PGA Golf Club’s Dye Course: Better than Ever
If you are looking for a golf course that has ‘pop’ appeal and where the attention to detail is clear and distinct, check out the Dye Course at the PGA Golf Club (www.pgavillage.com; 1-800-800-GOLF) in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Recently renovated, the Dye Course is now in tournament-level condition. The renovation was done by respected golf course superintendent Dick Gray, a protégé of the legendary Pete Dye, the original designer of the course.
When the Dye Course was first built in 2000, it was constructed with such respect for the natural habitat that it was labeled as a Certified Signature Sanctuary for Audubon International. When Gray’s team renovated the Dye in 2016, they maintained the respect of the natural terrain while upgrading what was already a terrific golf course. Mother Nature and Mankind are now in perfect harmony at the Dye.
Owned and operated by the PGA of America, the PGA Golf Club has three golf courses – one of which is the Dye- open to the public. The PGA Golf Club is ranked as one of America’s top 75 golf resorts by Golf Digest.
The Dye Course – ranked #21 in Florida by Golfweek — delivers many memory-making moments, from the opening drive into a bunker-filled first fairway to your journey up the formidable 18th hole.
“Golfers can love the Dye and they can hate the Dye on the same hole,” says Gray. “The kid in you loves the challenge of the Dye and the adult fears the consequence. With the risky shot angles, bumps, hollows and slick and subtle greens, the Dye becomes a chemistry test.”
This Dye design is probably not as famous (yet) as some of his other creations, but this may be one of his most prized designs. The course is a pleasure to play but is not a pushover. The fairways are a little easier to find off the tee; the greens are fair, true, and consistent; every bunker is a hazard worth avoiding, and water hazards are a common sight at the Dye but are easy to navigate around them. Dye’s use of waste bunkers was strategic. The waste bunkers actually are more of a help than a hindrance as they help maintain the pace of play, serving as sentries, and guarding against errant shots rolling toward trouble.
Dye and Gray want golfers to relish playing this golf course, not regret it. At the Dye, good play is rewarded with good scores. It also helps to have GPS on every golf cart so the distance to every pin is never an issue.
In 2016, the Dye’s fairways and greens were completely renovated. The fairways were converted to Celebration Bermuda while the greens are now Tifeagle Bermuda. The course is now as good as it gets. The greens are simply true and consistent. Putts can be struck to the back of every cup with purpose and conviction.
“Mother Nature takes a toll on a golf course,” adds Gray. “This comprehensive project has corrected altered surfaces due to years of top dressing and, in turn, restored the greens to Pete Dye’s original version and intent.”
The first six holes – three par fours, two par threes, and one par five — are a microcosm of the Dye experience. After experiencing the joy of diversity on the Dye’s first six holes, you’ll know what to expect on the remaining dozen.
Upon leaving the 18th green, head to the newly renovated 20,000-square-foot clubhouse for a meal at the Taplow Pub. You can’t go wrong with the Taplow Chili, followed by the Taplow Chopped Salad or the Pub Burger. Also, try one of the signature drinks: Taplow Bloody Mary or the Taplow Tea. And look for the PGA of America logo on the top of every sandwich bun. If you have a morning tee time, the Taplow Pub is open for breakfast at 6:30 – seven days a week. Order the Champion’s Breakfast. Why Taplow? This pub is named in honor of the New York City location (Taplow Club) where the PGA of America was founded on January 17, 1916.
Also, inside the clubhouse, you’ll find the PGA History Gallery, which features trophies and pictures which highlight the history of the PGA of America and the people — Sarazen, Snead, Hagen, Hogan, Player, Palmer, Nicklaus, Trevino, Mickelson, and Woods, among others — who made that history. Also, the redesigned pro shop now looks like a retail boutique. It’s a welcoming atmosphere for both men and women. Don’t be in a hurry to leave the pro shop unless you are running late for your tee time.
It’s clear that the Dye Course is everything as advertised and then some. It truly is a place where your golf game will exist in perfect harmony with Mother Nature and Mankind.