Top Pete Dye De­signs To Play in 2017

Golf Vacations - - Contents - by JD La­torre

What­ever drives Pete Dye, we’ll take nu­mer­ous help­ings. He could’ve rode off to the sun­set years ago – left be­hind the grind of get­ting up ev­ery morn­ing for work or deal­ing with the tribu­la­tions of trav­el­ing to a job site – and still left a le­gacy un­ri­valed in golf course de­sign.

What­ever drives Pete Dye, we’ll take nu­mer­ous help­ings.

He could’ve rode off to the sun­set years ago – left be­hind the grind of get­ting up ev­ery morn­ing for work or deal­ing with the tribu­la­tions of trav­el­ing to a job site – and still left a le­gacy un­ri­valed in golf course de­sign.

In­stead, the fa­mous course de­signer – who re­cently turned 91(!) – is still hard at work cre­at­ing new lay­outs to test golfers. Rather than rest­ing on his lau­rels in 2017, he’s at the draft­ing ta­ble and vis­it­ing the Lau­rel High­lands in south­west­ern Penn­syl­va­nia, putting the fin­ish­ing touches on Shep­herd’s Rock at the Nema­colin Wood­lands Re­sort.

Set to open this July, Shep­herd’s Rock is a Dye-Tim Liddy col­lab­o­ra­tion will amaze any­one who tees it up here. The lay­out – Dye’s only new cre­ation set to open this year – joins an in­cred­i­ble list of cour­ses de­signed by the leg­endary Hoosier. More about his lat­est de­sign can be found be­low, as well as his other cour­ses – both well-known and hid­den gems – that you should play in 2017.

AT&T Canyons Course – Dye de­signed the AT&T Canyons Course at TPC San An­to­nio, but saved his trade­mark rail­road ties for an­other

golf course. In­stead, all of Dye’s su­perb de­sign qual­i­ties that rarely make head­lines are won­der­fully show­cased – breath­tak­ing vis­tas, su­perb hole de­signs and in­cred­i­ble shot val­ues.

Oh, and there are plenty of mem­o­rable holes. Like the par-3 fourth, which fea­tures wa­ter all down the left, and the amaz­ing par-5 fifth, a three-shot­ter with in­cred­i­ble views off the tee and ex­cep­tional el­e­va­tion changes to the green.

The back nine also boasts some dra­matic holes, like the par-3 16th, a 224-yard beauty with a 50-foot drop from tee to green, and the stel­lar fin­ish­ing hole, a par-4 with plenty of bunker­ing and the re­sort ho­tel pro­vid­ing a dra­matic back­drop.

The AT&T Canyons played host the San An­to­nio Cham­pi­onship on the Cham­pi­ons Tour from 2011-2015. And while it doesn’t get the fan­fare like its sis­ter course and site of the PGA Tour’s Valero Texas Open, the AT&T Oaks, the Canyons of­ten gets tabbed the best and most pic­turesque lay­out at TPC San An­to­nio.­to­nio/att-canyons-course; 210-491-5800

Full Cry at Keswick Golf Club – Sit­u­ated on 600 rolling acres just down the road from Thomas Jef­fer­son’s Mon­ti­cello es­tate in the Hunt Country out­side Char­lottesville is Keswick Hall & Golf Club. The re­sort’s ac­claimed Pete Dye-de­signed golf course – Full Cry at Keswick Golf Club – opened in 2014 to wide ac­claim.

“Full Cry” is a hunt­ing term de­scrib­ing the call of hounds that have found the scent and are in hot pur­suit of their mark. The su­perb and fun-to-play 18 ne­go­ti­ates the gently slop­ing ter­rain be­low the inn’s perch on the prop­erty’s high ground. The fan­fare has come quickly. The course is ranked No. 46 in Golfweek’s “Best 100 Re­sort Cour­ses” and was named in Golf Digest’s 2015 “Best New Cour­ses” list.

When step­ping on the first tee, the lay­out’s beauty and clar­ity of the chal­lenge are dis­played won­der­fully. Dye has done a master­ful job of us­ing “old world” ar­chi­tec­tural traits found at the clas­sic cour­ses of Scot­land and Ire­land. Ex­cept for one hole, the greens have open fronts and are ap­proach­able by low “links-style” run-up shots or through the air al­low­ing for great shot va­ri­ety.

The last three holes on the back nine are as fine a fin­ish as you’ll find. The par-3 16th is mod­eled af­ter the fa­mous “Redan” hole at Scot­land’s North Ber­wick. With train tracks run­ning par­al­lel the en­tire length of the right side, the su­perla­tive par-5 17th is called the “Rail­road Hole” and plays much longer than the yardage due to fight­ing the pre­vail­ing wind.

The tee box of the de­mand­ing par-4 No. 18 pro­vides the crescendo of the lay­out with a panoramic view of the sprawl­ing Hunt Country, serene moun­tains off on the hori­zon and inn above. Full Cry truly a de­light­ful place to tee it up and show­cases Dye’s imag­i­na­tion and ge­nius.; 888-778-2565

Har­bour Town Golf Links – The most revered and iconic golf course on Hil­ton Head Is­land is Har­bour Town Golf Links, site of the RBC Her­itage. Sit­u­ated on the south part of the is­land, Har­bour Town is a Dye de­sign that hugs the beau­ti­ful Cal­i­bogue Sound and boasts the fa­mous candy-cane striped ma­rina light­house be­hind the 18th hole. The course is the sig­na­ture amenity of The Sea Pines Re­sort, a 5,200-acre recre­ational haven that kick-started the is­land’s devel­op­ment in 1957.

Har­bour Town re­cently un­der­went a se­ries of agro­nomic en­hance­ments in­clud­ing a com­pre­hen­sive re-grass­ing of the golf course and the in­stal­la­tion of a new ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem. That fol­lowed a sub­stan­tial ren­o­va­tion of its club­house, which was part of the Sea Pines Re­sort cap­i­tal in­vest­ment project. The ef­fort in­tro­duced one of the largest beach clubs on the At­lantic Coast as well as a new Plan­ta­tion club­house ser­vic­ing the re­sort’s other stel­lar lay­outs, Heron Point and the Ocean Course.

While most of the country is shiv­er­ing and shov­el­ing snow, Hil­ton Head Is­land en­joys sun­shine and mild tem­per­a­tures that set up per­fectly for 18 to 36-hole days. “Golf Is­land” is the warmest of South Carolina’s great golf desti­na­tions. Av­er­age high tem­per­a­tures hover around 60 in Jan­uary, while the mer­cury can jump into the 70s in Fe­bru­ary and March, on par with north­ern Florida. What’s more, golfers are treated to pris­tine con­di­tions as cour­ses is­land-wide of­ten sport lush rye grass over-seed­ing.

www.seap­; 866-561-8802

Nema­colin Wood­lands Re­sort – Only a few U.S. re­sorts can boast two Pete Dye cour­ses, and Nema­colin, sit­u­ated on nearly 2,000 acres about an hour south­east of Pitts­burgh, will join those ranks in July when it un­veils Shep­herd’s Rock.

Sit­ting high atop the Al­legheny Moun­tains, Shep­herd’s Rock is ex­pected to ri­val the high­est-rated cour­ses in the country. The tree-lined front side will be a shot­maker’s delight, as pre­ci­sion and ac­cu­racy will be key to suc­cess­fully nav­i­gat­ing its rip­pling fair­ways flanked by the ever-present Dye-cre­ated mounds, nat­u­ral wet­lands and clev­erly sit­u­ated greens. The stout back nine is brawny and wide open, with jaw-drop­ping vis­tas of the Lau­rel High­lands. The dra­matic par5 18th, un­der the gaze of Nema­colin’s posh Fall­ing Rock boutique ho­tel, fea­tures a green sit­ting atop the prop­erty’s high ground and a sin­gle, mag­nif­i­cent oak tree stand­ing sen­tinel on the right.

Nema­colin’s ex­ist­ing Dye de­sign, Mys­tic Rock, once hosted the PGA TOUR’s 84 Lum­ber Clas­sic and ranks in the top-60 in Golf Digest’s “Amer­ica’s 100 Great­est Pub­lic Cour­ses.” A brawny par-72 lay­out stretch­ing to over 7,500 yards from the tips, the lay­out fea­tures five sets of tees mak­ing the course more than playable for golfers of any and all abil­i­ties. Even bet­ter, cad­dies are in­cluded in the green fee to make the golf ex­pe­ri­ence some­thing to long sa­vor.

www.nema­, 866.344.6957

Pound Ridge Golf Club – Opened in 2008 to crit­i­cal ac­claim, Pound Ridge is lo­cated in tony Westch­ester County, roughly an hour from Man­hat­tan and just min­utes from the fi­nan­cial and busi­ness hubs of Green­wich, Stam­ford and Nor­walk, Conn. Crafted by Pete, his son Perry (of Dye De­signs) and long-time con­struc­tion man­ager/lead shaper Michael Langkau, Pound Ridge is a wall-to-wall bent­grass fa­cil­ity, hewn from 172 acres of mag­nif­i­cent cliffs, streams and wooded hills. Dra­matic rock for­ma­tions and boul­ders were left on­site by the Dye team, cre­at­ing one of the most vis­ually stun­ning set­tings for golf in the United States. More than 14,000-lin­ear-feet of rock walls frame a strik­ingly nat­u­ral prop­erty graced with thou­sands of trees, sub­tle wet­lands and (in strate­gic lo­ca­tions) severely-sloped hills. Con­toured fair­ways wind through hard­wood forests and fes­cue mounds, lead­ing to open mead­ows crowned by pic­turesque green com­plexes. The par-72, 7,165-yard lay­out fea­tures some of the high­est points in the re­gion, with a num­ber of tee boxes of­fer­ing ex­pan­sive vis­tas of the sur­round­ing coun­try­side. No­table holes in­clude: the par-5, 13th, home to “Pete’s Rock,” a gi­ant boul­der that rests in the mid­dle of the fair­way; and the par-3 15th hole, dubbed “Head­stone,” which is flanked on the right by a large rock out­crop­ping that pro­trudes into the elon­gated, 9,000-square­foot green. www.poundridge­, 914.764.5771

TPC Saw­grass, Sta­dium Course – The site of THE PLAY­ERS CHAM­PI­ONSHIP is now open af­ter an ex­ten­sive ren­o­va­tion project done to the course a year ago.

No worries, the sig­na­ture is­land green on No. 17 re­mains, but sev­eral holes on Dye’s crown jewel sig­nif­i­cantly changed. The most prom­i­nent al­ter­ation: the 12th is now a driv­able par-4 that doglegs left. Wa­ter creeps along the left side of a yawn­ing bunker on the ap­proach and left of the putting sur­face. The right side also presents trou­ble thanks to three bunkers and trees. The sixth and sev­enth holes were also tweaked, and ev­ery green on the Sta­dium Course were re­grassed with TifEa­gle. In ad­di­tion, the prac­tice area re­ceived nu­mer­ous up­grades in­clud­ing a larger tee­ing area with un­even lies and tar­get greens, and two prac­tice greens for guests to work on straight putts and those found on the course.­grass; 888.877.9193

Whistling Straits, Straits Course – Once a flat, aban­doned army air base, Dye trans­formed this two-mile piece of land hug­ging the shores of Lake Michi­gan into Amer­ica’s ode to Ir­ish golf. On the Straits Course, pa­trons will find a smor­gas­bord of unique traits that make a round here so mem­o­rable. First there are Dye’s trade­mark rail­road ties, which are mainly found on the course’s spec­tac­u­lar par 3s. An­other eye-open­ing fea­ture: the mul­ti­tude of bunkers scat­tered through­out. In to­tal, there are more than 1,000 bunkers in var­i­ous shapes and sizes – pot, di­rec­tional, some mea­sur­ing over 100 yards – and there’s even a hole named “Sand Box” for the plethora of traps from tee to green. What epit­o­mizes Dye’s great­ness for course rout­ing and de­sign are the par 3s found on the Straits Course. Each pro­vides a cap­ti­vat­ing scene with Lake Michi­gan hug­ging the right side. The body of the wa­ter and ever-present wind also make these holes for­mi­da­ble chal­lenges. Tee times on the Straits Course are start­ing to mir­ror Willy Wonka’s golden ticket, as prom­i­nent pro­fes­sional tour­na­ments are spot­light­ing Dye’s won­der in Wis­con­sin and al­lur­ing golfers to play where the pros play. The Straits Course played host to sev­eral USGA and PGA Cham­pi­onships, and will be site of the 2020 Ry­der Cup.

www.amer­i­can­clu­bre­; 800-618-5535

Mys­tic Back Tee at Nema­colin

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