Thanks to the contributions of some generous donors and to the work of renowned golf architect Pete Dye, the Virginia Tech golf team practices in a state-of-the-art facility and plays on one of the best golf courses in the country.
In 2004, Dye began a renovation of The River Course of Virginia Tech, a golf course acquired by the Virginia Tech Foundation in 2002. Dye spent nearly two years designing the course to fit his vision, and the university thanks him by formally renaming the golf course The Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech. Opening in August of 2005, the course was selected by Golf Digest as one of the Top 5 "Best Newly Remodeled Courses in America" for 2006.
Dedicated formally The Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech in June of 2006, the beautiful course features five sets of tees along 2.5 miles of the scenic and historic New River. The yardage stretches from 5,142 yards for ladies to 7,665 for tournament play.
In addition to the renovation of the course, a turf care center was constructed, as well as the Virginia Tech Golf Team Complex, which houses an indoor teaching center that opens to the outside range and is equipped with the latest video swing analysis system. The Hokies’ team complex also includes locker rooms, a club repair room, a players' lounge, a recruit welcome area and a team meeting room for the Tech golf team. A covered tee area, which is enclosed on three sides, is located at the back of the practice range and is equipped with fans, radiant heaters and lights.
These improvements would not have been possible without the support from Bill and Alice Goodwin of Richmond, Va. Goodwin, a Virginia Tech alumnus, is an avid golfer and wanted to provide the Tech golf team and the university community an opportunity to play on a world-caliber championship course. Their generous gift covered all costs of design and construction.
The team’s indoor facility was constructed adjacent to the golf team practice area, which was originally built in 2003 and made possible through the generosity of longtime golf team supporter and scholarship donor, the late C.M. "Buddy" Neviaser, and his late wife, Doris. This facility provides Tech players with one of the finest total practice complexes in the nation. The facility was officially dedicated in September of 2004.
The course itself continues to draw rave reviews. In 2008-09, Golf Digest rated it as a 4.5 star facility and included the course among its “Best Places to Play.” This rating was the highest awarded in Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee and was also shared with The Homestead's Cascades Course, The Meadows Course at the Greenbrier, Kingsmill's River Course, and Pinehurst Resort Courses Nos. 4, 6, 7 & 8.
In 2008, the course was named as one of the "100 Middle Atlantic Must-Play Courses for 2008" and was selected No. 18 on the list of Golfweek's 2010 Best Campus Courses. The course moved up to No. 9 in Golfweek’s 2011 Best Campus Courses list.
Dye is noted as one of the finest golf course architects in the world. 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 in 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 area. He used all of the natural attributes of the previous course, including the New River, with its adjoining rock formations and natural trees and vegetation.
"This is a very exciting opportunity for Virginia Tech, our golf program, the membership and the golfing community," said Jay Hardwick, director of golf operations at Virginia Tech and head coach of the golf team. "We are indeed fortunate to have a Pete Dye signature golf course, named after one of the most renowned and respected golf course architects in the world.”
The course served as the destination of the 2011 NCAA Men’s East Regional and future bids for NCAA events are in the works.
In October of 2010, the dedication of a new $5.5 million clubhouse took place. The Harry S. and Patsy B. Williams Clubhouse was named in honor of Harry and Patsy Williams, long-time supporters of Virginia Tech athletics and academics. Williams graduated from Tech in 1955. Construction on the clubhouse was completed in May of 2010 and officially dedicated in honor of the Williams family in October of 2010. The views of the golf course from the 4,000 square feet deck surrounding it are breathtaking. The new facility consists of a spacious golf shop, multi-purpose conference room, men's and ladies' locker rooms, and the Hackin' Hokie Grille.
The overall project allows for play by all residents of the New River Valley community, as the course is open to the public for daily play. Club members, daily fee golfers, visitors, faculty, staff and students of Virginia Tech and all others are afforded access to one of the finest golf courses in the nation. The renovated course, which complements the natural beauty of the area and the adjacent New River, allows for future economic growth. The course was designed to become a destination for golfers looking to play on the finest courses and a site for future tournaments and championship events.
The Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech will do for Hokie golf what Lane Stadium/Worsham Field has done for Virginia Tech football. It is "The Best."
From more information about the Pete Dye River Course visit the website www.petedyerivercourse.com