Superintendent’s Association Selects Pete Dye for Old Tom Morris Award

In late-October 2002, widely respected golf course architect Pete Dye has been selected to receive the 2003 Old Tom Morris Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA). The award presentation will take place at the GCSAA Dinner Show, Saturday, Feb. 15, during the association's 74th International Golf Course Conference and Show, Feb. 10-15, in Atlanta.

GCSAA's most prestigious honor, the Old Tom Morris Award, is presented each year to an individual who "through a continuing lifetime commitment to the game of golf has helped to mold the welfare of the game in a manner and style exemplified by Old Tom Morris." Morris (1821-1908) was greenkeeper and golf professional at the St. Andrews Links Trust Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland; a four-time winner of the British Open (1861, '62, '64 and '67); and ranked as one of the top links designers of the 19th Century.

Dye, a member and past president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA), has designed some of the country's truly unique and challenging golf courses. Influenced by classical Scottish course design, he has created courses that combine those teachings with modern design.

Dye has to his credit course layouts such as The Tournament Players Club at Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.; Crooked Stick Golf Club, Carmel, Ind.; The Ocean Course, Kiawah, S.C.; The Honors Golf Club, Chattanooga, Tenn.; Brickyard Crossing, Indianapolis, Ind.; and Old Marsh, North Palm Beach, Fla. These and others have set him apart from his peers as a true innovator in golf course architecture. Known for island greens, tiny pot bunkers and the use of railroad ties in bulkhead construction, Dye's golf course designs provide some of the most enjoyable challenges in golf.

"Pete Dye has been an innovator in golf course design," GCSAA president Michael Wallace, CGCS, said. "His passion for the game and his desire to provide a challenging and enjoyable experience for the golfer certainly warrants GCSAA's recognition through presentation of the Old Tom Morris Award."

Dye joins a list of highly respected past honorees, including Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Robert Trent Jones, Sr., Tom Fazio, Gerald Ford, Bob Hope, Byron Nelson, Ken Venturi, Ben Crenshaw, Jaime Ortiz-Patiño, Nancy Lopez, Tim Finchem and Walter Woods.

Since 1926, the GCSAA has been the leading professional association for the men and women who manage and maintain golf facilities in the United States and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to more than 22,000 individual members in more than 65 countries. GCSAA's mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf.

Previous Old Tom Morris Award Winners

1983 – Arnold Palmer
1984 – Bob Hope
1985 – Gerald Ford
1986 – Patty Berg
1987 – Robert Trent Jones, Sr.
1988 – Gene Sarazen
1989 – Chi Chi Rodriguez
1990 – Sherwood Moore, CGCS
1991 – William C. Campbell
1992 – Tom Watson
1993 – Dinah Shore
1994 – Byron Nelson
1995 – Dr. James R. Watson
1996 – Tom Fazio
1997 – Ben Crenshaw
1998 – Ken Venturi
1999 – Jaime Ortiz-Patiño
2000 – Nancy Lopez
2001 – Tim Finchem
2002 – Walter Woods

[Note: The title "CGCS," after a superintendent's name, stands for Certified Golf Course Superintendent, which recognizes the achievement of high standards of professionalism through education and experience.]

Quotes from Previous Old Tom Morris Award Winners

Ken Venturi: "I won the PGA player of the year, rookie of the year, comeback player of the year, but this is the most important because I want people to have respect for this game. This is tradition."

Ben Crenshaw: "I'm just so honored. The Old Tom Morris Award and the Bobby Jones Award will always mean the most to me. I've always thought superintendents were underappreciated as a body. They do such a good job, and many times they are just taken for granted. Without a doubt, the most important person on the course is the person who takes care of it."

Byron Nelson: "I think the job the superintendents have done is the biggest improvement in golf today. The demands have caused it, yes, but also the education that the superintendents have now in agronomy and such (is critical). What I like is that golf course management has become so good universally."

Tom Watson: "In this day and age, a golf course superintendent must be an educator, scientist, agronomist, economist and a good people manager. If you put all this together with a love for a piece of earth, then you've got a good golf course superintendent."

Robert Trent Jones Sr: "To golf course superintendents around the world I owe a great debt, and every architect owes a great debt. We can only continue to provide these great golf facilities with well-educated professionals to maintain them."

Patty Berg: "Personally, I am fascinated to watch the progress that has been made by golf course superintendents in general. I will never stop being amazed at some of the things the superintendents are doing to continually upgrade their product. Just like doctors and lawyers, golf course superintendents are professionals in every sense of the word."

Arnold Palmer: "It's all very different (than the days of when his father was superintendent at Latrobe Country Club). Today, I see the superintendent as a much more visible, important person – one who is pointed at more often. He's under constant pressure to keep the course in top condition. It's tough, because you can't please everyone."