The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass has gotten a lot of attention after a recent renovation, but it's just one of many acclaimed Pete Dye designs. We've all heard about Whistling Straits, Harbour Town and the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, but some of Dye's best public courses fly far under the radar. Here's a handful I've played that are worth your money.
The course has plenty of eyesores (not least the power lines), but Dye extracted a creative test from a featureless site. Several holes, including the brutal ninth and 18th, which flank either shore of a large lake, have Arizona State's Sun Devil Stadium as a backdrop.
This 1999 design challenges with native wetlands, closely cropped green surrounds, and a desert's worth of waste areas.
Avalon Golf and Country Club (Avalon Lakes Course)
7,551 yards, par 72; $85-$149;
Opened in 1967 and redone 33 years later, the brawniest public course in the state opens with a 495-yard par 4 and closes with one of 502 yards, and doesn't get much easier in between, thanks to 150 bunkers and 12 water holes.
Eagle Pines might seem tame, but doglegs and diagonal hazards force you to make strategic decisions repeatedly. If you want the best angle into a green, he'll make you flirt with water or sand off the tee.
Paiute is known for its otherworldly landscape and nail-your-hat-to-your-head winds, so Dye routed this course to take full advantage of both. The 182-yard 15th hole might be his toughest island-green par 3.