Designed by Keith Foster, opening for play in 1994, the front nine at The Quarry in San Antonio is styled as a links golf course with deep bunkers and sloping greens whilst the back nine is routed around an old limestone quarry.
The Quarry is an interesting course and as mentioned by others it really is two different nines. By todays standards it is a relatively short course. The first hole is welcoming. The hole tilts right and the green is tucked behind a water hazard. There is a fairway bunker left and the fairway runs out about 110 yards out. A decent drive and you will have an attack iron in your hands. The 2nd is the longest par four on the front. Favor the left side off the tee to take the right fairway bunker out of play. The 3rd is a short par 3 with a modest water carry. The 4th hole is a fun short birdie oppty as long as you avoid the water hazard down the right side. A decent drive will leave you with a flip wedge. The first par five is the number one handicap hole. The drive is to a peninsula fairway. The best line is the third green. Big hitters can get home in two, but there is a lot of water. If in doubt, play smart. The sixth is pretty straightforward, just avoid the large fairway bunker left. The 7th parallels the 6th and is almost the same distance. This time the fairway bunker is on the right. The 8th is the shortest par three, Water carry with a large bunker in front and one behind. The 9th is a tweener, a dogleg left with a brook cutting across the fairway. The fairway ends about 180 yards out. If you clear the brook you are well inside 150 yards. Choose wisely.
The back starts out with the longest par four. Bombs away straightaway. The 11th is a good birdie oppty, short par four. There is a forced carry, but the only real trouble is the fairway bunker left. The `12th is a long par with a water and quarry carry. The 13th is a polarizing hole, you either love it or hate. Short dogleg left with water carry and a long bunker paralleling the water and the fairway. The front end of the bunker is less than 200 yards out, so it is really about how much appetite do you have? The 14th is a long straightaway par four and is the number two handicap. The 15th is a reachable par five. Good birdie hole, favor the left off the tee. The last par three is 242 yards over water and quarry. I hit driver and was found wanting. The 17th is another “how big is your appetite hole”. Slides left with a quarry carry. Decent drive will leave you with an attack iron. The 18th is the longest par five. The landing area is fine but the fairway gets really tight, less than 50 yards with the quarry all the way down the left side.
A fun course that I would pay to play again.
Tale of two different nines. The outward half plays through non-descript grasslands. The holes are fairly basic in their requirements and sufficient but far from anything that's compelling. Matters change for the inward half. Here you play holes through a 100-year-old former quarry pit. The contrast between the verdant green grass corridors and the wild and woolly quarry terrain intersects in a fine manner.
One of the main issues I have with Quarry is the abundance of paved cart paths. At times the experience can be marred by the constant role they can play. A bit more attention in keeping them as invisible as possible would add to the golf experience.
Give architect Keith Foster a salute in dealing with the myriad of issues tied to the site. Hard to believe what was there previously -- versus what is there today.
The back nine has the better overall hole mixture and the routing keeps golfer's on their toes as you never can get into a set pattern that's easy to discern. If in town and time allows a visit to play certainly merits attention.
M. James Ward