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.