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Pete Dye, Overrated - Page 3

post #37 of 89

I live in Indy area as well, and have played a number of Dye courses with mixed opinions on them.  I won't comment on all that I've played, but here is a short list:

Brickyard - Not a fan.  The holes inside the Motor Speedway are 4 of my least favorite holes to play anywhere.  They are overly difficult compared to the rest of the course.  #7 is a par 3 that can play upwards of 200 yards to a crowned green with a lot of undulation.  If you miss the green, you basically have zero chance for par.  #8 is a long par for with water left and a drop-off right to woods (jail).  No bail-out either on your approach shot.  And for $90, I just don't feel like I'm getting good value.  Would much rather play two average courses at $45 than Brickyard at $90.  Finally, be sure to find out when they are aerating the greens before booking a tee time, as they do not lower their rates even when their greens are unplayable. 

The Fort - Pretty fun course to play.  You can score well when you are on, or it can eat your lunch.  Greens are usually very fast.  A number of holes have a lot of elevation change and tight driving areas, but there also quite a few holes with wide landing areas.  I agree with other posts I've seen about how the course can get VERY busy, which leads to slow rounds and the course getting beat up.

Kampen Course (Purdue) - Only played it once after a few days of heavy rains.  Despite that, I thought it was a lot of fun to play.  Very interesting layout with some really difficult holes, especially with wet conditions.

Bridgewater - Private club.  Not the most interesting layout, but still a good course.  As it is private and expensive, the course has always been in great shape when I have played it.  Greens don't seem to allow for spinning approach shots, but they roll true.  The par 3s are rather difficult, while the par 5s are fairly easy.  Bridgewater has a few picturesque holes, and a few that are just...there. 

Whistling Straits (Straits) - Played there this summer.  LOVED it.  It was incredibly hot and windy.  Despite not hitting the ball well or putting particularly well, the course does reward good shots.  The holes along the lake are just awesome to see in person.  I can't wait to play it again, hopefully on a day where it's cooler than 110 (heat index).

 

I've played other Dye courses (Dye's Walk, Eagle Creek, Sahm, Maple Creek, Plum Creek), but I didn't want this post to ramble too much. a1_smile.gif

post #38 of 89



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by case31 View Post

I live in Indy area as well, and have played a number of Dye courses with mixed opinions on them.  I won't comment on all that I've played, but here is a short list:

Brickyard - Not a fan.  The holes inside the Motor Speedway are 4 of my least favorite holes to play anywhere.  They are overly difficult compared to the rest of the course.  #7 is a par 3 that can play upwards of 200 yards to a crowned green with a lot of undulation.  If you miss the green, you basically have zero chance for par.  #8 is a long par for with water left and a drop-off right to woods (jail).  No bail-out either on your approach shot.  And for $90, I just don't feel like I'm getting good value.  Would much rather play two average courses at $45 than Brickyard at $90.  Finally, be sure to find out when they are aerating the greens before booking a tee time, as they do not lower their rates even when their greens are unplayable. 

 

I find this interesting....as I actually have felt that the 4 holes inside the track are pretty fun. #7 is as you say it, it is a classic "Redan" style par 3, where you have to hit the green or you have a VERY difficult chip. But the green is huge, and if I miss the green its becuase I've hit a bad shot. Only time it plays almost unfair is if its real windy. As far as #8, yep its a tough hole, no doubt, but I've always felt the fairway is a lot wider than it appears. #9 and #10 are both short, fairly easy holes....each are close to drivable par 4s for a long hitter. 10 has a lot of trouble up near the green though.

 

All of that said, those aren't my fav holes on the course by far. I think the finishing holes....really #13-18 are terrific. The best 6 hole stretch in town, IMO. Agree that the price is pretty steep. I typically play the $55 twilight rate a couple times a year. Played about a month ago, and it was in MUCH better condition than the Fort, which I play regularly.

post #39 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruascott View Post

 

 

I find this interesting....as I actually have felt that the 4 holes inside the track are pretty fun. #7 is as you say it, it is a classic "Redan" style par 3, where you have to hit the green or you have a VERY difficult chip. But the green is huge, and if I miss the green its becuase I've hit a bad shot. Only time it plays almost unfair is if its real windy. As far as #8, yep its a tough hole, no doubt, but I've always felt the fairway is a lot wider than it appears. #9 and #10 are both short, fairly easy holes....each are close to drivable par 4s for a long hitter. 10 has a lot of trouble up near the green though.

 

All of that said, those aren't my fav holes on the course by far. I think the finishing holes....really #13-18 are terrific. The best 6 hole stretch in town, IMO. Agree that the price is pretty steep. I typically play the $55 twilight rate a couple times a year. Played about a month ago, and it was in MUCH better condition than the Fort, which I play regularly.


I will admit, my opinion on the Brickyard is pretty jaded by the price, and the issue I had one time paying full rates when the greens had just been aerated.  In total, I have played BC three times: once from the tips and twice from the blues.  Each time it was pretty windy.  So yes, that makes 7 and 8 very difficult. 

My beef with 7 is that there is literally nowhere to miss where you don't have an incredibly difficult chip shot.  The pins are almost always tucked in corners (based on my experience as well as what I've heard from regulars) which means hitting to the middle of the green is no picnic with the goofy undulations. 

8 just sets up strange from the tee.  It goats you into aiming at the trees to keep the water out of play.  But then, you have a decent-length approach (for me, about ~160 from blues, ~180 from golds) to that tight green.

I don't play the Fort much, but it is close enough for me to chip and putt or hit a bucket during lunch...which I do often.  That course just gets WAY too much play for it to be constantly kept in good shape.

post #40 of 89

I agree Pete Dye is overrated. I live in Maryland and a good number of people say PB dye is one of their favorite courses. It is an okay course but i don't think he is at the same level as RTJ or McAllister!

post #41 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by beisenhauer View Post

Yorktown was designed by Bob Goalby; not sure about Tamarack.

 

I've played two Dye courses, once each within a month or two a few years ago. I played the Sycamore course at Eagle Creek in Indianapolis and the Kampen course at Purdue University. I was having two very different ball-striking days, so my comparison might be a little colored by that. The Sycamore course seemed challenging, but very fair. With the exception of two holes it wasn't "tricked out" or anything. I was pull-hooking everything when I played the Kampen course, and the tees I chose were about 800 yards longer, so it seemed much more difficult. Certainly it has more of Dye's famous waste areas/bunkers.



From Yorktowns website

 

Yorktown Was the First Course Designed by Pete Dye
Mr. Dye is considered one of the most influential golf course architects in the world. His design for the Brickyard Crossing golf course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway utilized the dismantled outer retaining wall from the race track. He’s known for designing the “World's Most Terrifying Tee Shot,” aka The Island Green — the 17th hole at The TPC at Sawgrass.

post #42 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjwalsh606 View Post

I agree Pete Dye is overrated. I live in Maryland and a good number of people say PB dye is one of their favorite courses. It is an okay course but i don't think he is at the same level as RTJ or McAllister!


McAllister? Do you mean Alister MacKenzie,  who designed Cypress Point, Pasatiempo, Alwoody, Crystal Downs, Royal Melbourne and Century, and co-designed Augusta National?

 

PB Dye is one of Pete's sons. Not sure what the PB Dye  course has to do with a comparison of Pete to RTJ or whoever this McAlllister charecter might be. Or do you mean that PB Dye is not at the same level as Jones or whoever?
 

 

post #43 of 89

I wouldn't call Dye overrated. I would call him more of a mad scientist. He's brilliant, but his courses are not for everyone. He's like the Salvador Dali of golf course architects.

 

His designs aren't in the 'classic' mode of Ross & MacKenzie, but more in the 'manfactured' mode. They don't look natural - he's not the type to take what the terrain gives him - he modifies the terrain to fit what he wants.

 

And, of course, not all his designs are the same. There's one Dye course I really enjoy - PGA Village in Port St. Lucie - the Dye Course. (yeah I know - catchy name) No railroad ties, no island greens. More of a 'Scottish' feel to it. Here's a link to the course - the  pic is the 7th green, a reachable par-5:

 

http://www.pgavillage.com/stlucie/index.cfm?page=dye_course

 

And the 6th hole is just a gorgeous - and fair - par-3. No railroad ties.

 

So yeah. Some of his designs are tricked-up, trumped-up parodies of penal archtiecture. But to call his overall body of work overrated is, I think, short-sighted.

 

 

post #44 of 89

@cart7: Huh. I grew up a couple miles from Yorktown and never heard that before. I shall go to bed less ignorant than when I woke up.

post #45 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deryck Griffith View Post

I'm not the biggest fan of target Golf and Dye has really become obsessed with designing courses that forces the golfer to hit to targets every shot they make.

 

Punishing a golfer who makes a good shot onto the a fairway is ridiculous.  You shoudn't have a "fairway" that has a target on either side that you can only hit to.  You should be able to hit the "fairway," and not worry about a slope taking your ball into some hazard that is impossible to get out of.

 

Pete Dye's style of designing is terrible for our game.  How excited can a newbie be about wanting to learn the game of golf after getting murdered on a Dye course?

 


Not calling you out specifically, Deryck, but nearly everyone is making this same comment, yet several people list Harbour Town as among their favorite Dye designs.

 

This description fits Harbour Town pretty well.  Granted, Harbour Town is more about the trees, but you still have to put the ball at fairly precise locations on the fairway--both in distance and angle--in order to have clear shots at the greens.  I think it's a brilliant design and course (I've played it twice), but I wouldn't want to play there every week.

 

Of modern designers, I consistently enjoy Arthur Hills courses.  The two all-time greatest US golf course designers are Dr. MacKenzie and A.W. Tillinghast.

 

post #46 of 89

Dye influenced Ron Whitten, who designed one of my favourite local courses (Wolf Creek at Morningside - about an hour South of downtown Edmonton on Hwy 2). It definitely seems to be in harmony with the local landscape, so maybe it's not very much like a Pete Dye course. I can say that the holes I dislike seem to have the most Dye-like appearance, but overall I love the track. I'd love to play one of his more famous courses one day, but not without a caddie to aid in shot selection / blowup avoidance.

post #47 of 89

I've only played 2 Pete Dye courses over the years and the last was Brickyard many years ago. I remember it being a pretty good course with some of the most interesting and complex greens I've seen.

post #48 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by zipazoid View Post

I wouldn't call Dye overrated. I would call him more of a mad scientist. He's brilliant, but his courses are not for everyone. He's like the Salvador Dali of golf course architects.

 

His designs aren't in the 'classic' mode of Ross & MacKenzie, but more in the 'manfactured' mode. They don't look natural - he's not the type to take what the terrain gives him - he modifies the terrain to fit what he wants.

 

...

So yeah. Some of his designs are tricked-up, trumped-up parodies of penal archtiecture. But to call his overall body of work overrated is, I think, short-sighted.

 

 


This pretty much represents my opinion. I'd have said Picasso rather than Dali but we're both on the same page. He's certainly a mould-breaker and that means that not all of his ideas are going to work out, I suppose. I do wonder, though, why he seems to get a free pass not afforded to other designers when it comes to the old theory that the best courses look like a natural extension of the surrounding terrain. Dye's courses often look like they've dropped in from outer space. 

 

I'm disappointed no-one took up the earlier invitation from someone in this thread to compare Dye with Mike Strantz. I don't know enough about Strantz' courses generally but from what I've seen of Tobacco Road and Tot Hill Farm, I think Strantz was funky within reasonable parameters, whereas Dye doesn't have any parameters...

post #49 of 89
I would say calling him overated is a little harsh. Though I would say he has spread himself a little thin in recent years. Which may have resulted in some rushed designs or projects that didn't quite get his full attention. He has just been in such high demand lately that he needs to learn to say no to some projects. I am from Indiana and have played most of his Indiana designs and some of his redesigns...Woodland CC in Carmel is a fantastic redesign! I have also played Harbour Town in HHI and his Pauite Resort Courses in Las Vegas...all of these are in my top 15-20 courses that I have ever played. Anyway...I think he may get a little ambitous on some holes, but I wouldn't say they are unfair. They may seem that way in certain Weather conditions or if you have never played the course before. Most of his courses require a lot of experience playing them to score well. I played in the Assistant Golf Professional Championship at Woodland CC last year without ever seeing the course and it kicked my arse! I wasn't practicing much at the time, but still wasn't hitting the ball that bad. But most the Indianapolis players played well because they had been playing woodland for years and knew where to hit it and where not to. I definitely didn't know where to hit it. I would bomb a drive right down the middle and would get to my ball and be in disbelief because it only went 240 yards....and I typically hit it 300+. The guys behind me where hitting balls 60-80 yards past where I was hitting it because they knew where the shoots were. This is very common in Dye courses...you have to do your homework. It might seem unfair but i would have to disagree.
post #50 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by k-troop View Post


Not calling you out specifically, Deryck, but nearly everyone is making this same comment, yet several people list Harbour Town as among their favorite Dye designs.

 

This description fits Harbour Town pretty well.  Granted, Harbour Town is more about the trees, but you still have to put the ball at fairly precise locations on the fairway--both in distance and angle--in order to have clear shots at the greens.  I think it's a brilliant design and course (I've played it twice), but I wouldn't want to play there every week.

 

Of modern designers, I consistently enjoy Arthur Hills courses.  The two all-time greatest US golf course designers are Dr. MacKenzie and A.W. Tillinghast.

 


I completely agree with you about Harbour Town. It is one of my favs but I wouldn't to play it all the time. I couldn't imagine a 20+ handicapper trying to play that course and actually saying that he enjoyed it. Precise is an understatement. There are plenty of others on Hilton head that I would rather play...and have more fun doing so.
post #51 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhwmusic View Post


I completely agree with you about Harbour Town. It is one of my favs but I wouldn't to play it all the time. I couldn't imagine a 20+ handicapper trying to play that course and actually saying that he enjoyed it. Precise is an understatement. There are plenty of others on Hilton head that I would rather play...and have more fun doing so.


The trio at Palmetto Dunes is fantastic:  Arthur Hills, RTJ, Jr., and George Fazio.  I spent many weekend days when I lived in Savannah playing two of these courses back-to-back (nearly always one was the Hills course).

 

post #52 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

.

We played the National Club Pro at French Lick's Pete Dye course this year, and it was stupid. Pete Dye seems to confuse "unfair" with "difficult." I've never seen so many good shots get punished, and by "good" I mean "good" - these weren't shots that were pulled or pushed slightly, etc. Some of the fairways were literally eight yards wide and SLOPED quite a bit.
 


Isn’t the French Lick course close to $400?

After plunking down that kind of coin I’d also be pretty pissed if it was anything short of spectacular.

post #53 of 89

To date, the only Dye course I've played is Desert Pines in LV.   It brings a carolina's vibe - plenty of open space & lots of sand - I'm sure not one of his most difficult to play designs - I liked it (especially the RR tie lined bunkers)...

post #54 of 89

I lived very close to the River Course in Pulaski County Virginia.  Before Virginia Tech bought it, it was a fun and enjoyable golf course.  Afterwards, they commissioned Pete Dye and he absolutely ruined it.  I cannot stand Pete Dye golf courses.  He ignored the natural dynamics of the land and manufactured un-natural mounds, drop offs, and hundreds of bunkers the size of bath tubs. 

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