Category: Tom Fazio

The BMW Championship

The BMW Championship at the Caves Valley Golf Club
BMW Championship, at the Caves Valley Golf Club MD

The Northern Trust Wrap-Up

Last week concluded The Northern Trust, the first leg in the 2021 FedEx Cup playoffs. Tropical storm Henri made Sunday a washout at Liberty National, so the final round was pushed back to Monday—and it was a big day for Tony Finau. He finally broke his five-year winless drought by outlasting 28-year-old Australian, Cameron Smith, in a hard-fought playoff that lasted four holes. Known for his prodigious length, Finau has been steadily climbing into the ranks of golf’s elite since recording 16 top 25’s in his first full year on tour back in 2015, and following that up with his first win at the Puerto Rico Open in 2016. Although he recorded 32 top 10 finishes from 2017 through 2020, that second victory eluded him. This year Tony’s been knocking even harder on the door, with 8 more top 10’s, including a runner-up at the Genesis (where he lost in a playoff with Max Homa), a 10th at the Masters and an 8th place finish at the PGA. He also recorded a solid 15th place finish at The Open Championship. With the win at the Northern Trust, Finau has vaulted all the way to number 1 in the FedEx Cup standings, 600 points ahead of Jon Rahm. He certainly has the talent, so perhaps this victory will give Tony the confidence to muscle his way all the way to the top and lift the FedEx Cup—we will sure be pulling for him.

BMW Championship

The BMW Championship at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, MD is the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs. The top 70 players in the standings are competing for a place among the 30 player Tour Championship field at East Lake Golf Club next week, with millions of dollars on the line, so hang on to your hat this weekend as the best players in world put the pedal to the metal. In addition to the red hot Finau, an equally blazing hot Jon Rahm will be vying to recapture the top spot. Then add two-time major champion Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Bryson Dechambeau, Hideki Matsuyama, and Justin Thomas to the mix. And don’t forget about Jordan Spieth, who’s having a spectacular year and would like nothing more than to cap it off with the FedEx Cup. And then there’s Dustin Johnson, who could more than salvage a dismal season (by Dustin Johnson standards) with two solid weeks of playing the way everyone expects him to. And perhaps Phil can pull another golden rabbit out of his hat? One thing’s for sure, this is going to be one heck of a weekend to watch golf.

The FedEx Cup

The FedEx Cup playoffs began in 2007, and was originally comprised of four tournaments. Beginning in 2018, the playoff series was shortened to three events. The playoffs are structured where throughout the tour season a player is awarded 500 points for each regular season tour win. Players are awarded 2000 points for a FedEx Cup playoff win, 550 points for a World Golf Championship, 600 points for a Major or the Players Championship, and 300 points for a tournament played alternately during a major or World Golf Event. The playoffs begin with the top 125 players competing at the Northern Trust, reducing to 70 for the BMW Championship, and finally down to 30 for the Tour Championship. Right now, Tony Finau leads the race with 3,348, with Jon Rahm on his heels at 2,763 points. Cameron Smith, Patrick Cantley, and Justin Thomas make up the 3,4, and 5 positions in the standings, with dozens of other top tier players within striking distance.

The Course

The BMW Championship is being hosted at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Maryland. Caves Valley was established in 1991, and designed by legendary course architect, Tom Fazio. Although this is the first PGA Tour event held at Caves Valley, the club has hosted a number of prestigious tournaments in the past, including the U.S. Senior Open in 2002, the LPGA Tour’s International Crown tournament in 2014, the 2017 Constellation Senior Players Championship, as well as the 1995 U.S. Mid-Amateur, and the 2007 Palmer Cup. Caves Valley carries a 76.9 USGA rating with a slope of 141 from the championship tees.

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Florida Top 3 Private Golf Clubs

Florida is home to more golf courses than any other state in the country with over 1,200. But even with all of those courses to choose from, selecting the one that is right for you may not be as easy as it seems.

Not only does Florida have perfect golf weather year-round, there are the beaches, restaurants and family-oriented activities that make it a wonderful place to live for people wanting to maintain an active lifestyle.

If you’re a captain of industry, travel in the circles of the rich and famous, or just an avid golfer with enough money and connections, here are three private clubs in Florida that should go to the top of your bucket-list.

Seminole Golf Club

Perennially ranked as one of the top 100 courses in the U.S. by Golf Digest and currently at number 12, this Donald Ross classic is home to a who’s who of the business elite and golf royalty. Founded by E. F. Hutton and built in 1926, the links style layout at Seminole is arguably the crowning achievement of Ross’ distinguished career. Don’t bother looking for the website—they don’t have one. The members at Seminole guard their privacy and you won’t catch a glimpse of the clubhouse or golf course through the hedges along Route 1 in Juno Beach, but you will have a chance to see it on May 17 when Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Rickey Fowler and Mathew Wolff tee it up in a televised skins game match for COVID-19 relief. As with all pure links golf courses, the wind will be a determining factor in how these great players attack the course—and we are all in for a special treat with this rare opportunity for a look at this historic club.

Seminole will also host the Walker Cup in 2021, so if you miss this match, you’ll have another chance next year—but the opportunity to see Seminole is something you never want to pass up. We rank Seminole at the top of the list as the best private club in Florida.

Jupiter Hills Club

Jupiter Hills Club in Tequesta, FL is the vision and legacy of George Fazio, and also launched the spectacular architectural career of his nephew, Tom Fazio. The club boasts two great courses, the Hills and the Villages, laid down on a unique piece of property just north of Palm Beach that offers elevation change and contour provided by Seminole Ridge—a pretty rare feature in a state that’s known for being extremely flat. The Hills course is ranked among the best in Florida and the crowning achievement of George Fazio’s architectural career. With a course rating of 77.1 and slope of 150, the many top flight golfers who call Jupiter Hills home can test their skill to the max every time they tee it up. And the Village course, designed by Tom Fazio, is no slouch either with a USGA rating of 73.9 and a slope of 147. Known as a player’s club, Jupiter Hills is the place to be if you’ve got game and live in south-east Florida.

Mountain Lake Country Club

Number 3 on our list is Mountain Lake Country Club in Lake Wales. A Seth Raynor masterpiece that often flies under the radar, Golf Digest currently ranks Mountain Lake number ten among all of the courses that Florida has to offer. The club engaged Ron Prichard and Tyler Rae on a recently completed restoration to bring back many of the subtle Raynor features that were lost over the more than 100 years since the course was built in 1917. As always, Prichard and Rae were meticulous with their effort and the result was perfection. In addition to the wonderful course, Mountain Lake is a full service, family-oriented club with pure class, grounded in tradition, and a membership that is committed to maintaining values of the highest standard.

A few others to consider

In addition to these great clubs, The Concession Golf Club is a spectacular Jack Nicklaus design in Bradenton and Belleair Country Club on the gulf coast near Tampa-St. Petersburg offers 36 holes designed by Donald Ross in a stunningly scenic setting.

For more information on the best golf courses in your state, visit GolfDay for everything you need to know.

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The World Woods Golf Club

A Brooksville Florida Golf Course

World Woods - A Brooksville Florida Golf Course

If you are planning a Florida golf trip, World Woods in Brooksville has just about everything you could ask for with two great Tom Fazio courses (Pine Barrens and Rolling Oaks), a nine hole executive course, and perhaps the finest practice facility in the country. Pine Barrens is currently ranked among the top 100 public courses in the country by Golf Digest, and Rolling Oaks is ranked as one of the top 30 public courses in Florida.

Course Review

At just under 7,300 yards from the tips, the Pine Barrens course is a stiff test for scratch golfers with wide fairways and five sets of tee boxes to make the course enjoyable for golfers of every level. Fazio uses the natural terrain and native pines to frame each hole in a magnificent layout that is reminiscent of Pine Valley in New Jersey. The Rolling Oaks course is a very different layout, with towering oak trees covered in Spanish moss and azaleas that bring to mind Augusta National. A bit longer than Pine Barrens, Rolling Oaks also offers multiple tee boxes that make the course challenging, yet fun for expert and novice golfers alike. Take a video tour and see what awaits you at World Woods.

And the practice facilities are second to none. The World Woods Practice Park is a twenty-acre facility with target greens, target fairways, bunkers, and multiple grass teeing stations on four sides. In addition, there are 3 practice holes including a par 5.  

Accommodations

World Woods is just under an hour north of Tampa International Airport, and there is a Holiday Inn Express located just 15 minutes from the course.

GolfDay Rating

The GolfDay rating for World Woods is 98.7, the highest of any non-resort facility in the state of Florida.

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