Hall of Famer Pete Dye
Hooray for Pete Dye! And three cheers for the World Golf Hall of Fame for inducting him while he can enjoy it. Pete has done more for the ascendance of golf course architects than Bob Toski did for teachers or Tiger Woods still does for his fellow pros. If the truth be told, Dye's also responsible for adding cost, difficulty and probably time to our average golf round, but most of us welcomed and even wallowed in the abuse. What's more, he's trying to reverse some of that with his calls for a ball rollback, and his recent comments on ways to reduce the cost of the game.
To honor him, I suggest you play one Pete Dye course a month until his induction in November. My May course is the Dye track at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie. It's been refurbished, is in fabulous shape, and seems even better and stronger than it was when it was built ten years ago. I played on the occasion of our most recent Golf Digest panelist summit, and the experience reminded me of a point architect Brian Silva made beautifully at an early panelist conference: namely, that Dye is a master of lines and angles. He's built a reputation on being penal, but there can't be a better example of strategic design than his PGA course. Take the right line along the correct angle and you are rewarded with an approach shot that's both shorter and easily accessible to the flag. Take the conservative line off the tee and you'll have your hands full on that second, probably having to negotiate a hazard. Absolutely fair. Immensely enjoyable.
(Photo of sixth at Dye Course courtesy of PGA Golf Club)