We lost her at age 91 on Friday, Feb. 1st, 2019, but her voice may be speaking louder now than it did in her lifetime as we not only reflect and pay tribute, but also as we recognize the magnitude of her contributions to the design of golf courses that fit the women’s game.
In memoriam, Alice has been lauded for her many accomplishments as an amateur golf champion and recognized for her course designs that have challenged the very best of professional players. The volume has also been turned up on recognition of her work to ensure Dye-designed golf courses were challenging, yet equally as playable for shorter hitting amateurs as they were for long hitters. We have also paused to recognize the important influence she had on her husband Pete, and the mutual respect they had for each other as course designers.
But probably Alice’s greatest contribution is that she set a solid foundation in golf course architecture where none existed – she truly “blazed a trail.” She was ahead of her time, and her formative ideas to design better fitting golf courses for women have finally found an audience. While those of us in the golf course architecture profession know Alice’s work well, including her development of the “Two Tee System for Women,” it is in her passing that many more in the golf world and beyond are learning of her golf course design accomplishments and contributions. Today’s forward tees are but one of the gifts Alice gave to women’s golf, and it is upon her technical design groundwork for women golfers that I and other architects stand. She gave us a solid and well-conceived starting point for multi-user course design.
It is at this reflective time that we should all contemplate what it would be like if she had not given women’s golf the gift of the “Two Tee System for Women.” Where would we be without her foundations to build upon? We would be at a very different starting point. The seeds she planted will continue to bloom and grow, the foundations she set down will continue to be stood upon, and we will hopefully always hear a voice in our architectural mind saying, “…but how will the shorter hitter play this hole?”