The 2004 Senior PGA Championship
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PGA of America President M.G. Orender presents the First Lady
of Golf Award to Alice Dye. (Photo: Montana Pritchard, PGA.com)

Dye given PGA's First Lady of Golf Award

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Alice Dye, the first lady of golf architecture in the United States, received the 2004 PGA First Lady of Golf Award on Wednesday evening at the Kentucky Center's Bomhard Theater. The award was presented in conjunction with the 65th Senior PGA Championship, which is being contested May 27-30 at Valhalla Golf Club.

An audience of some 250, including Jack and Barbara Nicklaus, gathered to pay tribute to Dye, who is credited for bringing forward tees to the game and improving the chance of enjoyment in golf for the average or beginning player.

In thanking friends and industry colleagues, Dye recalled a statement by the late Richard Tufts, past president of the U.S. Golf Association, who said, "Alice, there are no bad people in golf."

"And, I truly believe that golfers are all one big family," she said. "I am grateful to have had so many good friends in golf, and I am truly honored by this award."

In addition to a video presentation spanning Dye's career, she received written tributes from First Lady Laura Bush, Paul Fullmer, executive secretary of the American Society of Golf Course Architects and past PGA First Lady of Golf Award recipients Barbara Nicklaus, Judy Bell and Renee Powell.

Husband Pete Dye, considered the "father of modern golf architecture," said that his wife's contributions to the game go beyond providing insight on what makes a good golf hole.

"A lot of people don't realize that she won the Indiana Amateur nine times, the Florida Amateur three, the Western, the North and South," said Pete. "She also played way back with Babe Zaharias, Patty Berg, and with Byron Nelson, Nicklaus, and lot of name players of today. She also played a lot of golf on Tuesdays with the ladies at Crooked Stick (Golf Club of Carmel, Ind.) or Gulfstream (Golf Club of Gulfstream, Fla.) that shoot 130.

"So, her spectrum of the game of golf is far above what anyone else has ever experienced. You can go back to Greg Norman and all my friends in golf and they have no idea what that spectrum is. So, her impact or input on me is constant about those people who don't hit the ball 280 yards. I don't know anyone in the last 60 years who has had the same experience that Alice has had in playing with so many different people.

"She plays with the Curtis Cup girls of today, and Alice plays a reasonable round of golf today," Pete Dye continued. "She won the club championship last year at Crooked Stick and also won at Gulfstream. She goes out and plays with ladies who shoot 120 at Gulfstream and they are her friends and they love playing with her. Understanding the game and her patience -- they are what makes her so unique.

"I could go on forever about her theory about the game of golf. She believes that if you can get the high handicapper off the tee, she doesn't mind so much about what I do (in designing) around the green because it doesn't take strength. But, she says you got to get the assistance in the first two shots to help those player get at least 260 yards down the fairway one way or another."

PGA First Lady of Golf Recipients
1998 Barbara Nicklaus
1999 Judy Rankin
2000 No Recipient
2001 Judy Bell
2002 Nancy Lopez
2003 Renee Powell
2004 Alice Dye

The PGA of America, founded in 1916, is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the game of golf while continuing to enhance the standards of the profession. The Association is comprise of more than 28,000 men and women professionals who are dedicated to growing participation in the game of golf.

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