SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Pete Dye, the legendary golf course architect who designed and built some of America’s most well-known courses, passed away Thursday morning at 94 years old.
Along with his late wife Alice, Dye became one of the most recognized names in golf. He is responsible for more than 100 golf courses, including several that host PGA Tour events and major championships every year.
Dye’s influence is greatly felt in the Low Country. He designed and built Harbour Town Golf Links at Hilton Head Island’s Sea Pines Resort, which has hosted the RBC Heritage since the tournament’s inception.
Dye also designed six other courses in the area: the Pete Dye Course at Colleton River, Hampton Hall, Heron Point, Long Cove, the Robber’s Row Course at Port Royal, and Ford Plantation.
Dye’s courses were known for their challenging layouts, which provide some of the toughest tests in pro golf every year.
“When you step on the first tee, you know it’s a Pete Dye golf course, just because of the way Pete built a golf course,” says Sea Pines VP of Sports and Operations and 2020 RBC Heritage Tournament Chairman Cary Corbitt. “He didn’t like straight lines and flat surfaces in every regard. He likes to move the eye and he liked to keep you guessing."
Corbitt became friends with Dye when he was named an assistant golf professional at Sea Pines in 1978. He says no change was made to Harbour Town’s layout without input from Dye.
The hands-on approach to designing and building his courses is what Corbitt says made Dye so special.
“Even when he was in his 70s, he would get so excited about building a golf course, you’d see him literally jogging down a fairway just to get to where he wanted to make a change, or add a bunker, or add a mound, or do something that was true Pete Dye,” Corbitt remembers. “He just got intimately involved in everything.”
Dye was named to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2008.