An Exclusive Conversation with Legendary Golf Course Designer, Tom Fazio

Tom Fazio

Life at Bright’s Creek couldn’t be better.

Mountain views. Exceptional amenities. Amazing community. And of course, a superstar in the show — our Tom Fazio-designed golf course

This month, we had the privilege of sitting down with the renowned golf course architect himself to talk all things Bright’s Creek golf course. With 50+ years of golf course design under his belt, Tom Fazio and his talented team are masters in the art of crafting unforgettable courses all over the world. But, with 200+ courses on his roster, North Carolina holds a special place in America’s top golf course architect’s heart.

Discover how he approached the project back in 2006, what makes the Bright’s Creek golf course special to him, and why he thinks that seeing is believing when it comes to this exceptional course.

Bright's Creek Golf Course


Tell us what originally drew you to the Bright’s Creek project.

“What drew me to the project initially was certainly selfish. Bright’s Creek was close to my office and my home in Western North Carolina. I live there because of the environment, the weather, and it’s a great golf destination. For all of those reasons, I was already in the area. Then Bright’s Creek popped up. When I saw the property, it was an automatic — it’s absolutely beautiful!”


We’ve heard you say that Bright’s Creek is one of your favorite courses that you’ve designed in North Carolina. Tell us more about what makes it so special.

Everyone feels pride of ownership and I think everyone has their personal reasons for why they like something. I’m fortunate to have done a lot of golf courses, probably 12 in the state of North Carolina, in very distinctive, unique, and special places. Bright’s Creek fits into our program of distinctive, outstanding golf courses. I didn’t tell anyone this, but I mean if they knew how much I liked it, I would have done it for nothing. It’s that neat of a place!”


The Bright’s Creek golf course has been described as a challenging, yet player-friendly course. Who do you generally design for?

Our design philosophy and theory relates to all levels of golfers. It’s really not logical to design for only one group. For Bright’s Creek, we went through the history of my hundreds of courses that I’ve done and that’s the reputation we have. A course for all levels of golfers.”

Bright's Creek Golf Course

Do you think the course has stayed true to your original vision? Are you happy with where it is today?

“Yes. I think it shows the commitment that’s been made by the people who have been involved in its development and programming. It’s also not that far away from anything or from where you want to be. When you’re there, the setting is second to none. The environment is so special.” 


Tell us a little bit more about your design principles for this course.

“The fact is that on a scale of 1 to 10, we started Bright’s Creek with a 10 in terms of environment. What makes any golf course great is the environment that it’s in. It’s just easier to create dramatic, one-of-a-kind holes when you have so much to work with. But it’s not magic. We just did our job, handcrafting the golf course into this fabulous piece of property, with variation of elevation, with movement of holes, twisting and turning based on long-range views, vegetation, rock outcroppings, streams, and conditions that are natural in the land. In many cases, those are features we have to build out. But at Bright’s Creek, they were already there.”


Bright’s Creek is a Ryder Cup circuit-style course. Does hosting any tournaments ever impact how you approach designing a course?

“It can, but in this particular case it did not have an influence because this piece of land and this environment were such that whatever you want to do with the end result, you can play the most magnificent golf tournament. So, it wasn’t planned for that, but the environment is just so good that it definitely could be. It would look great on TV!”


Are there any unique challenges or opportunities that you’ve faced when designing golf courses in North Carolina?

Honestly for me, no. It’s just my job. I’ve done so many. Personally, the more difficult it is, the more I like it. From the ocean to the mountains, the environments in North Carolina are so multiple and there’s so many distinctive settings. That’s what I like about it. I’ve worked in all of those areas from flat terrain to the mountains. I don’t think one is better than the others. They’re just different.”


What do you want people to feel when they’re playing Bright’s Creek?

“I think when people get to Bright’s Creek, they’ll stand on the tee and go, ‘WOW, this place is really neat! Let’s get to the next hole!’ And that wow factor will continue on. It’s the kind of golf course where I wouldn’t be surprised if people say it’s one of their favorites. Now, did I make that happen? Maybe part of it, but really, nature made it happen. Seeing is believing and when someone sees Bright’s Creek, nothing can be overstated. It’s such a great environment. The truth is always easy.”

Bright's Creek Golf Course

Great Golf for a Good Cause

Come experience Bright’s Creek for yourself — all for a great cause! Tom Fazio is hosting the Hunter Subaru Drive for Kids benefiting the Boys and Girls Club of Henderson County on May 15th. Register here 

Discover more about the award-winning Bright’s Creek course and explore memberships here. If you’re ready to make a move to the mountains and have access to one of North Carolina’s best golf courses year round, book your visit to Bright’s Creek today.

Feel free to contact our real estate team directly at (828) 600-5132 to start your journey.

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