Club members thank Tommy Fazio for renovating their classic old
Dick Wilson-Joe Lee designed golf course.
designer-builder, Tom Fazio ll at the 9th hole of Tequesta Country
Club in Tequesta Florida.
Country Club & The Florida Golf Course Architecture of Designer-Builder
behalf of the entire membership at Tequesta Country Club,
from the bottom of my heart I just want to say thanks Tom, you've
done a great job for us.
Club President John Woody Wodraska
By Joe Stine, Editor - Florida Golf Magazine
Founded - 1957, Par 71, 6850 - 5192 yards
Original Architect Dick Wilson - Tom Fazio II www.tequestacountryclub.net
must be a reason that so many touring pros call Tequesta Country
Club their home course. That is of course, when they're not out
winning tournaments. Ernie Els, British Open 2012; Olin Browne,
U.S. Senior Open 2011; Russ Cochran, Senior British Open 2011;
Steve Marino, 21 top ten finishes in his 10 year career; Keegan
Bradley, with two wins in 2012; Rickie Fowler; Ed Sabo, winner
of two consecutive PGA Senior Club Professional Championships.
in tradition, this challenging par 71 golf course is recognized
as one of the gems of legendary golf course designer Dick Wilson
and his then young assistant, Joe Lee. Each hole has its own
unique character within the overall Wilson design and throughout
the last fifty-some years has demanded discipline and good shot
one of the older and more prestigious golf courses in Palm Beach
County, Tequesta Country Clubs vision of a golf community
in an old Florida setting dates back to 1955 when Charles Martyn
began developing a golf club surrounded by homes. When selecting
a team to design the new course, the team of Jack Kurtz, Charles
Martyn and Walter Lathrop decided upon the talents of Dick Wilson
and Joe Lee believing that their traditional design would capture
the Old Florida ambience while creating a challenging course.
Construction of Tequesta Country Clubs golf course began
Clubhouse and Course were officially opened on December 12, 1957
by Jack Kurtz, the first club president. The occasion featured
an exhibition golf match played by Arnold Palmer, Dow Finsterwald,
Truman Connell and Jack Kurtz. Dow was named Club Pro, and the
following year won the 1958 PGA Championship, and much to the
delight of Tequesta Country Club members, he appeared in this
televised tournament with the Tequesta Country Club name printed
boldly on his golf bag.
Jack Kurtz and Dow Finsterwald with the PGA Trophy in 1958
was also the first year the US PGA went to medal play, and Finsterwald
was named Player of the Year. Renowned as a perfectionist from
tee to green, Dow Finsterwald won 12 PGA Tour events between
1955 and 1963 and was a four-time Ryder Cup player and 1977 Ryder
Cup captain. He was the 1962 Masters runner-up after an 18-hole
playoff with his good friends, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.
Taken in 1957 this old photograph
shows Arnold Palmer hanging out in the pro shop of Tequesta Country
Club with his buddy, Club Pro Dow Finsterwald. Dow was Tequesta
Country Clubs first Head Pro and the following year won
the 1958 PGA Championship. This was also the first year the US
PGA went to medal play, and Finsterwald was named Player of the
Year. Dow Finsterwald won 12 PGA Tour events between 1955 and
1963 and was a four-time Ryder Cup player and 1977 Ryder Cup
captain. He was the 1962 Masters runner-up after an 18-hole playoff
with his good friends, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.
greats such as Palmer, Nicklaus and Player often joined Finsterwald
to play the Tequesta CC course. In the early years Ben Hogan
played a heart fund charity exhibition with Dow and Frank Stranahan,
which was commemorated by an autographed classic print of Ben
Hogan that still hangs in the main clubhouse.
Dick Wilson designed course at Tequesta Country Club has always
attracted top name golfers and celebrities. Crooner Perry Como
used to sign off his weekly television show with I'm going
to a little piece of heaven called Tequesta, Fl. A daily
golfer, along with golf legend Toney Penna, the duo sang praises
of the challenging course. From President Kennedy's secret game
with club pro, Eddie Bush, to Richard Nixon's participation in
a club tournament there, the fifties charm of Tequesta Country
Club has long enticed golfers who find the course to be a perfect
Tequesta Country Clubs recent
Country Clubs current history continues to be exciting.
The course is constantly being redesigned and updated. Within
the past five years, several innovative changes have been brought
about by a very well know name in golf design...Fazio. With a
new look at shrinking the original footprint of the course, young
Tom Fazio II, the next generation designer from the well known
golf course designer family, has made a deep impression on the
golfing community. A local resident who lives with his wife,
Gabrielle and two daughters, MacKenzie and Riley, the forty-four
year old designer is a Tequesta Country Club member and has already
made changes that are bringing in new and younger members.
The 352 yard par 4, second
hole at Tequesta Country Club in Tequesta Florida. The green
of this hole is backed by a natural setting of drought resistant
indigenous plants hand selected by Tom Fazio II.
Young Fazio's namesake, Uncle Tom Fazio,
('the world's top golf designer')
up the family tree is George Fazio, (1912 1986) a successful
player in the fifties and a prolific architect who counts among
his designs the exclusive Jupiter Hills, Florida. He first employed
Tom Fazio and Jim Fazio and we know how that turned out!
started working on building golf courses by picking up rocks
and sticks. Then progressed to building irrigation systems and
greens and running a tractor then a bull dozer," said Fazio
II. "I worked in the family business started by great-Uncle
George with my father, Jim and my Uncle Tom. Every summer I helped
out. I don't know if they employed me to keep me out of trouble
or get me interested, but it worked."
Fazio's namesake, Uncle Tom Fazio, has been referred to as 'the
world's top golf designer'. His accomplishments range from Florida
to New York and around the nation. The Fazio name seems to be
a favorite of Donald Trump as Tom, Sr. has designed both the
Trump National in Philadelphia and the Trump National along the
Potomac River in Washington, D.C. In addition, since his family
has grown, Uncle Tom Fazio now accepts offers internationally
and has a club in Waterville, Ireland as well as others spots
throughout Europe. Tom Fazio Sr. has designed more than 120 courses
and has more courses ranked among the top 100 in the U.S. than
anyone else in the business.
a student at Mississippi State University, young Tom Fazio II
had an opportunity to work on a golf course in Italy. His father,
Jim Fazio, an internationally known golf architect was designing
the course. "I did much soul searching before making my
decision to work there," said Tom. "But it was an invaluable
experience living, working and learning in Italy for two years."
learn from the best he did. His father, Jim Fazio, is the designer
of record for Trump National (2001) in Briarcliff Manor, New
York and Trump International in West Palm Beach (1999) The senior
Fazio, Jim is well known throughout Italy and Japan for numerous
golf clubs designs and redesigns including Trump International
Golf Club, Raffles Resort on Canouan Island in the Grenadines
those kind of genes, is it any wonder that young Tom Fazio II
is not only knowledgeable but also brings a new brand of creativity?
"I hate to hear people say they're "hands on,"
meaning they put in an appearance at the job site," said
Fazio II. "When I say "hands on," I mean that
I'm there and I don't leave until the project is complete. Im
a field architect. I design and build and operate bull dozers,
tractors and rake."
Tom Fazio II is photographed
here operating a dozer on the golf course at Tequesta Country
Club in Tequesta Florida.
next-generation designing Fazios background
is impeccable. He worked with his father, Jim on overseeing the
day to day construction of his father's design at Trump National
in Westchester, N.Y. and, more recently, worked with his Uncle
at Trump Bedminster in New Jersey. He was Trump's in-house golf
this time frame, 1995, he opened his own designing firm emphasizing
quality not quantity. He designed and built the Great River Golf
Club in Milford, Connecticut. A hands-on designer, he thinks
nothing of climbing into a bull dozer or picking up a shovel
to get the results he's after. This old school approach has made
a fan of Donald Trump who approves of the fact that Fazio brings
in all his own people and oversees the job site on a daily basis.
That includes all aspects from the underground irrigation system
to each sand trap on every hole.
A photo of Tom Fazio II
and Donald Trump at Trump International in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Tommy Fazio is without
a doubt one of the best golf course architects I have ever had
the privilege of using. The new course he designed at Trump National
Golf Club Bedminster is fantastic and loved by the members. He
knows the thought process involved in golf and his courses challenge
as well as please the most discriminating players. He is fantastic.
Donald J. Trump
Florida Golf Magazine contacted Donald Trump and inquired about
Tom Fazio II, Mr. Trump was quoted as saying, Tommy Fazio
is without a doubt one of the best golf course architects I have
ever had the privilege of using. The new course he designed at
Trump National Golf Club Bedminster is fantastic and loved by
the members. He knows the thought process involved in golf and
his courses challenge as well as please the most discriminating
players. He is fantastic.
the last ten years, in addition to working closely with real
estate developer Donald Trump, he collaborated with touring pro
Nick Price to create Quail Valley Golf Club in Vero Beach, Florida.
Tom Fazio II, photographed
here in his office doing golf course design work on the computer
he started his own business in 1995, he didn't want to compete
with his father, Jim or his Uncle Tom. "I do design/builds
where I exclusively hand-build my own golf course," Fazio
said. "I bring my own people in and I hire few sub-contractors.
Then I supervise daily the construction, all aspects of it -
not just the design, but everything down to the smallest detail
- so that I get it exactly the way I want it."
On November 2nd, 2012,
world reknowned golf course architects Jim Fazio and his son
Tom Fazio II were both guests of honor at the re-opening ceremony
of The Fazio, which is a complete renovation by Tom
Fazio II of PGA National Resort and Spas original 18-hole
course opened in 1980, designed by young Toms grandfather
and uncle, (George and Tom Fazio).
The Fazio is a
renovation by Tom Fazio II of PGA Nationals original 18-hole
course opened in 1980, designed by George and Tom Fazio.
Fazio II just recently completed renovations on The Haig at PGA
National Resort & Spa home of the PGA TOUR Honda Classic.
"The architects for the course are listed as George and
Tom Fazio and my dad, Jim, was the on site architect," said
Fazio II. "Now I've done the renovations so it's still truly
a 100% Fazio course."
Nov. 1st, 2012 the course was rechristened, The Fazio. A name
that now denotes three generations of golf designs for some of
the world's finest courses. The Fazio is a renovation
of The Haig PGA Nationals original 18-hole
course opened in 1980. The Haig was designed by George and Tom
Fazio in tribute to five-time PGA champion Walter Hagen.
the third member of the lauded Fazio family to work on The Haig,
Tom Fazio II has spearheaded the efforts to modernize the noted
shot makers layout. We think the appealing aspects
of The Fazio are the newly reconfigured greens, tee-boxes and
bunkering; achieving that ideal balance where single-digit golfers
will be fully challenged while higher handicaps will have a layout
ideal for a day of enjoyable resort golf, says Tom Fazio
has a wonderful vision for the course with a combination of old-
and new-school design concepts, says Lukus Harvey, director
of agronomy at PGA National. Hes the epitome of a
hands-on course architect and were thrilled
to partner with him on this seminal project.
Fazio Course adds to the PGA National legacy, which at 30-years
and counting is one of the most robust of any golf resort in
the world, says Joel Paige, vice president and managing
director at PGA National.
The approach shot to the
green of the 510 yard par five, 12th hole at Tequesta Country
On behalf of the entire
membership at Tequesta Country Club
accomplishments at Tequesta Country Club have already been noted
and approved by the membership as well as visiting golfers. "By
creating new back tees on almost every hole, the course has been
expanded by about 350 yards," said Mark Badertscher, operation
manager at TCC. "Tom has also added bunkers, created several
brand new greens and re-contoured all of the greens."
Florida Golf Magazine asked Club President, John (Woody) Wodraska
what changes Tom Fazio II had made to the golf course at Tequesta
Country Club, he told us, We are really proud of the golf
course we have here. It was designed by Dick Wilson and Joe Lee
back in 1957. And, we think it really captures the feel of old
Florida. And, we're especially appreciative of the job
that Tommy Fazio has done of taking this old Florida
golf course and really holding on to what makes this special
in the fifties and sixties the really good golfer could hit his
drive 240, to 260 yards. But todays golfer with today's
equipment is hitting that drive 280 to 300 yards, and Tommy has
been able to give the same shot value that had existed back in
the fifties and sixties to today's golfer at Tequesta Country
in addition, said Woody, a lot of golf courses in
Florida have kind of gone to a more quaffed, fancier look. One
of the things we're real proud of here is that we have been able
to hold on to what we think old Florida was all about and
we think we've captured that and couldn't have done it without
on behalf of the entire membership at Tequesta Country Club,
from the bottom of my heart I just want to say thanks Tom, you've
done a great job for us.
Ed Sabo, Tom Fazio II and Jim Fazio played golf with FGM Editor,
Joe Stine at Tequesta Country Club.
A round of golf at
the prestigious Tequesta Country Club
Florida Golf Magazine visited Tequesta Country Club, this editor
got to play golf with three of finest gentlemen youd ever
want to meet; Tom Fazio II, his father, world renowned architect
Jim Fazio and PGA Professional, Ed Sabo. While filming video
on the back tees of the 12th hole PGA Tour Pro Will MacKenzie
who was apparently playing behind us came and ask if he and his
playing partner could play through. So, I learned first-hand
that day that the rumors of PGA Tour Pros playing at Tequesta
Country Club on a regular basis was indeed true.
Ed Sabo, who I mistook for just another country club dignitary,
was also in fact a winner of two consecutive PGA Senior Club
Professional Championships and proved to be one of the finest
golfers that I personally have ever had the honor of playing
with and I watched him hit several phenomenal shots that day
that totally left me in awe.
Tommy Fazio renovated
the second hole at Tequesta Country Club. Shown here back in
August 2012, Tommy Fazio and his father, world renowned Golf
Course Architect Jim Fazio inspect the annual verta-cutting maintenance
at Tequesta Country Club while discussing Tommy's golf course
design strategies for this golf hole.
Tom Fazio II jokingly referred
to himself and Ed Sabo as the shadow committee meaning, whenever
they played together at Tequesta Country Club they would always
look for ways to improve the course and then report their collective
suggestions back to the clubs greens committee. They had
a pretty good system worked out and it was indeed a lot of fun
watching them in action.
The 160 yard par three,
17th hole at Tequesta Country Club.
The New Practice Facility
at Tequesta CC
Fazio II has also built a wonderful new short game practice facility
at Tequesta Country Club out on the course alongside the 17th
Hole and 18th tee. While we were admiring the work his son had
done on the practice facility from the 18th tee, Jim Fazio said
to him, Im sure the club finds this to be great for
attracting younger members, because the young players like to
practice more. The old people like me just want to go out and
play. You need something like this at every golf course, but
of course not every golf course has the room for a practice facility
this large, you were lucky to find it here. Tom then added,
I think with the three practice greens and the numerous
different styles of bunkering we have here the members can use
it to practice almost any type of wedge shot up to 80 yards long,
and many of the tour players often do that here till late in
The new practice facility
built by Tom Fazio II at Tequesta Country Club as viewed from
the 17th tee.
With three greens and numerous bunkers the new practice facility
can be used to practice almost any kind of wedge shot.
Whats Next For
Tequesta Country Club?
Golf Magazine asked Tom Fazio II what was next on his agenda
for the course at Tequesta Country Club. Next May, the
entire course will be restored. Then, with a smile he said,
"This is what really brought me to Tequesta Country Club.
Back in 2007, I took a tour with Bill Taylor, who was the Club
President at the time. He started telling me about the clubs
future plans for the course, and I realized that I had the ability
to steer them into a more naturalistic setting which is where
the golf industry is heading."
creating a more naturalistic setting is what we've been experimenting
with for the past five years here at Tequesta Country Club,"
said Fazio II. "To me the greatest area around here to observe
indigenous plant-life is Jonathan Dickinson State Park. We go
there often and take pictures of what we'd like to plant on the
golf course. We identified the plants we liked and have been
experimenting with different species to see which plants work
best. We want to be more sustainable, reduce our footprint and
focus more on a native look and less maintenance. More
like it was back in the fifties."
renowned plant specialist, David Cogan known by golf designers
as Mr. Swampy, paid a visit to see what Tom and his crew were
doing at Tequesta Country Club. "He was astounded,"
said Fazio, "although he's an aquatic expert and known for
his knowledge of the wetlands, he was amazed that we had figured
out the scrublands plant-life as he's been trying for years."
May 2013, the restoration will start at Tequesta Country Club
by first getting rid of the organic layer, directly under the
sod. Leaving it there presents future problems," said Fazio.
"We've also already completed a new pump station in preparation
for the irrigation system."
biggest focus for the future here at Tequesta Country Club is
to create a challenging course that requires less management
and maintenance. Also, said Fazio, the membership
and demographics must be a frame of reference for future plans.
Too many radical changes could upset the established members.
of the biggest changes that everyone seems to approve of has
been moving the back tees. This has increased the length of the
course from 6500 to 6850. At par 71, it seems to play longer
than the score card says due to the fact that most of the length
is in the par 4s. But, what really added length to the
course was adding the new tees about 25 yards behind the existing
back tees it put the landing zones back where Dick Wilson intended
prior to new equipment and ball improvement."
of the biggest challenges for golf course designers who try to
make courses require less maintenance and yet look more natural
are home owners and associations who seem to be for the environment
but just not in their back yard where they expect Augusta National
like maintenance, said Fazio. "They have to learn
that a natural course can enhance their privacy. If grass is
not up to their property line, they won't have early morning
lawn mowers disturbing their sleep. It's also more cost effective
and is good for the environment."
much like the rest of the Fazio clan, Tom Fazio II steadfastly
supports protecting the environment on every golf course project
he works on and its nice to see that way of thinking being
executed so eloquently at a venerable old course such as Tequesta
The approach shot into
the green, of the 452 yard par four, 18th hole is viewed from
the clubhouse at Tequesta Country Club.
while the original par-71 routing first created by Dick Wilson
and Joe Lee back in 1957 still remains intact, thanks to Tom
Fazio II, the restoration at Tequesta Country Club in 2013 will
feature the best of classic golf architecture as well as improvements
in modern technology, course design and agronomics, including:
bermudagrass on all the tees and fairways and roughs
All 18 greens rebuilt with new TiffEagle bermudagrass
Course lengthened to 6,850 yards in response to advances
Player friendly tees at 5,192 yrds per PGA & USGA
Tee it Forward initiatives
The absolute latest irrigation technology installed throughout
Tequesta Country Club will invite Florida Golf Magazine back
in the late Fall of 2013 to see the results of all of the hard
work performed by golf course designer & builder, Tom Fazio
Tequesta Country Club, www.tequestacountryclub.net
201 Country Club Drive, Tequesta, Florida 33469, Phone: (561)
Tom Fazio II Designs, www.faziogolf.com
224 Shelter Lane Jupiter, Florida 33469
phone (561) 745-1019, fax (561) 745-8302, email email@example.com