|One of three outstanding 18-hole layouts on offer at PGA Village in Port St Lucie, the Dye course more than holds its own against the other two Tom Fazio designs.|
During my lifetime I've made many visits to Florida and much of the golf is relegated to formulaic designs promoting the housing element while the golf plays second fiddle.
PGA Village was clearly created with golf occupying the centermost priority position.
Owned by the PGA of America the 54-hole complex is truly a blessing for golfers. Best of all, the rates charged are very reasonable given the quality of the facility in all senses.
I've always believed the best of Pete Dye's designs came nearer to his beginnings as an architect rather than later. The more recent ones have often been contrived and over-produced to excessive proportion.
That's an easy situation to do when in The Sunshine State because of the boring nature of the terrain -- dead flat -- and the desire by some architects to "dress things up" can mean hideous results with features utterly inane.
The Dye Course at PGA Village is a first rate quality design. The routing is a bit of a weakness with a series of holes going in the same direction at the outset and repeating as much in the opposite direction roughly halfway in the round. Yet, the totality of the holes encountered is challenging as often a myriad of pesky bunkers are in locations one must clearly avoid.
The bunkering and involvement of water is deftly balanced so options for players are still presented without the overloading of "sink or swim" holes -- a common weakness of so many Florida courses because water is often used excessively. The speed of the turf can be a bit slower than I prefer but it's far from the saturated nature of so many courses in the State.
A recent updating of the course in 2016 truly helped in bringing to life the character of the layout by enhancing the greens and the look of the 95 bunkers. For those who have not been in the Port St. Lucie area I urge you to check things out and schedule a round on the Dye layout. From a guy who is not an unabashed Florida lover that's saying something.
M. James Ward