Roy “Andy” Dye
Varsity golfer and course designer
Seth Raynor and Roger Rulewich worked in the shadow of their mentors, but later emerged to establish their own identities and reputations. Very few know that in addition to Pete and Alice Dye and their two sons P. B. and Perry, there was another Dye designer, Roy, who was Pete’s younger brother. Roy Dye was born in the small rural town of Urbana, Ohio, where his father designed the Urbana Country Club. He attended the Asheville School before entering Yale in 1946.
Roy “Andy” Dye (Class of 1950) played on the Yale golf team that won the Eastern Intercollegiate Golf Association championship in 1949. Billy Booe captained the 1948 team. Given Dye’s and Booe’s later history and what we know of Coach Joe Sullivan, those must have been fun teams. One of his eight children (three are now golf course designers), his son, Roy A. Dye iii, maintained, “My father truly loved Yale. He carried it with him his entire life. When he traveled to a new city or country he would look up and contact his classmates. Those relationships he established around the world influenced his life.”
Dye graduated magnum cum laude from Yale as a chemical engineer. He served in the Marines before he worked for several chemical companies involved in plastics development. When he was found to have advanced colon cancer at age thirty-nine, he was without health insurance and selling chain-link fences. For the next twenty-six years, golf-course development kept him alive. According to Pete Dye, “My brother got sick with cancer and I just gave him a job working for me.” Under the tutelage of Pete, Roy Dye adopted a similar “Scottish” style of architecture. He was also influenced in his design work by playing Urbana Country Club, Ballybunion, and the Yale Golf Course.
From 1969 to 1994, Dye designed courses in Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, Colorado, Texas, Arizona, Canada, and Mexico. However, Dye’s dream was to be a developer, an owner and operator — to create not only a golf course, but a total golf community. His most ambitious project was developing the 9,600-acre Carefree Ranch in Arizona. But, after three years of work, he had completed only nine holes of the course and had to defer to those with more financial strength. Most of his master plan unfolded in developing Desert Mountain where there are now six Jack Nicklaus designed courses. The last course Dye designed is his best known — the Cabo San Lucas Country Club in Mexico, which opened in 1994, the year that he succumbed to cancer. His son reminisced:
So many Dyes had to fly from so many foreign golf courses that the service had to be planned two months after Roy’s death. But before the speeches and the prayers there was one urgent question—that Dyes debated for weeks with the fervor of a benediction: “Will we play golf before, or after, the service?”