The renowned Casa de Campo resort in the Dominican Republic has renamed its main lodge after architect Pete Dye, the creator of 63 holes of golf at the resort, including the Teeth of the Dog course, generally ranked the Caribbean's best.
Dye was introduced to the Dominican Republic in the late 1960s by developer Gulf and Western, which wanted to invest in the local economy. Among the plans was a golf facility that would launch the country’s tourism industry. Dye was asked to help find the perfect location for this first resort.
He pointed them to the thousands of acres of inhospitable land the company owned near La Romana on the country’s southern coast. Site of the most productive sugar mill in the world, the soil was too dry for growing cane and too sparse for cattle grazing, while also overgrown with thick underbrush, rocks, and cactus. But it was close to the sea, a characteristic of the great Scottish courses Dye had toured just a few years before.
Under Dye’s leadership, some 300 locals worked with hand tools and ox carts to turn the hellish land into a heavenly site for a golf course. The area originally was given the name 'Cajuiles', for the cashew trees that grew on the surrounding mountains. But Dye overheard the workers referring to the sharp coral rock underfoot as 'diente del perro', or 'Teeth of the Dog'. The course, which opened in 1971, had its name.
Dye unveiled other courses at Casa de Campo over the decades. The Links – located next to Teeth of the Dog, and slightly more inland – opened in 1976. It was followed by the 27-hole Dye Fore, the final nine of which opened in 2012. Teeth of the Dog and the Links have recently been renovated under Dye’s guidance.