When Jon Fasick wins a Massachusetts golf tournament, the towns of Natick and Bellingham often claim him as their “favorite son.’’ Neither community is wrong.
Playing strictly at the amateur level since 1975, the 66-year-old Fasick has won eight state championships with the latest coming in May when he and his twin brother Carter teamed up to capture the State Senior Four-ball crown. His other laurels include winning the Francis Ouimet Tournament, the Mass. Mid-Amatuer Championship, the Mass. Publinx Tournament and taking home trophies four times for winning the Mass. Four-ball Championship.
Six of his eight titles have come as a resident of Bellingham where he and his wife Paula have lived for 29 years. Natick, however, enters the picture because that’s where he grew up and learned the basics of the sport, starting at the age of eight. “We lived next to the Natick Country Club and we’d often take our dad’s clubs, sneak onto the course late in the afternoon or early evening and play a few holes,’’ Fasick said. “Carter and I really self-taught ourselves how to play golf.’’
When he competed at Natick High, he was the team MVP and a Bay State League all-star. His nine-hole average ranged from 36-38. His best match occurred as a senior in 1970 when he shot 31 for nine holes as Natick defeated Braintree. “It was a day where everything I did went well,’’ Fasick said. “I hit the fairways and the greens nicely and made key putts. That match was a thrill because it was my best nine-hole score during my three varsity seasons.’’
Fasick was Natick High’s No. 1-ranked golfer and Carter was No. 2. But, neither was able to enjoy a league championship because Natick usually finished in the middle of the pack. “it was disappointing to watch rival Framingham South win the BSL title all three years,’’ Fasick lamented. “Wally Vaughn and Hugh O’Connor were our coaches and both did all they could to help the players.’’
Fasick, who had an offer to play college golf at Brandeis University, enrolled at Boston College to study business. Unfortunately, he never swung a club for the Eagles. “In 1971, I was in a car accident and suffered a fractured neck,’’ he recalled. “My left arm was affected for two months and I missed four months of classes. Back in the 1970s, not many colleges were into golf. At BC, the program was low-key.’’
Fasick didn’t compete in college but he still found time for golf. He became a member at New Seabury in Mashpee from 1971-1976 and worked on his game. “I was stagnant and rusty for tourney play,’’ he said.
But, in 1983, at the age of 31, Fasick won the Ouimet title, a 54-hole stroke play tourney. He and Carter teamed up for the first of their four-ball championships in 1986. He then won the Mid-Amateur crown in 1990, added another four-ball victory in 1991 and he captured the Publinx title in 1994. Two more four-ball championships were won in 1997 and 1998 and his last state crown was the 2018 Senior Four-ball victory.
“For the last 43 years, I’ve attempted to qualify for amateur tourneys,’’ Fasick said. “I didn’t win the Mass. State Amateur Tournament but I came close. I was the runner-up in 1990, finished third in 1998 and lost in the quarterfinals three other times. That tourney is The Masters or the U.S. Open at the state level.’’
Playing now with a 1-handicap, Fasick averages 71-74 for 18 holes, a tad higher than his zero handicap days of 1985-2000 when he averaged 68-70 for 18. “My all-time lowest score for 18 was a 67 at a tourney at Triggs Golf Course in Providence,’’ he recalled.
The strengths of Fasick’s game include “driving the ball straight, managing the course effectively and making short putts.’’ He says that he and his brother both had natural ability and “we got our short game under control at an early age.’’ Course management, he emphasizes, is crucial to a golfer’s success. “It’s about knowing when to use a driver and when not to,’’ he noted. “How to play the wind is a factor, too. And, knowing where to miss a shot is important, based on the slope and the severity of conditions around the green.’’
Fasick’s top thrill as an amateur came in 1998 when he and Carter were trying to win their second straight four-ball title. Their father (Karl) was diagnosed with cancer in 1992. The cancer was in remission for awhile but it returned in 1998. “We wanted to repeat the title as a gift to our dad,’’ he said. “We won it for our biggest fan, who died a year later.’’
The Senior Four-ball championship that Fasick and his brother claimed last May also was significant. At age 55, golfers are eligible to compete in senior tourneys. “We played for 10 years at the senior level but didn’t win a tourney until this year,’’ Fasick said. “It was a thrill because our last title was two decades ago when we won the four-ball tourney in 1998.’’
A fan of Arnold Palmer and Gene Littler, Fasick relies on a competitive philosophy that focuses on work ethic. “Having fun and reaching your potential are keys but winning is the by-product of hard work,’’ he said. “Lots of real-life lessons can be learned by playing golf but what the sport has taught me is patience. The key is to stay calm and assess your situation. When the ball goes astray or you bogey a hole, a knee-jerk reaction won’t help.’’
Fasick never considered turning pro because, as he says, “I never shot scores low enough that are needed at the pro level.’’ He also cited travel for 12 months as a burden. “I’m comfortable playing as an amateur,’’ he said.
Still working part-time as a commercial and residential carpet installer, Fasick remains active competing in senior tourneys. And, he’s always willing to offer advice to young and upcoming golfers. “The way the game is now, it’s important to hit the ball far,’’ he said. “I stress that straightening out your shot can come later. Another key is to practice your short game twice as much as your full shots. Half of golf is chipping or being around the green.’’
A member of New England Country Club (NECC) in Bellingham for the last 25 years, Fasick has won numerous club championships there. He likes living in Bellingham and he’s got a bias for NECC, but he’s hoping the day will come when Maplegate Country Club and NECC can host a state tourney. “I’d like to see them get together and host a state four-ball tournament,’’ he said. “They’re both nice courses.’’
Fasick has had his share of joyous moments as an amateur golfer. He’s acutely aware of what’s needed for success and the kind of mindset it takes to handle pressure.
“The journey to a victory is exciting,’’ he said. “And, winning provides a sense of accomplishment. But, after a victory, I didn’t rest on my laurels. It’s like a job. You go back to work the next day and look at your next challenge. Maybe when I’m 80, I’ll look back and enjoy the memories.’’
Jon Fasick is a class individual and a very capable golfer. And, he’s got two towns that claim his as their “favorite son.’’