Forever connected to one of the more memorable games in Miami Dolphins history, Anthony Fasano is now creating memories on the golf course and giving back to the junior golf and military veteran communities.
Fasano, a tight end for Miami from 2008-12 who finished his career with the Dolphins in 2017, was on the receiving end of a 19-yard TD pass from running back Ronnie Brown in the infamous Wildcat game on Sept. 21, 2008 at New England. His 19-yard catch in the back of the end zone off of a left-handed throw by Brown early in the third quarter gave Miami a 28-6 lead and further silenced the partisan crowd at Gillette Stadium.
By day’s end, Fasano had 66 receiving yards on three receptions and got to celebrate a stunning 38-13 upset of the defending AFC champions with late head coach Tony Sparano, Brown, and the rest of the team on the plane home. It still ranks among his fondest memories of his time in Miami, and he now makes his home in Fort Lauderdale, where he is active with First Tee of Broward.
“The broad mission that my foundation was started on was helping under-privileged children in my area and also serving veterans.”
“The broad mission that my foundation was started on was helping underprivileged children in my area and also serving veterans,” said Fasano, whose Anthony Fasano Foundation was created in 2008 in his home state of New Jersey. “I think the Broward chapter of the First Tee does that really well in helping introduce the game of golf to children that wouldn’t normally have access to it. Teaching them the principles of life through the game of golf is really unique, and then also me opening that opportunity up to veterans as well really checks a lot of those boxes that my original foundation set out to do. Now we’re doing it through the game of golf down here in South Florida.”
Fasano, 36, began his NFL career with Dallas in 2006 as a second-round draft pick out of Notre Dame, and he also played two seasons with Kansas City (2013-14) and Tennessee (2015-16). In addition to his charity work and now being the father of three, in 2015 he started a treatment center in Delray Beach called Next Chapter for those suffering from alcohol and drug addiction. He since has partnered with a residential facility in Vail, Colo., called All Points North and has expanded into behavioral health needs for active and retired athletes.
In Scotland, a place called Kingsbarns. I made a trip with some friends and my dad, probably about eight of us, in June of 2019, and played nine courses over there and it was a great experience. But Kingsbarns really stuck out to me as my favorite course ever, and then in the States I love Spyglass Hill. It’s a great place, even more so than Pebble Beach. It’s just the difference between the front and back nine and being up in the woods versus on the coast. It’s just a really cool course.
Favorite course in South Florida?
I play out of Adios Golf Club here in Coconut Creek. I’m a new member there, but I’ve been playing there with friends for years and that’s kind of my home base. It’s kind of my second home, but I also love the Dye Preserve in Jupiter.
What is your handicap?
An 11 right now, and that’s partly due to me not playing a bunch in the later years of playing football and just having a young family and having a business, but it’s trending down.
Lowest round, and where?
I think I shot 78 at the St. Regis (Monarch Beach) in Dana Point (California).
Favorite club in your bag?
At times none of them (laughs). But probably my trusty 5-iron. I end up hitting that off the tee a bunch whenever it’s not set up for a driver.
How often do you play?
From probably 2013-18 I would only play maybe five to eight rounds in a year, but now I try to play two times a week, so that’s a dramatic change.
Favorite swing thought?
I tend to have a lot of swing thoughts, which aren’t good usually, but my lack of lessons and not really being professionally taught has really just kind of made me a feel player and a self-correcting player. But I really just kind of have a stable base and a short, compact swing. I try to limit the amount of error off of my swing.
Are you self-taught or did you work with an instructor?
I never really had a lesson until October, when I had my first two lessons ever. So, I’m getting into it and I jell with the teacher over there at Adios and how he sees golf and how he teaches, so I’m looking forward to a lot of quick gain.
How many holes-in-one?
Salt in the wound – zero! I’ve never seen one, I’ve never had one. I’m allergic to holes-in-one. I’ll call you when it does come, but it’s coming soon.
When did you start playing golf and become serious about it?
The first time I ever really played golf on a course was summers in college. We’d be there for a couple of classes and summer workouts for football and we’d have a lot of afternoons free and we’d start playing on courses on campus and really just hacked around. Once I got into the NFL, I started playing in the off-seasons and got a little more serious, but then as I got older toward the end of my career and had a family and a business, again I got away from it. So I was really in peaks and valleys with my golf game, and now I’m looking for a long-term peak.
Who would complete your dream foursome?
That’s tough, but John Daly just for entertainment value and stories has to be there. I’m a big Frank Sinatra fan. I don’t know if he really played golf much, but if he did, I’d love to play with him, and Michael Jordan would be pretty cool. He’s super-passionate, competitive and he’s really made golf a big part of his life, so that would be a pretty good foursome.