Often called the “Dye Original,” the Urbana Country Club has a unique place in the history of American golf. In the book, Pete Dye Golf Courses – Fifty Years of Visionary Design, the story begins in Urbana. “It is remarkable how life often turns on a whim, a chance encounter, a happenstance. If it was not for a timely automobile breakdown some ninety years ago, there would probably be no such thing as a Pete Dye golf course.” It was in 1922 that Paul F. (“Pink”) Dye’s car broke down in Pennsylvania and, while waiting for repairs, he played nine holes for the first time in his life. He returned to Urbana hooked on the game and, along with several investors, designed and built the first nine holes of the UCC on land owned by his wife, Elizabeth Johnson Dye’s family. It was on this tract that Pink’s son Pete learned to play the game and tend the course.
During WWII, Pete served as the course superintendent. Always a champion of the golf course and a golfer in her own right, Elizabeth dreamed of the day a second nine holes would be built. She held to her dream and convinced her grandson, P.B. Dye to come finish his grandfather’s work.