1/10/20

Rest in peace, Pete

Pete Dye passes away at the age of 94 after an illustrious, game-changing career in golf course design

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It’s a somber Friday in the golf world. Legendary architect Pete Dye passed away Thursday morning at the age of 94. He and his late wife Alice will be remembered for their artistry, mentorship, and immense influence.

In today’s newsletter…

  • Pete Dye influenced a generation of architects, especially those who learned the craft under his tutelage.
  • Patrick Reed has his lawyer attempt to put a muzzle on Brandel Chamblee. 
  • Collin Morikawa dazzles as wind batters the Sony Open.

The Storylines

The Dye legacy

Known for his era-defining designs at The Golf Club, Harbour Town, Casa de Campo, TPC Sawgrass, Kiawah Island, and Whistling Straits, Pete Dye is one of the boldest and most influential architects ever. He was a master of visual deception, and his courses yielded only to gutsy play. When his work got flak (a frequent occurrence), Dye stuck to his guns—and he did so with composure and wit.

While it’s impossible to cover every aspect of Pete Dye’s career in one newsletter, let’s take a minute to appreciate the impact he had as a mentor. Here are just a few architects who learned the ropes with him: Bill Coore, Tom Doak, Jack Nicklaus, Rod Whitman, Bobby Weed, Tim Liddy, Brian Curley, Jim Urbina, Bruce Hepner… the list goes on. P.B. and Perry Dye, Pete’s sons, got their starts with their father and went on to design careers of their own. 

Part of what Pete Dye taught was the design-build method. Instead of relying completely on contractors to build his courses, he spent a great deal of time on site and emphasized the importance of doing it yourself in the dirt. This approach gave his courses a unique identity and guided the practices of the next generation of architects, including Coore and Doak.

Alice Dye, Pete’s wife of 68 years and his most trusted design partner, died in February of last year. The golf world owes both an enormous debt of gratitude.

Cheers, Pete and Alice.

The Roundup

Cheat and desist

According to a report by Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch, Patrick Reed’s attorney Peter Ginsberg sent a cease-and-desist letter to Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee in December. Ginsberg demanded that Chamblee stop alleging that Patrick Reed cheated during the Hero World Challenge. Bold move by Team Reed! Not only does it bring more negative attention to Patrick Reed, but it’s useless. Lynch’s article goes on to quote Jodi Balsam, a sports law professor at Brooklyn Law School: “The attempt by Reed’s lawyer to silence public discourse about his client’s tournament conduct is outrageous and not legally supportable.” What Patrick Reed did in the Bahamas was cheating, plain and simple, and he’s unlikely to change that perception through legal bully ball.

Sony Open in Hawaii

  • Leaderboard
  • The palm trees were swaying on Oahu yesterday! It was, as our local mole Barry put it, “no-panama-hat windy.” Normally benign Waialae Country Club had teeth yesterday, and even par was a darn good score in the first round of the Sony Open.
  • Collin Morikawa holds his first-ever 18-hole lead on the PGA Tour. The 22 year-old rode outstanding iron play to a bogey-free 65 on Thursday.
  • Speaking of Morikawa, he was the subject of an excellent long-form profile by Cameron Morfit.
  • Things didn’t go as well for Ryan Brehm, whose first-round 81 included double digits on the par-5 9th hole.

The wildfires in Australia continue to wreak unimaginable destruction. This Instagram post from Caddie Magazine offers a striking set of images as well as some important words. The Cut has a rundown on where and how to donate to the relief efforts.

Prior to the Sony, PGATour.com’s Sean Martin sat down with Zac Blair to talk Waialae CC, Raynor, and The Buck Club. 

At the Sentry Tournament of Champions, a new golf idiom surfaced: “getting gusted.” We plan to use it in as many everyday, non-golf situations as possible. 

Tom VanHaaren of ESPN has an excellent feature on My Golf Spy, an increasingly powerful voice in the equipment review game.

Michelle Wie announced that she and husband Jonnie West are expecting their first child this summer. Congrats to the happy couple!

The Latest from The Fried Egg

Shotgun Start: Reed and desist, Waialae winds, and Carson goes to Ponte Vedra

This Friday episode begins with stories from the field. First, a note about a run-in with Ed “The Pool Boy” Fiori, who was made aware of his new fanbase. Second, some intel on the whereabouts of Robert Allenby’s caddie from the infamous night of the “kidnapping.” Then Brendan and Andy get to the Thursday news from an Eamon Lynch article that Patrick Reed and his team had an attorney fire off a cease-and-desist letter to Brandel Chamblee for using the c-word. They discuss how this seems to be a curious PR strategy that puts the controversy top of mind and also wonder about the Tour’s posture in this tiff between one of its members and a rights holder. After a fun Dry January update and nominal ad read, the two hit on a variety of topics from opening day at the Sony Open—the wind, the leaderboard of misfits, and the Kayak exemption. A news segment begins with reverence for Pete Dye’s reach and impact before pivoting to the scene of perhaps his most famous work, TPC Sawgrass, where Rory and Carson reunited this week. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

The Must-Sees of Public Golf Architecture in America

Bandon Trails (Bandon, Oregon) 

$$$$

More than any course I’ve played, Bandon Trails is about the land it occupies. Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw’s routing explores the big, varied property in stages. The first two holes bound up and over a dunescape; the next three move through a meadow; Nos. 6-13 climb into a dense forest; and No. 14 plummets back into the meadow. The climax of Coore & Crenshaw’s design, as it should in any well-structured narrative, comes just before the ending. On the 17th tee, you have the woodlands behind you, the beautifully cared-for meadow vegetation between you and the green, and the seaside linksland beyond. Yes, hole for hole, the course falls short of the greatest-hits collection that is Pacific Dunes. But as a story, a coherent experience that stirs the emotions, Bandon Trails may be my favorite at the resort.

Insider tip: When you’re walking between holes, take a moment to appreciate how well thought out the trails are along the green-to-tee transitions. The course name isn’t a random one! -Garrett Morrison

Photo credit: Garrett Morrison

Pro Shop

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