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Golden Hour at the Ackerman-Allen Course, Photo by Charles Jischke

Featured Article

More Than Fore!

The Seven Unique Courses of The Pete Dye Golf Trail in Indiana Represent a Lifetime of Visionary Achievement, Starting From Where The Legacy Began.

Article by Amy Adams

Photography by Logan Clark (Thynk Creative)

Originally published in Carmel City Lifestyle

Dye. The name is synonymous with golf courses worldwide—courses like TPC Sawgrass: Stadium in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wis. Together and separately, Pete and Alice Dye are credited with designing some 200 courses across more than 25 states and internationally from China to Curacao. 

Amateur golf champions in their own rights, both Pete and Alice have been inducted into the Indiana Hall of Fame. Alice received the prestigious PGA First Lady of Golf Award in 2004, and Pete earned the World Golf Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.

But the couple got their start building courses right here in central Indiana—in Carmel, some might say; and our state claims more Dye-designed courses than anywhere else in the world. 

In 1960, newly established Dye Designs created its first 18-hole golf course, known today as Maple Creek Golf and Country Club. 

Following a trip to Scotland in 1963, Pete and Alice came home with renewed passion and unlimited ideas for recreating strip bunkers, sand and grass pot bunkers, mounds and blind spots. Beginning in 1964, their first course with this inspiration would be the renowned Crooked Stick Golf Club. With a limited membership, Crooked Stick isn’t open to the public, but the statue of Pete and Alice on the grounds stands as a monument to the couple’s influence in Central Indiana and beyond.

The selection of courses in The Pete Dye Golf Trail in Indiana showcase an incredible collection of challenging golf courses. 

Maple Creek Golf and Country Club—“Step back 50 years and see how the game’s greatest architect got his start.” The Dyes’ first 18-hole course, known originally as Heather Hills features narrow fairways, with a creek that winds its way through multiple bunkers, tall natural grasses and a mixture of small and mature trees. 10501 E. 21st Street, Indianapolis

Brickyard Crossing—With four holes inside the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in “The Brickyard,” Dye not only used characteristic railroad ties, he ingeniously incorporated large slabs of concrete from the racetrack walls that were torn down and replaced. This is one of only a few venues in the country to host PGA, LPGA and Champions tour events. 4400 W. 16th Street, Indianapolis

The Fort Golf Resort—Once bustling with soldiers during the world wars, Fort Harrison State Park now welcomes hikers, bikers and golfers. Unusually hilly for central Indiana, rolling terrain and soaring vistas of the 238 natural acres often places “The Fort” in the top ten courses in the state. The Fort also offers on-site lodging. 6002 N. Post Road, Indianapolis

Tippecanoe Country Club—Bordered by Lake Shafer in Monticello, Roy Robertson designed the original nine holes in 1920. Dye designed the back nine as one of his early projects in 1963. Today, it is enjoyed for its impressive 6,870 yards of meticulously groomed grounds and demanding holes. 3267 NW Shafer Drive, Monticello

Ackerman-Allen Course—Originally known as Purdue South, this course was built in 1934 by Bill Diddel. In 1961, the course hosted the NCAA Championship, with Purdue named team champion and Jack Nicklaus the individual winner. Dye led the most recent course redesign incorporating large bent-grass greens and rolling hills in a Parkland-style championship course which reopened in 2016. Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex at Purdue University, 1300 Cherry Lane, West Lafayette

Kampen-Cosler Course—An example of Dye’s environmentally-friendly designs, the wetland areas, innovative drainage and irrigation of this course illustrates Dye’s environmentally-friendly designs. Not only does the course double as a “living laboratory” for turfgrass research and environmental studies, but it ranks as one of the top collegiate courses in the nation and one of the more difficult courses in Indiana. Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex at Purdue University, 1300 Cherry Lane, West Lafayette

The Pete Dye Course at French Lick—Conceived as a sketch by Dye on a napkin, this multi-award-winning hilltop course built on the highest point in Indiana provides breathtaking panoramic views of the Hoosier National Forest. It has been named National Course of the Year by the National Golf Course Owners Association. French Lick, which dates back to the early 1800s as a luxury resort, recently underwent a $500 million restoration and expansion. 8670 West IN-56, French Lick

The Pete and Alice Dye Golf Experience

It only seems appropriate to conclude with the last course the Dyes designed, their first and only mini-golf course, presented by Henry and Christine Camferdam as part of the Riley Children's Health Sports Legends Experience at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis where family members of any age can take their best shot. 

With four, nine-hole mini-golf courses, there is a fit for players of every age and skill level. The two courses designed by Pete and Alice feature models of some of the Dyes’ most famous holes from around the world, including hole #11 at the Pete Dye Course at French Lick. An introductory course modeled after the Dyes’ designs is just right for new golfers to putt without frustration, and the littlest players can still sink a shot on the toddler course. As they play, mini-golfers can learn about the history of the Dyes’ extraordinary legacy in Indiana and their impact on golf worldwide.

Alice Dye passed away in 2019 and Pete followed his wife less than a year later in 2020, but their legacy lives on for future generations.

The Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience is included with general admission or membership to The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and the museum provides all equipment. Advanced tickets are encouraged and are discounted up to two weeks in advance; however, outdoor area availability is dependent on weather. 

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is located at 3000 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis. For more information, visit childrensmuseum.org.

"Every time you build a golf course, it’s not a golf course when you get there. You have to improvise." Pete Dye

  • Golden Hour at the Ackerman-Allen Course, Photo by Charles Jischke
  • Kampen-Cossler at Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex at Purdue University, Photo by Paul Hundley
  • The Fort Golf Resort at Fort Harrison State Park, Photo Courtesy of Visit Indiana
  • Pete and Alice Dye Watch Over Crooked Stick Golf Club, Photo by Logan Clark
  • Heaven at Hole 3, Photo Courtesy of Crooked Stick Golf Club
  • The Pete Dye Golf Course at French Lick Sits at the Highest Point in Indiana.
  • Fog Settles Over French Lick, Photo Courtesy of The Pete Dye Course at French Lick
  • A Slice of Heaven at French Lick, Photo Courtesy of The Pete Dye Course at French Lick
  • A Perfect Afternoon for a Round of Golf at Maple Creek Golf and Country Club, Photo by Logan Clark
  • Title, Photo Courtesy of Indianapolis Children's Museum
  • Tap in at Maple Creek Golf and Country Club, Photo by Logan Clark
  • Even Little Ones Can Enjoy the Wonder of a Dye Designed Course, Photo Courtesy of Indianapolis Children's Museum