I played a bit of golf as a kid, mostly on executive and low-budget courses. But I wore out EA Sportsí PGA Tour Golf on my Super Nintendo, and went around two-dimensional facsimiles of Sawgrass and PGA West a few hundred times.
I really fell in love with golf in college, and the best course I played with any frequency was PB and Peteís Kearney Hill Golf Links. It was the first place I really started to notice that design could matter Ė how scale could create deception, how challenging hazards could open up easier approach shots, and how sometimes you just need to stay the hell out of the bunker on 8.
I spent a few years in Wisconsin after college, and have been back a few times since. I remember rounds at Blackwolf Run that officially marked the end of the miserable winter, playing alongside kayakers and fishermen high on the bluffs of the Meadow-Valleys back nine. I played with GCAers on the River and enjoyed some of the finest swashbuckling golf a hack can play Ė Iím pretty sure Tarbs made the putt after the pitch from the woods on 5, and Iím pretty sure Howard carried the river to the far right fairway on 9, for starters. I played Whistling Straits with my mother a year after she was diagnosed with cancer, and a few months after she finished radiation. She wore about 8 layers and played like a 33 handicapper recovering from cancer on a 40 degree day with 20 mph wind, but Pete (and Alice) gave her a course she could enjoy even if Dustin Johnson couldn't.
I enjoyed one of the finest hikes of my life at Pete Dye Golf Club on the way to a great friendís wedding in DC. I played Teeth of the Dog with my wifeís father and brother the day before Prince died. Nobody lives forever, but Pete Dye has outlived most. And the fruits of his life will be enjoyed for many generations to come. Heís a true inspiration, and we should all strive to have as many great memories to forget in our later years. Iíd like to thank him for giving me so many of my own.