Pete Dye designs only 18-hole course in Israel


CAESAREA, Israel ' With the opening of the Pete Dye Signature course at Caesarea Golf Club on May 1, one of the world's most noted golf course architects has added another distinction to his design portfolio: the only 18-hole golf course in Israel.
Founded by the Baron Rothschild's family, the original course at Caesarea Golf Club dates back to 1961, but was in need of significant renovations. Throughout the past 50 years the course has annually hosted about 50,000 rounds.
'I normally design golf courses for a client but as this is Israel's only 18-hole golf course, I have designed this course for an entire country!' said Pete Dye on his first week-long site visit to Caesarea in early 2008.
Pete Dye's entry into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2008 confirmed his status as one of the world's leading golf course architects. Though he had not created a new course in the European basin since the 1980s, Caesarea was strongly meaningful to Pete Dye, who was encouraged by the welcome he received during his initiatl site visit.
The course will measure 7,163 yards from the tips, but can be played from four sets of tees all the way up to a more welcoming 5,266 yards. The original course had no water features but, the new Dye course has two holes where water comes into play.
Another factor that will dramatically improve the playing conditions of the course is the change from the more difficult kikuyu grass to the less water-consuming paspalum grass. Although friendlier than most Pete Dye courses, the Dye trademark bunkers dot the course and provide hazards for wayward shots.
'We are delighted with the new Caesarea Golf Club course,' said Andy Santos, head golf professional. 'The design of the links-style course is spectacular and can be enjoyed by both low handicappers and beginners. The new paspalum grass is excellent and course conditions will be much, much better than in the past.'
Caesarea Golf Club will host the 18th World Maccabiah Games in July when the best Jewish golfers from more than 20 countries come to Caesarea to compete.