Dye Preserve Golf Club: Respecting the Game

by | May 15, 2024 | Business

Kurt Thompson sums up The Dye Preserve Golf Club in these words:

“We are a collection of people who love and respect the game.

That philosophy shines through with each step one takes at The Dye Preserve Golf Club – in the northern scrublands of Palm Beach County, FL.,  The Club is pure golf – no fancy spa or fancy dining restaurant. It is pure Pete Dye, the legendary golf architect who teamed with developer Joe Webster in 1988 to renovate a course called “Cypress Links.’’

Webster and Dye were no strangers. In 1980, the duo, along with Webster’s two business partners, created the Long Cove Club on Hilton Head Island, S.C.  Long Cove Club still stands as one of the top private golf clubs in the Southeast.

Webster and Dye reunited in 2002 when Dye renovated Cypress Links.  Webster changed the name to “Dye Preserve Golf Club,’’ as a testament to their long friendship. By 2002, of course, Dye’s place in the game was long-established, but Webster knew that Dye Preserve – technically in Jupiter, FL. – would be a special place. So, it continues to be under the ownership of Escalante Golf, which shares the same respect and stewardship standards for the game as Dye and Webster.

“Just to have Pete Dye’s name on our Club is significant,’’ Thompson said. “The power his name brings to the world of golf…. We have a membership (304) that is very proud to call the Dye home.’’

So what is a “Pete Dye’’ golf course? The answer depends on what “Dye’’ you’re looking for: Is it the classic oceanfront course – Teeth of the Dog – at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic?;  The beat-you-into-submission course, such as TPC Sawgrass? The larger-than-life course at the Ocean Course at Kiawah? Or a more open design, such as Westin Mission Hills in California’s Coachella Valley?

The Dye Preserve subtly catches the best of Dye’s genius (sans oceans and mountains) and presents one of his best layouts that’s a more-than-fair test of golf for players of all skill levels. From the golf course (7,280 yards, par 72 from the tips) to the wood-paneled clubhouse to the member services, The Dye Preserve is as authentic as Ol’ Pete was himself.

“Understated elegance,’’ said Club Membership Director Jenny Suh Thompson. “Our members feel like this is an extension of their homes.’’

That is if their homes had fast, firm greens with undulations that asked, “Where did that come from?”

“The greens are 100 percent Pete Dye. And we have no reasons to change that,’’ Kurt Thompson said. ”They can be challenging at times to read, but you certainly respect his brilliance with each putt.’’

Ryan Swilley, director of agronomy at The Dye Preserve, worked with Dyeulf Stream near Delray Beach, FL., and for 15 years at clubs such as G Old Marsh, less than 30 minutes south of The Dye Preserve. So, Swilley knows better than most the transcendence of the Dye name and legend.

“It’s kind of an overwhelming feeling to be responsible for protecting the design and advocacy of the course,’’ Swilley said. “Pete’s philosophy was that a golf course was never finished. That was maddening for construction workers who might build a bunker in one place and have to move it the next day. But I think that influenced me to never fall asleep at the wheel.’’

Escalante Golf is now at the wheel of The Dye Preserve – steering the Club in one of the country’s hottest golf markets.  The Fort Worth, Texas-based purchased the Club from Webster in 2022 and added it to an impressive portfolio that includes Kingsmill Resort (Williamsburg, VA), Black Diamond Ranch (Lecanto, FL); Pumpkin Ridge GC (North Plains, OR); The Clubs at Dove Mountain (Marana, AZ); and the Kingsley (MI) Club.

This past March, Escalante Golf added the 550-acre Wilderness Club in Eureka, MT., which features a Nick Faldo-designed golf course almost within eyesight of the Canadian border.

While Wilderness Club has the Canadian Rockies as its backyard, The Dye Preserve has the serenity and beauty of South Central Florida’s pine flatwoods and wetlands.

“It’s eerie when you get into the (fairway) corridors. You don’t hear anything other than nature,’’ Swilley said.  “This is a masterpiece that won’t ever be re-created.’’

Photo courtesy of Dye Preserve Golf Club



About the Author

<a href="https://golfonemedia.com/author/steve_pike/" target="_self">Steve Pike</a>

Steve Pike

Steve “Spike” Pike is a lifelong journalist whose career covers Major League Baseball, the NFL, and college basketball. For the past 26 years, Spike has been one of the more respected voices in the golf and travel industries, working for such publications as Golfweek, Golf World, and Golf Digest for The New York Times Magazine Group. In 1998, Spike helped launch the PGA.com website for the PGA of America. As a freelance travel and golf writer, Spike’s travels have taken him around the world. He has played golf from Pebble Beach to St. Andrews, walked the Great Wall of China, climbed an active volcano in the Canary Islands, been on safari in South Africa, and dived with sharks off Guadalupe, Baja California.