Alice Dye, 'First Lady' of golf architecture and wife of Pete Dye, dies at age 91

Alice Dye, 'First Lady' of golf architecture and wife of Pete Dye, dies at age 91

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Alice Dye, 'First Lady' of golf architecture and wife of Pete Dye, dies at age 91

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Alice Dye, whose influence on golf course design in the United States was invaluable, died Friday in Florida at the age of 91.

The American Society of Golf Course Architects tweeted the news. It was first reported by Golf Channel.

The woman known as the “First Lady” of golf architecture in the U.S. was the wife of renowned golf course architect Pete Dye. But Alice and Pete were partners in golf course design, with their work including TPC Sawgrass, Whistling Straits, Crooked Stick, Harbour Town and Kiawah’s Ocean Course.

“They are a great team and Alice has never gotten the credit she deserves. She really hasn’t, and she’s had some great ideas and she’s probably one of the smartest people I’ve ever met,” said Sandy Kunkel, a neighbor to the Dyes and member at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind., according to IndyStar. “They share a lot. They respect each other. They have a lot to do with the business almost on an equal basis.”

It was also Alice who was behind the idea of TPC Sawgrass’ island 17th green.

Born in Indianapolis, Alice Holliday O’Neal was a formidable amateur golfer, amassing at least 50 amateur golf titles after taking up the sport by the age of 12. Her victories included the 1968 North and South Women’s Amateur and the 1978 and ’79 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur. She was also a member of the 1970 U.S. Curtis Cup team.

She became the first woman member of the ASGCA in 1983 and would serve as the organization’s first female president from 1997-98. She was also named the first woman member of the PGA of America Board of Directors in 1999.

“I feel as a woman that it’s your responsibility to take positions and be visible so that other women can follow,” Dye told IndyStar in 2016. “You need to open some doors.”

She was the 2017 recipient of the Donald Ross Award, given to a person who has made a significant contribution to the game of golf and the profession of golf course architecture.

In addition to all that, Dye created the “Two Tee System for Women,” a forward tee system devised to accommodate female players with differing skill sets.

Dye also served on the USGA Women’s Committee, the LPGA Advisory Council and the USGA Women’s Handicap Committee. She’s also in the Indiana Hall of Fame.

“Alice blessed our sport as a player, a designer, and a trailblazer,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said on the tour’s website. “But if you met her, you realized her favorite role of all was being a loving wife and mother. She loved golf and our sport loved her back.”

She is survived by her husband Pete as well as their two sons Perry and P.B.

Contributing: Dana Hunsinger Benbow of the Indianapolis Star, part of the USA TODAY Network.

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