The Course of Nature

Down-to-earth Pete Dye was an expert at blending the aesthetic with the athletic
More than 45 years after Pete Dye designed it, the short course at The Moorings continues to challenge golfers.
Photography by Ken May

Pete Dye, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 94, was one of the world’s foremost golf architects. His courses challenged and fascinated the pros, as well as high-ranking amateurs and average players alike, with their distinctive characteristics and attention to the beauty of the landscape — think Whistling Straits, home of the 2020 Ryder Cup, and TPC Sawgrass.

Dye’s genius touched Vero Beach as well. He designed four local courses: The Moorings, John’s Island’s South and North courses and Grand Harbor’s Harbor Course.

The Moorings course, however, is unique among all his courses world- wide because it is the only short or “executive” 64-par 18-hole course that he built. His goal was to design a course up to his standards and to fit it onto a relatively small piece of land. And he did just that. The course, now more than 45 years old, still both delights and confounds golfers as they play amidst its spectacular natural landscape on tight fairways menacingly close to the Indian River and other hazards.

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