Pete Dye became involved in the Firethorn residential project in the early 1980s, when thirty-five acres of land were acquired to add to the one hundred and eighty acres already earmarked for the golf course development.
This additional land was sufficient to allow Pete, his wife Alice and his son Perry to fashion a “prairie-style” layout, using native vegetation to frame the fairways as much as possible.
Construction of the course started in late 1983 when around quarter of a million cubic yards of earth was shifted during the sculpting of several holes that were lacking natural contours and the build process was finished by the end of 1985, with the official opening taking place the following summer.
A decade later, the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship was held at Firethorn in 1996 when Kelli Kuehne retained the prestigious Robert Cox Cup by defeating her Colombian opponent, Marisa Baena, 2&1 in the Final.
In 1999, Rod Whitman added another 9-hole circuit (the public West course) at Firethorn so the original two 9-hole loops that form the premier 18-hole course are now designated as the North and South nines.