Alice Dye, the wife and golf-course design partner of World Golf Hall of Fame architect Pete Dye and an accomplished player who won two U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur titles, died on Feb. 1 at the age of 91 at her home in Gulf Stream, Fla.
Known by many as the “First Lady” of golf course architecture in the United States, Dye won some 50 amateur tournaments and worked with her husband of nearly 69 years to create of the game’s finest modern venues.
Born on June 17, 1927, in Indianapolis, Alice Holliday O’Neal was given a set of wooden-shafted clubs at an early age by her mother, Lucy. Under the tutelage of PGA professional Wally Nelson, Alice went on to capture 11 Indianapolis Women’s City titles and in 1946, the first of nine Indiana Women’s Golf Association Amateur titles.
While attending Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., Alice met Paul “Pete” Dye Jr., following his discharge from the military in World War II. A pre-med major, she graduated in 1948 with a bachelor’s degree in zoology and the two married in 1950. A few years later, Pete suggested they become golf course designers.
Throughout their partnership, Pete produced the initial designs, paying close attention to agronomy and layout, while Alice edited and amended Pete’s ideas, while also producing course drawings and plans. Alice is also credited with suggesting some of the most challenging and creative aspects of Dye-designed courses, such as the island-green 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., site of the annual Players Championship.