It was fitting Pete Dye and his wife, Alice, made their home alongside Carmel’s Crooked Stick Golf Club’s 18th fairway.
After all, the couple often referred to the course as their “firstborn” since it was the first high-profile course they designed.
Dye, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, died at age 94 Jan. 9. Alice, a top amateur golfer, died on Feb. 1, 2019, at age 91.
Nancy Fitzgerald and her husband, Ed, were longtime friends of the Dyes. Like Alice, Fitzgerald had been a top amateur golfer.
“Pete Dye was a creative genius when it came to designing a golf course,” Fitzgerald said. “In the midst of all his accomplishments and awards, he was a humble guy who loved his family and the game of golf. God made one of him and threw that mold away. He is loved by many and will never be forgotten. His courses will forever be enjoyed by golfers around the world.”
Some of Dye’s other famous golf course include TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Whistling Straits in Wisconsin and Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, S.C. Among his other top Indiana courses are Brickyard Crossing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and The Pete Dye Course at French Lick.
“He is an absolute legend in the art of golf course architecture. Alice and Pete designed and built great golf courses that nourished the game of golf in the best possible way,” said Carmel resident Ron Kern, a well-known golf architect. “I will always have the greatest respect for Pete and will always admire him and his golf courses.”
The PGA of America released a statement: “Pete Dye left an imprint on the world of golf that will be experienced for generations, painting wonderful pictures with the land that continue to inspire, entertain and challenge us. The PGA is saddened by the passing of this dear friend of the PGA Professional. Pete and his late wife Alice formed the greatest force in golf design history. The Dye family will forever be linked to the many thrilling championships in PGA history and for something that they intended all along — that we embrace golf’s life values.”
Crooked Stick released a statement saying in part, “Pete Dye leaves a legacy stretching far beyond our fairways to every corner of the golfing world. Indeed, lovers of the game everywhere know Pete Dye — as perhaps no other person has had such a major impact on how modern golf courses are designed and how the game is loved, played and perceived.”
Dye, who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2008, is survived by sons, P.B. and Perry, both golf course designers.