Casa de Campo – A Tribute to Pete Dye
His name will never be forgotten as his legacy will endure forever
Last week Casa de Campo had to say goodbye to one of its first friend, Pete Dye. Pete will not only be remembered for the 90 holes he created on our property, but for his kindness, humor and warmth. His loss will be felt by the entire golf world as he is one of the greatest architects of all-time, and his life celebrated for years to come.
Few men in golf history have had a similar impact on how the game is played today. His prolific work in golf course architecture is considered among the very best. From Whistling Straits to Kiawah Island and every one of the 100-plus courses he designed across the globe, his legacy will stand the test of time. However, his personal favorite course design has always been Teeth of the Dog, his world-famous masterpiece in the Dominican Republic where he eloquently quipped, “I created 11 holes and God created seven.”
Since opening in the mid-1970s, Casa de Campo has been a unique luxury retreat where instead of fitting a golf course on open terrain, the resort was built around the golf course, which gave Pete the freedom to create the No. 1 golf course in the Caribbean. Once plans for a luxury resort on this special piece of land were in place, Dye knew immediately he struck gold with the mesmerizing sea-hugging shoreline and craggy coral formations to reveal Teeth of the Dog’s “Heaven 7”.
Teeth of the Dog opened in 1971 and its beauty caused amateurs and professionals to compare it favorably with another great seaside course, Pebble Beach. However, as one observer remarked, “Pebble Beach may have several holes along the sea, but only Teeth of the Dog has seven holes in the sea.” Since the inception of GOLF Magazine’s “Top 100 Courses in the World” in 1983, the Dominican jewel is one of only 37 courses to be included every year in the coveted ranking. In fact, it is the only layout ever to be included from the Caribbean.
Dye’s imprint on Casa de Campo did not stop with Teeth. Soon after, he opened The Links in 1974, a player friendly course sitting regally on moderately sloping turf with spectacular ocean views. Then, in 2003, the resort opened Dye’s 27-hole project placed on top of the Chavon River, Dye Fore. Its three nines – Chavon, Marina and Lakes – are wonderfully distinct and a joy to play. Golf course architecture aficionados call Dye Fore “the most underrated course in the Caribbean.” We’re also lucky to feature one of the Caribbean’s great private courses, 27-hole La Romana C.C., which was also designed by Pete and opened in 1990.
Having lost his loving wife Alice in February 2019, Pete took one more trip around the sun with his family, many of whom elected to also join the golf course architecture profession. Pete’s sons P.B. and Perry followed in their father’s footsteps and continue to provide memorable and enjoyable golf experiences with their firm, Dye Designs. And, as many know, Alice was the inspiration behind No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass and its island green, the most famous par-3 on the PGA TOUR.
Pete once said, “It’s a different world when you are out on the course, a different world all together.” Well, Pete, it’s going to be a different world without you in it, so cheers to you for bringing enjoyment to more than 50 years of golfers, and for countless generations to come.