Pete Dye’s first new European course in over twenty years has opened. The Caesarea course in Israel marks the legendary designer’s return to this side of the Atlantic, his first since designing Domaine Imperial in Geneva, which opened in 1987.
Caesarea is Israel’s only eighteen hole golf course. Originally built in 1961, the old course on the site has been entirely recreated by Dye and his associate Tim Liddy.
Sited half way between Tel Aviv and Haifa on the Mediterranean coast, the Caesarea course is built on land donated by the Rothschild Foundation after the Second World War to a new body, Casearea Development Corporation, which is owned jointly by it and the State of Israel. The Foundation is a charitable entity directing funds to cultural and education.
The new course measures 6,543 metres from the back tees. Dye says he didn’t want to deter players from starting in the game by setting too tough a challenge: Israel currently has only 1,500 golfers in its population of seven million.
British consultants Colin Hegarty of Golf Research Group and Richard Wax of Golf Surveys advised the developers. The official inauguration will take place in July in the presence of many national and overseas dignitaries.