'First lady of golf course architecture' Alice Dye passes away aged 91

'First lady of golf course architecture' Alice Dye passes away aged 91
Toby Ingleton
By Toby Ingleton

Alice Dye, the ‘first lady of golf course architecture’, died on 1 February aged 91, at her home in Gulf Stream, Florida.

A native of Indianapolis, US, Alice was a highly rated amateur player, representing the winning US Curtis Cup side in 1970 and winning two US Senior Women’s Amateur titles in 1978 and 1979.

She attended Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, where she met Pete Dye. The couple married in 1950, and in 1959 completed their first course – El Dorado in Greenwood, Indiana.

Pete and Alice worked together on many courses, including TPC Sawgrass in Florida, where Alice is famously credited for the island green on the seventeenth hole, and both Harbour Town Golf Links and the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island in South Carolina.

In a tribute to Alice Dye, Golf Digest’s Ron Whitten wrote: “As a golf architect, she was the more knowledgeable of the two, teaching Pete how to read contour maps and handling most of his drawings. In the field, she edited Pete’s designs expertly, making them easier for mortals to play and tougher for the one percent who dread counting strokes for a living on Pete Dye designs.”

Former Dye associate Bobby Weed said: “She was Pete’s equal as a partner, contributor and collaborator in all that they did.”

Alice Dye was also a pioneer in design for female golfers, and created of a forward tee system. A diagram entitled ‘Two Tee System for Women’ was published in the early 1970s.

In 1997, she was elected as president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, and has also served on the USGA Women’s Committee, the LPGD Advisory Council, the USGA Women’s Handicap Committee and as an independent director on the PGA Board.

Alice is survived by a family of golf course architects: husband Pete, and sons Perry and PB.