Distinctive. Unique. Special. Tom Fazio used those three words to describe his latest golf course design.
"You have to have substance," the architect of Fallen Oak said. "And the substance here is this is the kind of golf course you just have to come see. And you have to experience, because it's that special."
Fazio's portrait of Fallen Oak and its 4,000 trees was rather tame compared to what Beau Rivage President George Corchis said.
"This truly is a spectacular course," Corchis told the media at a Fallen Oak unveiling. "I believe it's the final phase in the destination resort puzzle for Beau Rivage."
Fazio blended his expertise as a premiere golf course designer with the natural beauty of wooded terrain along Highway 15. The combination created a memorable golf experience for Beau Rivage guests.
"What's important is to have a distinctively unique, special, one of a kind golf course. That's what we're into. And that's what we'd like to do," he said. "You individually will leave here today after seeing the property and you'll remember the golf holes, you'll remember the experience, you'll visually have in your mind what this place looks like. You're going to take it home with you. You'll remember it next week."
A leaning oak tree in the right rough on what became the 18th hole inspired Fallen Oak's name. The tree looked just like it did in the 1990s when Beau Rivage initially bought land 15 miles north of its resort. Almost a decade later, the multi-million dollar investment is finally on the tee box. And it's ready to pay dividends for the Biloxi resort, and for gulf coast tourism.
Fazio said his latest design "jumps up and puts a big stamp that says to golfers you really have to come to this, it's just not another golf course. It's special. And you're going to come here to see it."
A round of golf at Fallen Oak costs $200. Beau Rivage executives say green fees are expensive as they are because the golf course is an amenity for their hotel guests.
Fallen Oak is the 17th golf course to open in the three coastal counties since the hurricane.