“Pete is the consummate artist… He also has such a hands-on approach to his work that makes him difficult to emulate and even tougher to beat. Pete gets to know the land with which he is working so well, and he figures out, often through trial and error, just what to do with it.”
“Pete Dye transcended golf course design as we know it today. I am honored to have had the extraordinary opportunity to be a business colleague and personal friend of both Pete and Alice the last 30 years. We miss them both dearly.
Pete’s greatest contribution to growing the game of golf was that he considered golfers of all age and skill levels. Alice served as Pete’s bedrock, and was an accomplished golfer and decorated course architect in her own right.
While Pete designed to torment the most accomplished professional, his forward tees allowed the most inexperienced to play. He would challenge the professional both physically and mentally, while remarkably accommodating the raw amateur who was learning the game.
I loved this simple man and artist extraordinaire who built for Kohler, without a computer, four of America’s top-rated public golf courses that hosted six of golf’s Majors for men, women, and seniors and will host golf’s most renowned tournament the Ryder Cup in 2020.
He was a genius at his craft so recognized by his peers, a loveable gentleman by everyone he encountered, who enjoyed putting you off with a twinkle and a white lie. He will forever have a prominent chapter in our company’s history.” – Herb Kohler, Executive Chairman, Kohler Co.
World Hall of Fame golf course architect Pete Dye was a legendary figure in the history of golf course design and creator of KOHLER Golf masterpieces Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits. Before Dye first visited and met with Herb Kohler, the concept of golf and golf courses did not exist within the Destination Kohler portfolio. Today, KOHLER Golf serves as the pinnacle offering – a “bucket list” destination for golfers globally and features revered, “diabolical” venues where international champions are crowned.
Initially invited by Herb Kohler to view a beautiful piece of rolling property with the Sheboygan River meandering through its valley, Dye came to Kohler to create Blackwolf Run and upon securing the project stated, “I remember thinking what a great piece of property I had… We had terrific land with lots of character and contours that were very well suited for golf.” In 1988, Blackwolf Run opened and Golf Digest deemed it the year’s best new public course. While Blackwolf Run was a smashing success, his sequel – Whistling Straits – was off the charts as he transformed an abandoned undesirable piece of land along Lake Michigan into a crown jewel. Dye achieved the near unthinkable by figuratively dropping an Old World historic Ireland golf course right into America’s heartland. Herb Kohler described Dye’s work, “At Whistling Straits we started with a flat piece of ground upon which an airport once stood, and ended up with a Pete Dye piece of art – a unique piece of art.” Three PGA Championships, two U.S. Women’s Opens, one U.S. Senior Open, and on the horizon… the 2020 Ryder Cup – that is the amazing legacy and profound impact of Pete Dye on KOHLER Golf. Pete Dye was preceded in death by his wife, Alice, and is survived by two sons, Perry and P.B.
Golf course architecture is part intuition, part knowledge and part judgment. In Pete's case, it's an art unto itself even though a bit on the sadistic side. Pete puts your character on the anvil and your patience and poise to the flame. One minute, its fear and loathing; the next, a triumph unexpected. After playing this course today, you may agree there is nothing like it. -Herb Kohler
1925 - 2020