LECANTO, Florida – Black Diamond Ranch, featuring 45 holes of golf, and most notably The Quarry Course, is not your typical Florida golf course. Designed by one of the best, Tom Fazio, the course winds through majestic oaks, dogwoods, and magnolias with surprising elevation changes, upwards of 100 feet. From the opening hole you’ll be amazed how easily the course flows through peaks and valleys, with wonderful views of the region.
Fazio’s breathtaking design provides stunning imagery throughout the property. Whether it’s the 18-hole Quarry and Ranch courses, or the 9-hole Highlands course, no detail has been left untouched, creating a truly enjoyable experience each time out.
The Quarry gets so much critical attention it detracts from the other excellent Fazio designs here. The Ranch Course, is an homage to Fazio’s beloved Pine Valley. Open since 1997, the Ranch places a premium on strategy and distance control, using extensive sand traps, waste bunkers and two-tiered greens for defense. With lush fairways and rolling meadows, The Ranch, may well be the members’ favorite. Like The Quarry, it has a dramatic finish — one Fazio himself called “the three best finishing holes I’ve ever designed.”
Situated on the highest point at Black Diamond with 25-mile views, the Highlands Course is the most recent addition to Black Diamond Ranch. A mix of lush, rippling fairways, stands of oak and pine, pristine water features and natural beauty. This rolling track has tree-lined fairways and boasts spectacular views. As nine-hole layouts go, this is no pushover, with a slope of 143 from the back tees.
All 45-holes at Black Diamond Ranch are exceptional golf holes. All deserving of play but the five quarry holes on the back nine of The Quarry are what makes this a bucket-list worthy course.
Holes 13 through 17 are carved over and around the walls of an abandoned limestone quarry. This magical stretch of holes, described by writer Dan Jenkins as “the best five consecutive holes of golf anywhere in the world,” ends with the 218-yard par-3 17th, which drops down into the smaller quarry to a green guarded by towering limestone cliffs.
The Quarry Holes at Black Diamond Ranch
Fazio has a way to make a hole challenging for the better player while still enjoyable for the less experienced player. The Quarry Holes are some of his best designs, this stretch will make or break you, either way, you won’t forget these holes.
Hole 13: Par 3
The Quarry Course’s opening quarry hole is this 183-yard par 3. This picturesque hole’s intimidation factors are obvious. The 80-foot chasm facing you and the white sand surrounding the green make this hole as beautiful as it is difficult. Judge the wind correctly and a par should be obtainable. If not, go back to your bag for another ball.
Hole 14: Par 5
The par-5 14th wraps around the quarry from right to left. It’s not the length of the hole (529 yards from the tips) that will get you, it’s judging the distance you need to first, carry the corner of the dogleg, second, pick the correct club and line for your layup, and, finally, figure out the downhill approach to the green that hugs the cliffs. Start out with a sweeping draw off the tee so this will leave a straight shot to the green, just under 100 yards away. A simple, downhill pitch is left to negotiate the tiny putting surface that slopes to the left.
Hole 15: Par 4
The most photographed hole on the course, the 15th is as good as it gets. A very deceptive par 4 measuring 371 yards. Two decisions face the player off the elevated tee: go short with your tee shot and leave a longer approach or bombs away and attack. The first option to the fattest part of the fairway some 60 yards wide, will leave a 5- to-6-iron to reach, while the aggressive play is driver, leaving a short iron in. There are problems with both, as your long iron will need to cover the beautiful lake that fronts the green, while the big boys will need to squeeze their tee shot into a tiny landing area that is guarded by slope and rough right and sand and water left. The putting surface is fairly large, with several difficult pin placements, like back-left.
Hole 17: Par 3
The final quarry hole is big, bold, and full of challenges. From an elevated tee, this par-3 is another all carry – any shot short will likely end up in one of the grass bunkers protecting the right side of the green. It may be downhill but with the wind in your face, you might think driver. The green is so massive and full of slope that it’s not uncommon for three and four putts.
Black Diamond Ranch: Final Words
Black Diamond Ranch spans 1,200 acres, including 750 home sites, with most homes ranging in size from 1,500 to more than 5,000 square feet. The clubhouse at Black Diamond Ranch is impressive, featuring an elegant dining room with seating for 200-plus members and guests, a fitness center, heated outdoor pool and two har-tru, lighted tennis courts.
The list of golf communities that can boast 45 perfectly maintained holes of breathtaking championship golf and all the other amenities found at Black Diamond is a short one, and Black Diamond Ranch is at the top of the list. Being an exclusive private community and managed by Escalante Golf, the members are assured that it will remain one of the best golf communities in the world for years to come.
Although Black Diamond Ranch is a private facility, golfers and small groups can enjoy the “Black Diamond Experience” with one of the Stay and Play golf packages available with onsite private home accommodations.