A new golf trail is amongst us: the Pete Dye Golf Trail, located in the architect's home state of Indiana. Made up of seven Hoosier courses, they span north, south and around Indianapolis, highlighted by Brickyard Crossing and the new Pete Dye Course at French Lick (pictured).
Governor Mitch Daniels helped spearhead the idea of honoring Dye and released this statement:
“We’re so proud to call Pete, and his wife, Alice, residents,” said Governor Daniels. “This trail is a treasure that will take visitors on an incredible golf journey throughout the state of Indiana and showcase some of Pete’s most prominent works.”
PeteDyeGolfTrail.com recently launched to help plan a Hoosier trip.
But this new trail got me thinking: Indiana is an intriguing midwest destination, but Dye has little pockets of golf courses all over that you could feasibly craft out your own golf trail. In fact, unlike some architects like A.W. Tillinghast or Alister Mackenzie (or even compared to modern names like Fazio & Nicklaus), Dye's best stuff is often public or resort-accessible.
The most concentrated collection of Dye courses is in Kohler, Wisconsin. Here, there are four golf courses, two at Blackwolf Run and two at Whistling Straits. Separated by just seven miles, the facilities offer a sampling of Dye's best parkland and links layouts.
For the more adventurous group, I've concocted a rather ambitious-but-rewarding Dye trail of my own along the southeast coast. Stay with me here:
Fly into Charleston and head to Kiawah Island for the Ocean Course, next year's PGA Championship venue. It's perhaps the toughest Dye design on Earth when the wind's a blowin'.
You can bunk up in luxurious digs at Kiawah, or head a little further south to Hilton Head Island. Here, you can stay at Sea Pines Resort, home of Harbour Town Golf Links, as well as his more recent Heron Point (or, play private Long Cove on Hilton Head Island if you have the hookup).
From Hilton Head, drive down the coast to Ponte Vedra Beach, where you can stay-and-play at the Sawgrass Marriott Resort and play the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course (which recently ate my lunch in the presence of Dye himself).
Finally, if you haven't gotten your fill of railroad ties, slippery greens and watery graves, you can play the next door Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass, which is easier than the Stadium but still hosts a Nationwide Tour event, the Winn Dixie Jacksonville Open.
Stretching about 300 miles, this itinerary isn't for the timid. But the idea of piling up a couple buddies in the car and playing a major and Ryder Cup host, plus two storied PGA Tour stops all along the coast in one trip has you excited, no?