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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Pete Dye's Excuse For Sawgrass 17

Every time a golfer complains to Pete Dye about how many balls he drowned at the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass, Pete just refers them to his wife, Alice. "It was her idea," he swears while making every effort to look innocent.

The way Billy Dettlaff, TPC Director of Golf told the story to me, Dye found a great deposit of perfect sand where the 17th hole was supposed to exist as a perfectly normal, medium length par 3. He kept hauling sand away from the spot to lay the foundations for the other fairways on the course until one day he realized that if he took away any more, there wouldn't be anything left except a huge crater where the 17th hole was supposed to be.

When he recounted the problem to Alice, she told him to fill the hole with water and put the green on an island. Voila--one of the most recognized and reviled holes on the PGA tour.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds

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