Alice Dye, 'the first lady of golf architecture,' has died

February 01, 2019
Senior LPGA Championship - Round One

Andy Lyons

Alice Dye, an accomplished amateur player, widely known as the first lady of golf architecture, and architect Pete Dye’s partner in more than marriage, died on Friday. She was 91.

A native of Indiana, Dye won the Indiana State Championship nine times, the North and South Women’s Amateur in 1968, played on the U.S. Curtis Cup team in 1970 and twice won the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur.

Yet it was her contributions to golf course architecture for which she best will be remembered, working side by side with Pete, whom she married in 1950.

Among the courses on which they collaborated were Crooked Stick Golf Club in Indianapolis, Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, S.C., Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis., the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, S.C., and the TPC Sawgrass, where she is credited with designing the famous par-3 17th hole with its island green.

Dye was the first female member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects and served as its first female president in 1997-’98. The organization honored her with its prestigious Donald Ross Award, presented to a person who has made a significant contribution to the game of golf and the profession of golf course architecture, in 2017

“Alice Dye is a pioneer in our profession,” ASGCA President Greg Martin said in a news release at the time. “An outstanding golfer, Alice exhibited a great influence to develop courses that are true championship caliber. She and Pete Dye were a dynamic duo, a genuine partnership, in every sense of the phrase.

“Long before it was fashionable, Alice was an advocate for women’s golf, thoughtful forward tees and playability for varying skill levels. Her ‘Two Tee System for Women’ was devised to accommodate female players with differing skill sets. This may seem obvious to us today, but when she came up with the system decades ago it was ahead of its time.

“She is devoted to mentoring young designers, and is tireless in her service to ASGCA and the profession of golf course architecture.”

Alice is survived by her husband Pete, for whom she had been caring in their Florida home. Pete is suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. She also is survived by sons Perry and P.B.