What's the best Pete Dye course worth traveling for?
During PLAYERS coverage this week, you seem to hear Pete Dye’s name more than any one particular competitor at the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course. More so over any other tournament, even the Masters, it’s the golf designer that is the star here.
Apparently, Bubba Watson isn’t crazy about Dye, at least at Sawgrass. He chose not to play a practice round and called the course “too hard.” It’s interesting to hear him say this, considering he nearly won the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits last year. I haven’t been to Sawgrass yet, but I have a hard time believing it’s tougher than the Straits. My guess is that his banana balls are a little too severe to squeeze through the course’s narrow corridors versus tree-less Whistling.
Sawgrass isn’t the most pro-feared design of Dye’s, it’s the PGA West Stadium Course, which was vetoed by the players on the PGA Tour after just one year during the Bob Hope Classic in 1987. It’s been nearly 25 years now and infinite leaps in equipment technology, can’t we bring the Hope back here and see what happens?
Dye has said golfers don’t like traveling for easy courses, and his philosophy backs this up. He’s got a lot of phenomenal golf experiences, from his four designs at Kohler to the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island to the infamous Ko’Olau on Oahu.
I don’t love everything Dye does, and his best courses are all really expensive to play. My favorite design of his is at Kohler, where any Dye fan must visit at some point above any other.
My favorite design of his is the River Course at Blackwolf Run. It’s less expensive than the Straits Course, but a much more enjoyable experience all around in my opinion.
Another reason Kohler scores big is the chance to play a Dye course for free at the Irish Course at Whistling Straits. The catch is that you must book an American Club golf package at Kohler, and included is free afternoon replays on the Irish and on Meadow Valleys. The Irish may be just a shade further off Lake Michigan than the Straits, but all the shot values are there, and I love the par-3 13th, “Blind Man’s Bluff” - one of the best Irish-inspired golf holes in the U.S.
Another multi-course facility that is All Dye is the Las Vegas Paiute Resort home to three 18-hole courses, including the headlining Wolf Course. Paiute doesn’t host the PGA Tour, but is home to a major tournament on the Golf Channel Am Tour circuit.
|« PLAYERS fever? Golf package offers three rounds of golf and a free night at TPC Sawgrass||Sunday evening in St. Andrews: They're still thinking of Seve - and other sights and sounds »|