Black Diamond Ranch’s Quarry Course Lives Up To Reputation

Black Diamond Quarry Course: 17th hole

The 17th hole is a long par 3 with a downhill tee shot. A long iron or wood is needed to get to the green. Good Luck!

Recently, I had the enviable opportunity to play Black Diamond Ranch’s Quarry Course in a two-man shot-gun golf  tournament.  The rare opportunity to play this private course came about through a promotion offered by Paradise Golf  (, where I’m a member. I’m glad I played. The course lives up to its reputation as one of America’s best courses, and the foursome I played with were a great group of guys that made playing the tournament really enjoyable.

The Quarry course at Black Diamond is by Tom Fazio. It’s an amazing design that takes advantage of the natural elevation changes as it cuts through an old limestone quarry. Some holes are more dramatic than others, but make no mistake about it, you will notice the differences in elevation. It’s also a very fair course, with open fairways and plenty of bail-out room on most holes.  But there is a good amount of sand that comes into play from the fairways and around the green, and there are plenty of tree-lined fairways to keep you straight. 

The stars of the show are the abandoned quarry holes which run from the 13th to the 17th holes. This stretch makes you feel like you’re anywhere but flat Florida. The 14th through the 16th are particularly scenic and challenging as you circle around  Black Diamond Lake. Eighty foot cliffs lead to sharp elevation drops off the tee, many sand traps, and some large limestone rocks.

The Quarry Course has five sets of tees ranging from almost 4800 to just under 7200 yards. If you check your ego at the clubhouse and choose the correct tees for your game and skill level, you will definitely enjoy your round. As expected, the course was in immaculate shape from tee to green and everything in-between. Although the round lasted 5 hours, it didn’t seem like it. A good golf course can make you lose track of time.

The staff was very friendly and upon arrival greeted you and took your clubs to the cart. The clubhouse ammenities and practice facilities were top notch. They had a large putting green by the clubhouse as well as a chipping area nearby. The driving range was large and accommodating with several greens to shoot at and get your distance. They had water with ice to start out, and also on several holes, to keep you hydrated and there was a beverage service that came by twice a side.

Black Diamond Ranch has 45 holes to play, The Quarry and Ranch and a 9 hole Highlands course. It’s located about an hour-and-a-half from downtown Tampa. As a private course, it is difficult to play if you’re not a member, but they do have stay-and-play packages.  For more information, go to

If you do get a chance to play The Quarry Course at Black Diamond Ranch, don’t hesitate. I’m glad I didn’t.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Jay Morse on May 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks for the review Eric, I’ve always wanted to play Black Diamond, and your review has reminded me to find a way out there. Did you find there’s any chance of getting on without a member invitation or joining Paradise Golf?


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