While Ron Whitten dwells on the horror of seeing the Pete Dye he’d long known no longer able to recognize him or share stories, he uses the opportunity of a recent visit to recount Dye’s career and legacy in golf architecture in a lengthy Golf Digest story.
To me, Pete was always a combination of Will Rogers, Walt Disney and Rod Serling. Now he's barely Pete. It is heartbreaking.
I ask Alice if Pete is aware of who we are, or, more important, who he is anymore.
"I don't know what he knows," she says. "It's very strange. He doesn't communicate back much. But I think he understands more about what's going on than we think."
I guess I'd seen it coming but didn't recognize it for what it was at first, or maybe I was in a state of denial. During a round of golf in 2015 with Pete and Alice at Gulf Stream Golf Club, just down the street from their house, Pete had asked me a question, then five minutes later asked me the same question again. And he kept calling me by the wrong name. I dismissed that as the usual forgetfulness that comes with old age.
From there Whitten briefly details coming to grips with the emotions of seeing a longtime subject essentially gone. But mercifully Alice is as sharp as ever and there is a long documented record, much of which Whitten reviews in this remembrance.