An Interview with Joe Fabrizio, President of Aronimink Golf Course

The 2018 BMW Championship, the third of four events in the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs, is coming to Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pa. the week of September 4-9. The top 70 players in the FedExCup standings will go head-to-head vying to be among the 30 players advancing to the TOUR Championship where a $10,000,000 bonus awaits the winner.  Aronimink’s Club President Joe Fabrizio and his fellow members are eager to introduce the newly restored Aronimink course to the international golf world, as well as to golf fans throughout the Delaware Valley and beyond.

Here is our recent interview with Joe Fabrizio, President of Aronimink Golf Club and Managing Shareholder for Rainer & Company, Certified Public Accountants and Business Consultants.
– by Barbara Lehman, Director of Communications, Destination Delco Tourism Bureau.

As Destination Delco’s Director of Communications, you might suspect I’m a people person.  And you’d be right.  I’m fascinated by people’s stories. I also happen to be fascinated by golf, which is why I was thrilled to speak with Joe Fabrizio, President of Aronimink Golf Club.

I interviewed Joe on March 23, just hours before the Villanova men’s basketball team would take on the physical, smart and scrappy Mountaineers of West Virginia. Like all of us in Delco, Joe , a Villanova alumni, was anticipating a Sweet 16 victory.  Now he’s anticipating another victory – for Aronimink Golf Club, its members and the entire county.  This September, when 70 of the world’s best golfers and thousands of fans from around the world arrive at Aronimink for the BMW Championship, Joe is preparing for them to have a world-class experience.

BL: “Tell us about your first experience playing at Aronimink. What captured you about the club?”

Joe Fabrizio, President of Aronimink Golf Club

JF: “I remember the first time I played at Aronimink.  Frank Rainer, who was a Senior Partner in the firm I now manage, was a member and suggested that I consider joining.  Without question the golf course made the biggest impression on me, but meeting the membership and seeing all the amenities and family activities were key factors in my decision to become a member.”

BL: “For many years you have contributed your time and talents to the club, serving as Vice President for two years, and  Treasurer for five years before taking the helm as President a year ago. What have been the biggest transformations in your time with the club?”  

BL: “In my 23 years here, without question, the renovation of our clubhouse in 2005-2006 and the current restoration of our golf course are the most significant projects undertaken. 

During our most recent restoration, we increased the number of bunkers from74 to 174, reclaimed green surfaces, restored the fairways to their original Donald Ross design, and replaced the raised rectangular tee boxes with free formed shaped tee boxes which conform with the contour of the land.  Our goal was to restore the course as close as possible to its original Donald Ross design and I believe we achieved that goal.”

BL: “Do you have a favorite place on the course, or an experience that has become part of the lore or legend of the club?”

JF: You need to see the Bronze Plaque behind our first tee.  It bears a quote from Donald Ross, who upon visiting the course after 20 years, remarked: ‘I intended to make this my masterpiece, but not until today did I realize that I built better than I knew.’” (Click here to view photo)

BL: “The BMW Championship has become a huge event for both golf fans and players. But what other prestigious events have been held here?”

JF: “We hosted the 1962 PGA Championship won by Gary Player. In addition, we hosted the 1977 US Amateur, the 1997 US Junior Amateur, the 2003 Senior PGA Championship, and the 2010 and 2011 AT&T National. In addition there are several tournaments already planned for the years ahead. 

BL: “How many people do you expect will attend the BMW Championship in September?”

JF: We expect to have 125,000 to 140,000 visitors over the course of tournament week.  Certainly there will be many local attendees, as well as fans from across the country.  In addition, our region will be in the spotlight as millions watch from across the world on television.

BL: “Which three holes should draw the biggest crowds? 

JF: “In my opinion holes #8, #17 and #18.  The AT&T event last played here in 2011 ranked hole #8 as one of the most difficult holes on the TOUR that year.  It’s a downhill par 3 with good viewing areas.  Hole #17 is a challenging par 3 over water that has great viewing opportunities, and #18 is always popular because it's the finishing hole.  In addition, considerable length has been added to the back tee of this uphill par 4 which should add to the viewing experience for spectators.”

(click here to continue reading)