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Tom Fazio’s Best Courses


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#31 adamjstl

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 11:21 AM

I appreciate all those who answered the thread without bashing the architect.

We all have different criteria for evaluating courses. All the major publications use a different formula for creating their Top 100 Lists, yet all of them have numerous Fazio designs.





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#32 troublelove

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 11:46 AM

My favourite Fazio course closed a few years ago... The Falls at Lake Las Vegas. Great times and a perfect 'have fun and don't score' course.

World Woods, Waterville (Ireland) and Shadow Creek comes a pretty close 2nd.
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#33 FairwayFred

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 12:08 PM

View PostMr. Blutarski, on 28 November 2017 - 10:54 AM, said:

View PostFairwayFred, on 28 November 2017 - 07:43 AM, said:

View PostRoadking2003, on 28 November 2017 - 07:32 AM, said:

View Postmallrat, on 27 November 2017 - 11:51 PM, said:

That said I got into an argument on here last year with someone who said that Fazio is the worst current architect and all his courses are garbage. Where I took exception was that that was his opinion and he was saying it like fact. He wouldn't accept that that was just his opinion.

Sounds like somebody who is insecure in his opinions. So he refuses to debate the issue because his only argument is "my opinion is better than yours".

I love Fazio courses and I think most experts would list him among the "best ever architects" .

Fazio has done some good work but I don't know any experts who would list him as one of the best ever architects.  Not even close. Despite all his designs there has never been a Major held at a Fazio course and 2 of his highest profile redo jobs for majors (Inverness and Oak Hill) are being currently redone to remove any traces of the work he did.  The industry has shifted away from the kind of courses Fazio designed with their concentration on "framing" the hole and extensive earth moving and more towards a natural approach and imo Golf is all the better for it.  He was part of the era of excess that had developers spending far too much on average golf courses which helped make the price of the game sky rocket.  It's a hole I believe golf is still trying to dig itself out of.

My favorite Fazio course is World Woods Pine Barrens.

He also did the "Tiger proofing" of Augusta National.

Yes he did.  Wheather or not that was a good thing is a different discussion.

View PostCMCSGolf, on 28 November 2017 - 10:23 AM, said:

It seems like Fazio rarely builds someone's favorite course.  A lot of people have listed good courses they enjoy playing, but are any of these the next course any one has played?  However, he also rarely builds a course that stinks.  He seems to have the recipe nailed for a quality course that is good, but not truly great. I find that a lot of his courses look very similar, but that can be said about Doak as well and he is a very different kind of architect.

I really like Pronghorn Fazio.  That course looks great and has all kinds of fun shots.  On the other side, his work at Inverness is awful. The 3rd hole (par 3 with a pond on the right) could not fit worse into a classic Ross course.  His style has a modern look and it does not seem to meld very well into 100 year old courses.

+1  I think this post is spot on.
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#34 raynorfan1

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 12:23 PM

View Postadamjstl, on 28 November 2017 - 11:21 AM, said:

I appreciate all those who answered the thread without bashing the architect.

We all have different criteria for evaluating courses. All the major publications use a different formula for creating their Top 100 Lists, yet all of them have numerous Fazio designs.

If you look at the numbers behind the Golf Digest rankings, they bear out what people “feel” - Fazio’s courses outperform peers in “aesthetics” and “conditioning” and underperform on “shot values” and “resistance to scoring”.

This, understandably, draws the scorn of the architecture snobs.

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#35 dhc1

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 12:38 PM

View Postraynorfan1, on 28 November 2017 - 08:04 AM, said:

View Postdeadsolid...shank, on 28 November 2017 - 07:59 AM, said:

Can't say I really know if I've ever played one of his courses.

You'd know. Fazio courses are not shy about letting you know about the great genius who designed them.

Probably true but pales in comparison to the worship that Tom Doak gets/gives himself.

Edited by dhc1, 28 November 2017 - 03:04 PM.


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#36 Morety

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 12:49 PM

I'd like to play any of the Discovery Land Co. properties and I think that Fazio has done most of those courses.  All look like fun courses and amazing properties.
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#37 One_Putt_Blunder

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 12:51 PM

Kinda shocked not to see Gozzer Ranch mentioned yet. That one looks awesome and in the running for his best work
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#38 augustgolf

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 12:54 PM

I haven't read the entire number of posts here, but I would put Mariner Sands in Martin County Florida up there with anything that he has done.

Great, playable members course. Easier to maintain than some monstrosities done in the recent past, and an enjoyable round anytime I've played it.
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#39 adamjstl

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 01:35 PM

View Postraynorfan1, on 28 November 2017 - 12:23 PM, said:

View Postadamjstl, on 28 November 2017 - 11:21 AM, said:

I appreciate all those who answered the thread without bashing the architect.

Exactly. I created the post to highlight his best work; not point out his shortcomings.

We all have different criteria for evaluating courses. All the major publications use a different formula for creating their Top 100 Lists, yet all of them have numerous Fazio designs.

If you look at the numbers behind the Golf Digest rankings, they bear out what people “feel” - Fazio’s courses outperform peers in “aesthetics” and “conditioning” and underperform on “shot values” and “resistance to scoring”.

This, understandably, draws the scorn of the architecture snobs.


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#40 adamjstl

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 01:40 PM

Btw, the Golfweek methodology includes aesthetics and conditioning categories as well. The Golf Magazine system is essentially a “I know it when I see it” model.

Regardless, I created the post to highlight his best work, not point out his shortcomings.


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#41 BNGL

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 02:03 PM

View Postaugustgolf, on 28 November 2017 - 12:54 PM, said:

I haven't read the entire number of posts here, but I would put Mariner Sands in Martin County Florida up there with anything that he has done.

Great, playable members course. Easier to maintain than some monstrosities done in the recent past, and an enjoyable round anytime I've played it.

Mariner Sands is definitely an overlooked course! As well conditioned as some more exclusive clubs down the road.

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#42 DoubleorQuits

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 02:16 PM

Shadow Creek
Wade Hampton
Diamond Creek

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#43 jerebear21

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 02:38 PM

unlimited resources + bulldozers + lack of shot quality = Fazio

he built so many there's bound to be a good one here or there;  pine barren is my favorite of his and it's probably not even his best looking one.
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#44 raynorfan1

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 02:57 PM

View Postdhc1, on 28 November 2017 - 12:38 PM, said:

Probably true but pales in comparison to the worship that Tom Doak get/gives himself.

I think Doak is a great student of golf history, and understands that a significant amount of the "greatness" of Donald Ross, RTJ, et. al. was their marketing ability. He'd like to be equally great...

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#45 sheldonjhacker

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 03:06 PM

He's done a bunch of updates/slight modifications to lots of courses...at $1,000,000.00 per !  :nyam:


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#46 dhc1

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 03:08 PM

View PostMorety, on 28 November 2017 - 12:49 PM, said:

I'd like to play any of the Discovery Land Co. properties and I think that Fazio has done most of those courses.  All look like fun courses and amazing properties.

Silo Ridge is great - greens are really well done.

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#47 dpark

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 03:11 PM

View Postraynorfan1, on 28 November 2017 - 10:46 AM, said:

I really enjoy playing Tom Fazio designs. They're big, beautiful, fun courses. When I'm on vacation and I want to roll around in a cart for a few hours hitting golf balls in a beautiful setting, Fazio is the guy.

But for all of their beauty, his courses tend not to be particularly thoughtful or challenging. They're generally pretty straightforward and easy to figure out. Which is sometimes exactly what you want...but they're not "amazing" golf courses - just really fun one night stands.

I have only played a few Fazio courses (Pronghorn, Wild Dunes and Oak Creek) and have enjoyed playing each of them. I don't see them as being quite as "over the top" as modern Pete Dye courses. They are aesthetically pleasing and relatively straightforward and fun to play. I have played Oak Creek the most as it is across the street from where I used to live in Irvine. Very pricey but considering the zip code, inline with other courses in the area. No question he moved a ton of dirt to make the course (it used to be flat ground where a lemon tree grove was), but it works.
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#48 jloveless

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 04:40 PM

Got to play Capital City Crabapple course recently, absolutely immaculate! Very challenging layout with many tee options.
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#49 Roadking2003

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 05:46 PM

View PostOne_Putt_Blunder, on 28 November 2017 - 12:51 PM, said:

Kinda shocked not to see Gozzer Ranch mentioned yet. That one looks awesome and in the running for his best work

Probably because very few of us have played it.  I tried but couldn't get on.

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#50 Roadking2003

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 05:53 PM

View Postraynorfan1, on 28 November 2017 - 12:23 PM, said:

View Postadamjstl, on 28 November 2017 - 11:21 AM, said:

I appreciate all those who answered the thread without bashing the architect.

We all have different criteria for evaluating courses. All the major publications use a different formula for creating their Top 100 Lists, yet all of them have numerous Fazio designs.

If you look at the numbers behind the Golf Digest rankings, they bear out what people "feel" - Fazio's courses outperform peers in "aesthetics" and "conditioning" and underperform on "shot values" and "resistance to scoring".

This, understandably, draws the scorn of the architecture snobs.

Resistance to scoring should never be a consideration for greatness.  Any yahoo can make a golf course resistant to scoring.

And I would like some of the Fazio critics to be more specific around his lack of shot values.  I don't find any lack of shot values on most of his courses.   Somebody should list the lack of shot values at Whisper Rock and Red Sky and Flint Hills National and Barton Creek Canyons.  

Thinking about Fazio courses and reading about shot values (see link below) would lead me to think many are just repeating what they have heard rather than doing a hole by hole shot values evaluation.

http://www.golfcours...jeffrey-brauer/

Edited by Roadking2003, 28 November 2017 - 05:57 PM.


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#51 Carl Spackler2

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 06:31 PM

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#52 mallrat

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 06:43 PM

View PostRoadking2003, on 28 November 2017 - 09:01 AM, said:

View Postmallrat, on 27 November 2017 - 11:51 PM, said:

Interesting topic and I had no idea about the # of Fazio courses. I' a Fazio fan and will always choose one of his courses if that is the difference.

BTW, is your profile photo the North Course at Mauna Lani?  I love that course.

Actually it’s the Fazio course at Pronghorn

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#53 duffer987

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 06:44 PM

View PostRoadking2003, on 28 November 2017 - 05:53 PM, said:

View Postraynorfan1, on 28 November 2017 - 12:23 PM, said:

View Postadamjstl, on 28 November 2017 - 11:21 AM, said:

I appreciate all those who answered the thread without bashing the architect.

We all have different criteria for evaluating courses. All the major publications use a different formula for creating their Top 100 Lists, yet all of them have numerous Fazio designs.

If you look at the numbers behind the Golf Digest rankings, they bear out what people "feel" - Fazio's courses outperform peers in "aesthetics" and "conditioning" and underperform on "shot values" and "resistance to scoring".

This, understandably, draws the scorn of the architecture snobs.

Resistance to scoring should never be a consideration for greatness.  Any yahoo can make a golf course resistant to scoring.


Aesthetics should never be a consideration for greatness: Any yahoo can buy 200 acres in the valley below some mountain range and plant a bunch of colorful flowers.
Ambience should never be a consideration for greatness: Any yahoo can build a clubhouse, stuff it full of leather and wood, and put the employees in plus 4s.

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#54 Roadking2003

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 06:45 PM

View Postmallrat, on 28 November 2017 - 06:43 PM, said:


Aesthetics should never be a consideration for greatness: Any yahoo can buy 200 acres in the valley below some mountain range and plant a bunch of colorful flowers.
Ambience should never be a consideration for greatness: Any yahoo can build a clubhouse, stuff it full of leather and wood, and put the employees in plus 4s.

:taunt:

Edited by Roadking2003, 28 November 2017 - 06:45 PM.


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#55 cristphoto

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 07:34 PM

View Postkrtgolfing, on 28 November 2017 - 08:29 AM, said:

View PostRoadking2003, on 28 November 2017 - 07:27 AM, said:

I've played 17 Fazio courses and all of them are very good; some are spectacular.  Here is how I would rank them;

Whisper Rock
Red Sky Fazio
Flint Hills National Golf Club
Barton Creek Canyons
Cordillera Mountain
Barton Creek Foothills
Stonebriar CC
Wild Dunes
Pelican Hill Golf Club
White Columns
Grayhawk Golf Club - Raptor
Amelia Island Plantation - Long Point
Pinehurst #7
Disney Osprey Ridge
Gateway Golf and CC
World Woods Pine Barrons
Woodlands - Carlton Woods

View Postcristphoto, on 28 November 2017 - 08:10 AM, said:

Pinehurst 7 and Palmetto (Hilton Head) are two good courses.

I believe you are thinking of Pinehurst number 8 as number 7 is a Rees Jones course. Sadly have not had the chance to play number 8 yet. Heard great things about it!

Oops.  Yes #8.  I was there a couple years ago and played 2,7,8.  All great courses.


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#56 youraway2

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 07:37 PM

World Woods is a god course, but I also liked Dancing Rabbit, Azalea Course.
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#57 tarheel golf

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 09:02 PM

Mountain Top, Diamond Creek, Wade Hampton

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#58 BUCKEYERBALL88

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 11:52 PM

I find Fazio extremely overrated. My ranking of Fazio
Designs that I’ve played:

1) World woods pine barrens
2) World woods rolling oaks
3) whisper upper
4) grayhawk raptor

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#59 BUCKEYERBALL88

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 11:55 PM

View PostFairwayFred, on 28 November 2017 - 07:43 AM, said:

View PostRoadking2003, on 28 November 2017 - 07:32 AM, said:

View Postmallrat, on 27 November 2017 - 11:51 PM, said:

That said I got into an argument on here last year with someone who said that Fazio is the worst current architect and all his courses are garbage. Where I took exception was that that was his opinion and he was saying it like fact. He wouldn't accept that that was just his opinion.

Sounds like somebody who is insecure in his opinions. So he refuses to debate the issue because his only argument is "my opinion is better than yours".

I love Fazio courses and I think most experts would list him among the "best ever architects" .

Fazio has done some good work but I don't know any experts who would list him as one of the best ever architects.  Not even close. Despite all his designs there has never been a Major held at a Fazio course and 2 of his highest profile redo jobs for majors (Inverness and Oak Hill) are being currently redone to remove any traces of the work he did.  The industry has shifted away from the kind of courses Fazio designed with their concentration on "framing" the hole and extensive earth moving and more towards a natural approach and imo Golf is all the better for it.  He was part of the era of excess that had developers spending far too much on average golf courses which helped make the price of the game sky rocket.  It's a hole I believe golf is still trying to dig itself out of.

My favorite Fazio course is World Woods Pine Barrens.

Well said

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#60 BNGL

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 03:33 AM

Totally forgot about Bakers Bay in the Bahamas! Definitely a place to to check out!!!


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