Tom Fazio’s Best Courses

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  • DandyDonDandyDon Posts: 188 ✭✭
    Bubb wrote:


    Fazio is my favorite architect. The National at Reynolds Lake Oconee is a real treat. So is the Premier at Treetops.








    It just goes to show you, different strokes for different folks.....The National was actually my least favorite course at Reynolds....
  • tarheel golftarheel golf Posts: 145 ✭✭
    Forest Creek, Pinehurst NC
  • teejaywhyteejaywhy Official GolfWRX Curmudgeon Members Posts: 7,156 ✭✭
    Schley wrote:


    Variety is the spice of life and I enjoy variety for sure, which means Doak and Fazio have their place. I think that people like chocolate and some vanilla, some coke others pepsi. There is room for both as well as others. Of the course designers who are alive today I would rank them according to my favorites top 5:



    Tom Doak

    Ben Crenshaw & Tom Coore

    Pete Dye

    Tom Fazio

    Jack Nicklaus




    Bill Coore

  • gatorMDgatorMD Hacker-in-Chief ClubWRX Posts: 4,568 ClubWRX
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  • geochitowngeochitown Members Posts: 1,605 ✭✭

    Schley wrote:


    Fazio has made his niche and done it well, he goes for high profile courses with large budgets and doesn't necessarily work with the land as he sees it, for he has the budget to move things. To compare him to Doak is apples and oranges. I think it takes much more skill and discipline to design like Doak for he let's the land tell him what to create and that is his philosophy if I had to characterize it. He has worked with some great pieces of land for sure (Bandon, Cape Kidnappers, Ballyneal) but you don't find his courses as part of golf resorts or master planned golf course communities, for he doesn't move much land, not because he can't, but because that isn't his philosophy.



    Here is an analogy. I like pizza, but just cheese. That is Doak. Fazio has some exotic menu with everything custom.




    Any Joe Smo course designer can make a great course out of land like Cape Kidnappers. Doak mostly, if not always, works with a wonderful natural setting. That's much easier than starting with nothing.




    Common ground and the Rawls course (Doak) are built on flat land
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  • geochitowngeochitown Members Posts: 1,605 ✭✭
    I think I’ve only played one Faxio course, The Glen Club, in Glenview, IL



    A golf pro buddy loves Coral Creek, near Boca Grande, FL
    Lead Tape lovingly applied - Driver through GW
    TEE XCG7 Beta +1* to 11.5* - TP6HD Firm tipped xx" - 44.25" (CANNON!)
    TEE XCG7 Beta 5W 18* - Matrix 8M2 stiff tipped 1.625" at 41.75"
    TEE XCG7 Beta 22*H - Diamana Thump T93 Stiff untipped at 38.75"
    TEE XCG7 Beta 25*H - Diamana Thump i465ct 4i shaft stiff 38.25"
    Maxfli Revolution Black 5-PW (27,31,35,39,43,48) at -1/2" length DGS300U
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  • raynorfan1raynorfan1 Members Posts: 3,519 ✭✭
    geochitown wrote:


    Schley wrote:


    Fazio has made his niche and done it well, he goes for high profile courses with large budgets and doesn't necessarily work with the land as he sees it, for he has the budget to move things. To compare him to Doak is apples and oranges. I think it takes much more skill and discipline to design like Doak for he let's the land tell him what to create and that is his philosophy if I had to characterize it. He has worked with some great pieces of land for sure (Bandon, Cape Kidnappers, Ballyneal) but you don't find his courses as part of golf resorts or master planned golf course communities, for he doesn't move much land, not because he can't, but because that isn't his philosophy.



    Here is an analogy. I like pizza, but just cheese. That is Doak. Fazio has some exotic menu with everything custom.




    Any Joe Smo course designer can make a great course out of land like Cape Kidnappers. Doak mostly, if not always, works with a wonderful natural setting. That's much easier than starting with nothing.




    Common ground and the Rawls course (Doak) are built on flat land




    And both are among his least celebrated designs.
  • jwellefson1jwellefson1 Members Posts: 178 ✭✭
    Has anyone played Piedmont in Northern VA? I have a connection there and just wanted to know what its like. I know it's a Fazio design, but otherwise I don't know much else.
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  • Schley Schley Love ya don't tell ya enough! Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaMembers Posts: 1,115 ✭✭
    raynorfan1 wrote:

    geochitown wrote:


    Schley wrote:


    Fazio has made his niche and done it well, he goes for high profile courses with large budgets and doesn't necessarily work with the land as he sees it, for he has the budget to move things. To compare him to Doak is apples and oranges. I think it takes much more skill and discipline to design like Doak for he let's the land tell him what to create and that is his philosophy if I had to characterize it. He has worked with some great pieces of land for sure (Bandon, Cape Kidnappers, Ballyneal) but you don't find his courses as part of golf resorts or master planned golf course communities, for he doesn't move much land, not because he can't, but because that isn't his philosophy.



    Here is an analogy. I like pizza, but just cheese. That is Doak. Fazio has some exotic menu with everything custom.




    Any Joe Smo course designer can make a great course out of land like Cape Kidnappers. Doak mostly, if not always, works with a wonderful natural setting. That's much easier than starting with nothing.




    Common ground and the Rawls course (Doak) are built on flat land




    And both are among his least celebrated designs.




    I wouldn't say Common Ground is one his least celebrated. He did a fine job at the redo and is a very nice public facility with a growing the game focus. Well utilized and appreciated by many.
  • raynorfan1raynorfan1 Members Posts: 3,519 ✭✭
    edited Nov 26, 2018 #131
    Schley wrote:

    raynorfan1 wrote:

    geochitown wrote:


    Schley wrote:


    Fazio has made his niche and done it well, he goes for high profile courses with large budgets and doesn't necessarily work with the land as he sees it, for he has the budget to move things. To compare him to Doak is apples and oranges. I think it takes much more skill and discipline to design like Doak for he let's the land tell him what to create and that is his philosophy if I had to characterize it. He has worked with some great pieces of land for sure (Bandon, Cape Kidnappers, Ballyneal) but you don't find his courses as part of golf resorts or master planned golf course communities, for he doesn't move much land, not because he can't, but because that isn't his philosophy.



    Here is an analogy. I like pizza, but just cheese. That is Doak. Fazio has some exotic menu with everything custom.




    Any Joe Smo course designer can make a great course out of land like Cape Kidnappers. Doak mostly, if not always, works with a wonderful natural setting. That's much easier than starting with nothing.




    Common ground and the Rawls course (Doak) are built on flat land




    And both are among his least celebrated designs.




    I wouldn't say Common Ground is one his least celebrated. He did a fine job at the redo and is a very nice public facility with a growing the game focus. Well utilized and appreciated by many.




    Celebrated might not have been a good choice of words - the concept is celebrated, but the course itself is not very highly regarded. Sort of the same way that Goat Hill is "celebrated"...but that doesn't make it a "great" course.



    And for validation, I'll point you to Doak's "Rank My Courses" thread at GCA; CommonGround is almost universally at (or near) the bottom of everybody's rankings.
  • firstbatchfirstbatch Members Posts: 1,025 ✭✭
    Belfair West in Bluffton,SC is a great Fazio track and home in April to the PGA Club Pro tournament.
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  • Schley Schley Love ya don't tell ya enough! Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaMembers Posts: 1,115 ✭✭
    raynorfan1 wrote:




    Celebrated might not have been a good choice of words - the concept is celebrated, but the course itself is not very highly regarded. Sort of the same way that Goat Hill is "celebrated"...but that doesn't make it a "great" course.



    And for validation, I'll point you to Doak's "Rank My Courses" thread at GCA; CommonGround is almost universally at (or near) the bottom of everybody's rankings.




    So the goalposts have moved.



    Had you said lowest rated of his courses I would agree it would be in the bottom half. Keep in mind Tom Doak doesn't and hasn't done bad courses. If I were to rank his courses and give an average, IMO only Coore/Crenshaw would probably score higher for active architects.
  • raynorfan1raynorfan1 Members Posts: 3,519 ✭✭
    Schley wrote:

    raynorfan1 wrote:


    Celebrated might not have been a good choice of words - the concept is celebrated, but the course itself is not very highly regarded. Sort of the same way that Goat Hill is "celebrated"...but that doesn't make it a "great" course.



    And for validation, I'll point you to Doak's "Rank My Courses" thread at GCA; CommonGround is almost universally at (or near) the bottom of everybody's rankings.




    So the goalposts have moved.



    Had you said lowest rated of his courses I would agree it would be in the bottom half. Keep in mind Tom Doak doesn't and hasn't done bad courses. If I were to rank his courses and give an average, IMO only Coore/Crenshaw would probably score higher for active architects.




    I'm happy to debate the original goalposts. I think it's a little weird to turn on the meaning of "celebrated".



    Look at the thread on GCA. CommonGround is consistently ranked (as is Rawls) at the bottom of the list. I don't know of a better measure of "celebration" than having a collection of Doak fans list their favorite courses top to bottom. If you wish to propose a better measure, feel free, but I haven't seen it.



    I agree with you that it's a good course that is loved and appreciated by many. But that doesn't change the fact that it's one of his lowest-regarded efforts.
  • Schley Schley Love ya don't tell ya enough! Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaMembers Posts: 1,115 ✭✭
    raynorfan1 wrote:

    Schley wrote:

    raynorfan1 wrote:


    Celebrated might not have been a good choice of words - the concept is celebrated, but the course itself is not very highly regarded. Sort of the same way that Goat Hill is "celebrated"...but that doesn't make it a "great" course.



    And for validation, I'll point you to Doak's "Rank My Courses" thread at GCA; CommonGround is almost universally at (or near) the bottom of everybody's rankings.




    So the goalposts have moved.



    Had you said lowest rated of his courses I would agree it would be in the bottom half. Keep in mind Tom Doak doesn't and hasn't done bad courses. If I were to rank his courses and give an average, IMO only Coore/Crenshaw would probably score higher for active architects.




    I'm happy to debate the original goalposts. I think it's a little weird to turn on the meaning of "celebrated".



    Look at the thread on GCA. CommonGround is consistently ranked (as is Rawls) at the bottom of the list. I don't know of a better measure of "celebration" than having a collection of Doak fans list their favorite courses top to bottom. If you wish to propose a better measure, feel free, but I haven't seen it.



    I agree with you that it's a good course that is loved and appreciated by many. But that doesn't change the fact that it's one of his lowest-regarded efforts.




    Dude.... you are the one who used celebrated, not me. It doesn't mean highest rated to me. I simply said had you used lowest rated of his courses my opinion would have been different.



    However when I evaluate courses I have seen and played I don't really care what others opinions are, I now have one myself and put that ahead of any others. The worst Ferrari is still a Ferrari and I think of Doak as well as CC courses the same way. I would put Common Ground at a Doak 5 personally. I can understand lower scores, but a 5 is certainly an above average course and where I see it, thus my opinion. As a result and for all the reasons given previously it is very much celebrated.
  • raynorfan1raynorfan1 Members Posts: 3,519 ✭✭
    Schley wrote:


    As a result and for all the reasons given previously it is very much celebrated.




    More celebrated than his other works?



    I stand by my original point that it is among his least celebrated work. As is Rawls.
  • RichieHuntRichieHunt Members Posts: 3,599 ✭✭
    I like Fazio's designs. But like Ari said, he designed very expensive courses and golf courses are going more organic these days.



    I also love Pine Barrens. That's what I like about his work over say, Crenshaw's. He's been able to design different types of layouts and create a lot of gems. In fact, Rolling Oaks at World Woods gets way overlooked. That's a great track and is completely different from Pine Barrens.













    RH
  • FairwayFredFairwayFred Sponsors Posts: 3,967 ✭✭
    edited Nov 26, 2018 #138
    Has anyone played Pine Valley since Fazio redid the bunkering on the 12th hole? Since this is potentially some of his last work I think it's a very interesting topic. Especially since he is a member (along with Gil Hanse). I played PV last month and I was very surprised to see what he did there.
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  • mallratmallrat Members Posts: 2,868 ✭✭
    Surprised no one has brought up Pronghorn. A course of his that I VERY much enjoy.



    Interesting what I read about his courses being expensive and not organic. At work we have a Fazio and Nicklaus course and the Fazio course takes about 1/2 the amount of maintenance time.
  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,056 ✭✭
    mallrat wrote:


    Interesting what I read about his courses being expensive and not organic.




    That may be only one person's opinion.
  • FairwayFredFairwayFred Sponsors Posts: 3,967 ✭✭
    edited Nov 27, 2018 #141

    mallrat wrote:


    Interesting what I read about his courses being expensive and not organic.




    That may be only one person's opinion.




    It's not one person's opinion. In general Fazio builds expensive courses where he moves alot of dirt. (similar to Nicklaus) That's just fact. The merits of this approach can definitely be debated but that is clearly Fazios MO.
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  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,056 ✭✭
    Expensive is a relative term. When I think expensive, Chambers Bay, Whistling Straits, Trump National, Shadow Creek and Liberty National come to mind.



    Yes, Fazio has built some expensive courses (Shadow Creek), but a lot of his courses are not like that. I've only played 18 of his courses and most I would put in the medium category, like Barton Creek Canyons, Barton Creek Foothills, Red Sky, Whisper Rock, etc.
  • vallygolfvallygolf Posts: 394 ✭✭
    Always interesting to me that any thread regarding architecture (even one specifically aimed at Fazio) typically evolves into looking through the Doak lens. Not good or bad, just IS. Probably because he is not shy about making striking public comments on others lack of talent in design. Interestingly for me he has designed two of my all time favorite high profile courses (Old Mac and PD at bandon), and two resounding thuds for high profile courses (SS Blue and the Loop). I appreciate the comment above that architecture like art is a personal taste. I like what I like irrespective of Mr. Doak.
  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,056 ✭✭
    vallygolf wrote:


    Always interesting to me that any thread regarding architecture (even one specifically aimed at Fazio) typically evolves into looking through the Doak lens. Not good or bad, just IS. Probably because he is not shy about making striking public comments on others lack of talent in design. Interestingly for me he has designed two of my all time favorite high profile courses (Old Mac and PD at bandon), and two resounding thuds for high profile courses (SS Blue and the Loop). I appreciate the comment above that architecture like art is a personal taste. I like what I like irrespective of Mr. Doak.




    Unfortunately, I haven't played any Doak courses. But based on his top courses list I doubt that I would appreciate his designs as much as he does (he's in love with himself).
  • FairwayFredFairwayFred Sponsors Posts: 3,967 ✭✭


    Expensive is a relative term. When I think expensive, Chambers Bay, Whistling Straits, Trump National, Shadow Creek and Liberty National come to mind.



    Yes, Fazio has built some expensive courses (Shadow Creek), but a lot of his courses are not like that. I've only played 18 of his courses and most I would put in the medium category, like Barton Creek Canyons, Barton Creek Foothills, Red Sky, Whisper Rock, etc.




    Yeah I guess everything is relative. Every course you mention is a high dollar/expensive build project but if your only comparing to other expensive build projects than it's all relative. There's alot that goes into this that you can't see like drainage and irrigation etc that makes up a large dollar figure. I'd be surprised for example if the construction budget for Chambers Bay was considerably higher than Whisper Rock. They did move a ton of dirt at Chambers but I believe they didn't have to import a bunch of sand (which is very expensive) because it was already on site.

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  • doubledubdoubledub ClubWRX Posts: 63 ClubWRX
    Escondido northwest of Austin. Great set of greens that are always firm. Green designs match holes well (difficult hole=mellow green, easy hole=prepare to be ejected). Best angles into greens almost always require aiming towards the trouble off the tee.
  • mallratmallrat Members Posts: 2,868 ✭✭


    mallrat wrote:


    Interesting what I read about his courses being expensive and not organic.




    That may be only one person's opinion.




    It's not one person's opinion. In general Fazio builds expensive courses where he moves alot of dirt. (similar to Nicklaus) That's just fact. The merits of this approach can definitely be debated but that is clearly Fazios MO.




    This clarifies a big part of my post. I was thinking expensive in terms of maintenance and not purely build cost.
  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,056 ✭✭
    edited Nov 28, 2018 #148



    Expensive is a relative term. When I think expensive, Chambers Bay, Whistling Straits, Trump National, Shadow Creek and Liberty National come to mind.



    Yes, Fazio has built some expensive courses (Shadow Creek), but a lot of his courses are not like that. I've only played 18 of his courses and most I would put in the medium category, like Barton Creek Canyons, Barton Creek Foothills, Red Sky, Whisper Rock, etc.




    Yeah I guess everything is relative. Every course you mention is a high dollar/expensive build project but if your only comparing to other expensive build projects than it's all relative. There's alot that goes into this that you can't see like drainage and irrigation etc that makes up a large dollar figure. I'd be surprised for example if the construction budget for Chambers Bay was considerably higher than Whisper Rock. They did move a ton of dirt at Chambers but I believe they didn't have to import a bunch of sand (which is very expensive) because it was already on site.




    The land for Chambers Bay was $33 million and construction of the course was over $20 million before they built a clubhouse. But that's OK since it was paid for with other people's money.
  • FairwayFredFairwayFred Sponsors Posts: 3,967 ✭✭




    Expensive is a relative term. When I think expensive, Chambers Bay, Whistling Straits, Trump National, Shadow Creek and Liberty National come to mind.



    Yes, Fazio has built some expensive courses (Shadow Creek), but a lot of his courses are not like that. I've only played 18 of his courses and most I would put in the medium category, like Barton Creek Canyons, Barton Creek Foothills, Red Sky, Whisper Rock, etc.




    Yeah I guess everything is relative. Every course you mention is a high dollar/expensive build project but if your only comparing to other expensive build projects than it's all relative. There's alot that goes into this that you can't see like drainage and irrigation etc that makes up a large dollar figure. I'd be surprised for example if the construction budget for Chambers Bay was considerably higher than Whisper Rock. They did move a ton of dirt at Chambers but I believe they didn't have to import a bunch of sand (which is very expensive) because it was already on site.




    The land for Chambers Bay was $33 million and construction of the course was over $20 million before they built a clubhouse. But that's OK since it was paid for with other people's money.




    The Fazio course at Whisper Rock easily cost more than $20 million to build for just the golf. Regardless of who paid for it. No idea about land acquisition costs but that's irrelevant to this discussion.
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  • MakersMarsh3MakersMarsh3 Posts: 1,176 ✭✭
    Escondido, Briggs Ranch, Alotian Club, Lake Nona, Shadow Creek



    Some of my favorite Faio designs that I’ve played.... I find them all very fun and challenging enough

    But none of them get me too excited. They are all just very very solid. Nothing too unique or spectacular from a design perspective. Just lacking a little something
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