Pete and Alice Dye, whose design of Long Cove Club remains among Hilton Head Island's best 3 1/2 decades after its creation, will be honored by membership Friday as the club dedicates a permanent monument to the Hall of Fame architect and his wife.
A new tower clock near the Long Cove clubhouse will be named for Pete Dye, with his name inscribed on the face of the timepiece.
Dye, who turns 90 in December, and his wife will both be in attendance. Speakers during the short dedication include fellow designers Steve Smyers, president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, and former Long Cove project manager Bobby Weed.
Weed, whose apprenticeship under Dye brought him to Hilton Head Island in 1980, stayed on at Long Cove as its first superintendent until he was hired away by the PGA Tour in 1983.
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"It was the Dyes' dogged pursuit of perfection, making the Long Cove course as good as it could possibly be that drove us," Weed recalled to club historians. "We thought that every change we made would improve the course."
Dye, who already had made his mark on the island with Harbour Town, took on Long Cove as he was finishing up work on the famed TPC Sawgrass, home of The Players Championship. Unlike that project, which required a massive transformation of Florida marshland, Long Cove's sweeping vistas of saltwater marsh and moss-draped oaks seemed almost prepackaged to Dye.
"Most courses you have to spend months just getting the ground ready to build," he told The Island Packet in 1980. "Here, it's all ready to go."
Three years after Long Cove's opening, the course was ranked among the nation's top 20 by Golf Digest. It has hosted the 1991 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, the 2002 South Carolina Amateur (won by D.J. Trahan), the 2003 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur and the 2007 Carolinas Amateur.
Currently, Long Cove ranks No. 139 on Golf Digest's latest list and 81st on Golfweek's ranking of America's best modern courses, defined as those built no earlier than 1960.