Golf Digest, the nation's leading golf magazine, has named the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech among the "Best New Remodel" golf courses for 2006. The River Course was ranked fourth among the 170 courses considered, and was the only public, non-resort course in the top five.
The top five courses will be featured in the January 2007 edition of the magazine, which will be available on newsstands Tuesday, Dec. 12. The rankings also appear on the Golf Digest website.
The Virginia Tech Foundation acquired the River Course, which is located between Blacksburg and Radford, Va., in Pulaski County, in 2002. In December 2003, the university announced a renovation and improvement project after Bill and Alice Goodwin of Richmond, Va. provided the financial support to cover the cost of the design and construction of the new course arrangement. Mr. Goodwin, a Virginia Tech alumnus and avid golfer, wanted to provide the Virginia Tech golf team and the university community an opportunity to play on a world-caliber championship course.
“Thanks to the support of Bill and Alice Goodwin, and the creative genius of Pete Dye, Virginia Tech and Southwest Virginia can now lay claim to having one of the finest golf courses in the nation, and we are honored by the recognition Golf Digest has given us,” said Jay Hardwick, director of golf operations and Virginia Tech head golf coach. “And as the new home of Virginia Tech golf, the course helps elevate our intercollegiate golf program among the very best.”
The Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech was dedicated in June 2006 following nearly two and one half years of renovation work. At the dedication ceremony, Virginia Tech President Charles Steger announced that Jane L. Sheffey and James H. Long, trustees of the Williams-Berry Charitable Trust, provided a gift to assist in building a clubhouse at the course. The clubhouse, scheduled to start construction in 2007, will be named in honor and memory of Harry S. Williams and Patsy B. Williams in recognition of their support of Virginia Tech and for their interest in the game of golf.
Featuring five sets of tees, the yardage of the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech stretches from 5,142 for ladies to 7,665 for tournament play. The new layout winds along 2.5 miles of the scenic and historic New River.
Dye, widely considered one of the finest golf course architects in the world, was commissioned to renovate the course. The Indiana native has worked with the Goodwins in the past, most notably on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, host of the 1994 Ryder Cup. He has also designed The Tournament Players Club at Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.; the PGA West Stadium Course in La Quinta, Calif.; Brickyard Crossing Golf Course in Indianapolis, Ind.; Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind.; Harbour Town Golf Links and The Colleton River Dye Course in Hilton Head, S.C. and the Honors Course in Chattanooga, Tenn. Dye is known for enhancing the existing landscape and working within the natural beauty of the areas.
Many of the greens and all of the fairways and feature work were sodded rather than seeded. The greens now feature new L-93 bentgrass that will provide championship-quality putting surfaces.
In addition to the course renovation, a turf care center which houses a maintenance facility, was built as was the Virginia Tech Golf Team complex which houses locker rooms, team meeting rooms, a club repair area and indoor and outdoor teaching facilities.
The Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech is a daily fee public facility. Individual and family memberships are available and provide a variety of benefits for members.
The other courses in the Golf Digest top five new remodeled category are (1) The Stanwich Club of Greenwich, Conn.; (2) The Country Club of Rochester (N.Y.); (3) Kingsmill Resort & Spa of Williamsburg, Va.; and (5) Hermitage Country Club of Manakin-Sabot, Va.