure of what to do with the difficult section of land, Alice suggested to Pete, “Why don’t you just put the green where you want and fill the rest of this up with water?”

Pete heeded her advice and the rest is history. The island hole is one of the most recognizable in the world and many a tournament has been won or lost on its riveting stage.

Some of the Dyes’ other acclaimed designs include Crooked Stick in Carmel, Ind.; Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, S.C.; the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island (S.C.); the Straits Course at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis.; and the Teeth of the Dog Course at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic, site of this year’s Latin America Amateur Championship.

Dye courses have hosted numerous USGA championships, including the U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women’s Amateur. In all, the family, which includes sons Perry and P.B., has produced more than 170 courses in the U.S. and an additional 70 in 24 countries worldwide.

She Was an Accomplished Amateur

Although she was known as “The First Lady of Golf Course Architecture,” Dye was a stellar player in her own right. Most notably, she won the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship in 1978 and 1979.

Dye also won the prestigious North & South Women’s Amateur at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in 1968 and played on the winning USA Team in the 1970 Curtis Cup Match at Brae Burn Country Club in West Newton, Mass. In 1992, she captained the USA Women’s World Amateur Team to a tie for fifth in Canada. In addition to her two U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur titles, she was a two-time runner-up in the championship, and she also won a pair of Canadian Senior Women’s Amateurs.

An Indianapolis native, Dye won approximately 50 amateur events, including 11 Indianapolis Women’s City titles and nine Indiana Women’s Golf Association amateur titles.

She Broke Ground Metaphorically and Physically

In addition to her design and playing prowess, Dye forged a path for future female golf leaders.

Dye was the first woman member and the first female president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects. She also served on the USGA Women’s Committee, the LPGA Advisory Council and the board of directors for the Women’s Western Amateur.

She was also a proponent of multiple tees for female players. In the 1980s, Dye presented her “Two-Tee System” as a solution for female golfers of varying skill levels who typically had only one teeing ground option. She compared the situation to “asking them to all wear the same dress size.”

Joey Flyntz is an associate writer for the USGA. Email him at jflyntz@usga.org

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