Padraig Harrington, George Dye pay tribute to legendary architect in his hometown

For more than four decades the course at Pebble Beach, Calif., has been dotted with iconic faces like Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.

With the golf world watching the action on television, and the major tours packed with a good number of members when Pete Dye worked as the architect on the lush fairways and picturesque lakes, Dye was the “rain man of golf.”

Dye has died at the age of 79 from an apparent heart attack, according to his agent. He had been battling cancer for years.

Dye had his hands on virtually every brand of golf equipment during his career and created many of the most spectacular courses in the world. Golf Digest has named Pebble Beach the best course in golf for five years in a row and the first one on their list that averaged more than 7,000 yards.

Dye also played a major role in changing the culture of golf with his bold new courses that were built to last.

Speaking with Newsday after Dye had been hospitalized for kidney cancer last summer, former PGA Tour player Joey Sindelar called Dye’s courses “masterpieces.”

“He changed the face of golf,” Sindelar said. “He created a whole new type of golf.”

George Dye worked with Dye since before he owned a property in Florida in the late 1960s. He was an inspired architect who challenged golf to make the game better, and Dye took the innovative approach that was so attractive to both players and golf courses alike. Dye worked on a number of iconic courses, including St. Andrews.

Dye knew how to make a golf course look great, with the PGA of America recently receiving a $25,000 donation for its Donald Ross Wall of Fame in Pebble Beach. He could also make a course come to life with a cart path that resembled a canal. Dye believed the landscape had more power to hypnotize a golfer than the ball itself.

In 1965, Dye won a $50,000 commission from the owners of the PGA Tour as the design and architect of the new golf course at Indian Creek in Macon, Ga.

In an interview with Golf Digest, Dye reflected on the importance of the Indian Creek project.

“It was the heart of the game,” Dye said. “It’s how we saw ourselves. I knew if I don’t show them some things I’ll never have a job for them.”

In 1975, Dye also won a $50,000 commission from the owners of the PGA Tour as the design and architect of the new golf course at Peachtree.

The Big Easy

Padraig Harrington (Ireland) was born in Tipperary. He started playing golf at the age of 12. He didn’t win a major until he won the British Open in 2007 at Carnoustie, but when he was younger he had a knack for hitting birdies and eagles and had many records under his belt. He would go on to win 20 tournaments during his career.

Winner of three majors and a FedEx Cup, Harrington was also in the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2010.

While the Big Easy never had to worry about his family finances because he did it all on his own, he did eventually establish one of the greatest hot lines in golf by providing and selling golf balls with his logo. Harrington’s own golf balls are pictured on the back of this tee box. The official Big Easy Golf Balls website includes the following:

A color-coded range of customized club specifications that are delivered FREE to your home or golf club rental company for a non-commercial use. These interchangeable outsides are beautifully wrapped in your favorite brand of clothing or packing material. While the ball is in the box, your new tee is fastened to the green for later use.

While the framed balls sit in your closet, Harrington was always busy getting his message out to all golf fans through social media, TV commercials and in store appearances. He is also known as a social media aficionado and the “Mayor of Golf.”

Padraig Harrington’s cars include the Ferrari F430 and the Bentley Continental.

Padraig Harrington is also known as a social media aficionado and the “Mayor of Golf.”

Follow the author @Dylan_D_Rosenbaum

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