A formal dedication ceremony for the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech was held today, nearly two and one half years after the impressive renovation project began.

Following the renovation, Virginia Tech and Southwest Virginia can now claim of having one of the finest golf courses in the nation and that affords the region a significant golfing destination for travelers.

The Virginia Tech Foundation acquired the River Course in 2002, located between Blacksburg and Radford, Va., in Pulaski County. 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.

“This land has grown from an amazingly scenic and independently-owned golf course-- into one of the most beautiful and challenging courses in the nation,” said Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. “It is a place where students and local residents can enjoy a round of golf, team members can train with state of the art equipment, and world class golfers will come to play their next destination course. With Bill and Alice Goodwin’s vision and loyal support, this project has come to fruition. This course places Virginia Tech among the best.”

In addition, Steger announced plans to construct a new clubhouse at the course.

“Today, I am very pleased to announce Jane L. Sheffey and James H. Long-- the trustees of the Williams-Berry Charitable Trust-- have recently given a gift to assist in building a first-rate clubhouse at the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech. Their gift is in honor and memory of Harry S. Williams and Patsy B. Williams. This gift is given in recognition of the Williams’ support of Virginia Tech and for their interest in the game of golf. The Harry S. and Patsy B. Williams name will endure throughout the life of the future clubhouse.

Featuring five sets of tees, the yardage of the course 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.

“With this remarkable venue, Virginia Tech will now have the potential to host championship golf tournaments on a regional and national level,” said Jay Hardwick, director of golf operations and head golf coach at Virginia Tech. “The generosity of the Goodwins and Pete Dye’s vision and inspiration has resulted in an incredible course for Virginia Tech, our golf program, and the golfing community,"

Renowned golf architect Pete Dye was commissioned to renovate the course. In addition to this renovation, a turf care center/maintenance building was built to house a teaching facility/locker room for the Virginia Tech golf team adjacent to the new golf team practice area.

Dye is widely considered 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, 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, as opposed to seeded. The greens now feature new L-93 bentgrass that will provide championship quality putting surfaces.

One of the most immediate and pronounced advantages to the renovation will be for the Virginia Tech golf team. Already a program of national prominence, the new facilities included in the project will bring the total program to a level with the elite programs in the country.

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.

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