““[Bill Gates] has been historically one of my best supporters…One of my favorite e-mails he ever sent me…I proposed this crazy project. And he sent back this two-line response: ‘This has got to be the craziest thing you’ve ever suggested. Please proceed.’” ”
The Dye Preserve
Well into his 80s, Pete Dye keeps on surprising us. The railroad ties and island greens are long behind him, but even as the former insurance salesman finds himself among the latest inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame, his renewed creativity continues to remind us what a refreshing art form golf course architecture can be.
The Dye Preserve sits just west of Florida's Turnpike, six miles inland from the Intracoastal Waterway in a relatively remote stretch of Jupiter, near West Palm Beach. The course, opened in 2002, occupies 175 acres of palmettos, sable oaks, ponds and streams. The land is home to turtles, egrets, alligators and golf, but no private homes, thank you. This is a private club, with a comfortable but modest 22,000-square-foot lodge-style clubhouse concealing vaulted ceilings and small, intimate spaces throughout.
The course, with two returning nines that stretch to par-72, 7,113 yards (74.6 rating/140 slope), is virtually flat. All of the (wooden) bridges adhere to a low profile, though Dye's telltale mounds bubble up everywhere. The chief element golfers deal with are ever-so-subtly elevated greens that make a controlled approach shot imperative, since they are kept firm and the wind seems to skim across the tops of these surfaces.
The holes are arrayed diagonally alongside native ponds and wetlands. Dye's most dramatic design elements here are long, low-lying bunkers that seem to sprawl forever along the inside of a dogleg and make choosing an aim point extremely demanding.
No homesites. No tennis courts. No swimming pool. The Dye Preserve is a flawlessly maintained modern evocation of a native Florida tradition.
The Dye Preserve is at 1808 Colony Way,
Jupiter, Fla. For information, call (561) 575-7891 or visit www.thedyepreserve.com.
North Palm Beach County General Aviation (F45)
Has a 4,300-foot runway and is eight miles south of the course.
FBO: Landmark Aviation, (561) 626-9799
Palm Beach International (PBI)
Has a 10,008-foot runway and is 21 miles southeast of the course.
FBOs: Galaxy Aviation, (866) 450-6724; Jet Aviation, (800) 538-0724; Signature Flight Support, (561) 478-8700