ABC 45 News: Lauded golf course architect being inducted into NC Sports HOF

by Justin Berger:

Tom Fazio is a name synonymous with golf around the country and specifically here in North Carolina, and soon he’ll be enshrined in the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.

Chances are you’ve stepped foot on a Fazio designed course; maybe you had a good day, maybe you didn’t, but you definitely knew you were playing a Fazio.

“I was programmed to be in the golf design business and that’s what I did and haven’t thought about doing anything and would never do anything (else) and will continue to work until the day I can’t work,” said Fazio.

H was born in Philadelphia in the mid-1940s.

His uncle, George, a tournament golfer who lost the 1950 U.S. Open in a playoff to Ben Hogan, helped usher him to the game.

Now, after more than five decades in the business, Fazio is being inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.

“If I never worked any place ever other than North Carolina, I would have felt fulfilled as a golf designer because I was able to work on the coastline, the sandhills, the mountains, the flatlands, to the mid-parts of the state in places like Quail Hollow in charlotte,” said Fazio. “So it’s been a great, fun time being in North Carolina.”

He’s designed or redesigned more than a dozen courses in the Old North State, notably Wade Hampton in Cashiers, Quail Hollow in Charlotte and one third of the courses at the Pinehurst Resort.

“He’s really good,” said Bob Farren, Director of Golf Course Maintenance and Grounds at Pinehurst Resort. “He’s very articulate, he’s very imaginative and he’s got a great vision for what the course should be and wants to be and he’s someone that you like to listen to a lot because you’re going to learn something if you listen closely.”

Fazio said he’ll keep working until he physically can’t and that the emergence of golf greats like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as golf course architects invigorated him and has been good for business.

“I couldn’t play against Jack Nicklaus,” said Fazio. “But I always felt I could give him two-a side in my business.”