Among the highlights are No. 5, a sharp dogleg that challenges players to bite of as much as they dare...crossing a deep canyon while doing so; No. 8, a par four that requires multiple forced carries across trenches, and No. 17, a lengthy par three that sits on the brim of the water-filled crater at the north end of the property.
Not every shot at The Quarry is life or death, however. Several par fives feature tees set high above wide fairways so players of all stripes can swing for the fences and watch their ball fly out into space...without worrying about a splash at the bottom. There are of course hazards from which a player can recover without taking a penalty, as Huntley added several bunkers that mimic the mine’s craters in terms of their scope
Quarries have made for popular golf course locations, especially in North America, due to the dramatic man-made contrast they provide to a location's typical topography—i.e. Tom Fazio's Black Diamond route within the pancaked coasts of Florida. The Quarry Golf Club in Northeast Ohio offers an exaggerated take on the subject; while the rest of the hilly region spikes up, the trenches spike down.
Understandably, there are considerable forced carries. The course's two best holes live up to the heroic mindset—No. 5 doglegs quickly right into a cape-ish collaboration with a quarry, inviting the bold to cut off as much as possible to shorten the Par 4's lengthy distance. No. 17 is simply eye-candy, across largest quarry on the property to a large green, with several pot bunkers to dissuade run-up attempts. Strategically, it's not the deepest design in the world but visually? Hell, who needs strategy anyhow?
Well, don't get caught up in it yet. While several of Quarry's Par 5s revel in towering dives from tee-to-fairway, the toll for such shots occasionally comes due. Such is the case with No. 14 where what has come down is forced to go back up—forcing a steep, blind tee shot. The huge chunk of rock defending the dogleg makes cutting the corner impossible. That slab looks cool, for sure. It would look cooler anywhere that didn't impede the golf.
Quarry is perhaps the crown of a popular argument at many of Ohio and Pennsylvania's courses, where heroism comes to the fore and the strategic takes a back seat. This is forgivable for those looking to play a unique, visually-stimulating course. The Quarry, however, has an unfortunate streak of bad maintenance behavior (during multiple rounds over multiple years), with mushy fairways and bunkers whose sand is of similar consistency to the gravel once mined here. It will take tough love and budget decisions to make it worth the trip for traveling enthusiasts.
Although Quarry was not a mine for any particular metal, its setting provides magnetic for visitors to Ohio looking for a public golf round. And thus I found myself visiting Quarry with a pal this past weekend. Although my previous rounds had been disastrous, I found the conditioning to be reasonably reconciled. So, although I still believe a significant amount of routing to be bending-over-backwards to make the holes fit the property, I'd be more willing to give it a 3.5, if anyone is debating stopping in Canton or not.