THE QUARRY GOLF CLUB
Course Architect: Keith Foster (1992-94)
Year Opened: 1994
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Slope: 128. Rating: 72.4
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 4 388 Yds 10 - Par 4 474 Yds
2 - Par 4 453 Yds 11 - Par 4 370 Yds
3 - Par 3 168 Yds 12 - Par 3 205 Yds
4 - Par 4 325 Yds 13 - Par 4 362 Yds
5 - Par 5 544 Yds 14 - Par 4 442 Yds
6 - Par 4 383 Yds 15 - Par 5 528 Yds
7 - Par 4 399 Yds 16 - Par 3 242 Yds
8 - Par 8 158 Yds 17 - Par 4 386 Yds
9 - Par 4 349 Yds 18 - Par 5 564 Yds
Par 35 3,167 Yds Par 36 3,573 Yds
Awards Won: Four stars by Golf Digest - Best Places to Play (2007-10),
Ranked 13th by GolfWeek - Best Courses by State [Texas] (2010),
Top 100 Women Friendly Courses in US - Golf for Women (1998-99).
Course Record: 64 (PGA Tour player, J.L. Lewis)
HISTORY: Operating as a limestone quarry pit and cement plant for almost 100
years, The Quarry Golf Club emerged from the ideas of well-known San Antonio
golf enthusiast Jack Parker. It's the typical success story. "You'll never
build a golf course out of that pit," the skeptics bellowed.
Less than 10 years after the plant closed, Keith Foster was brought in to
carve out a golf course. Foster, who previously worked with the Arthur Hills
design group, went out on his own just a short time before starting his work
on The Quarry in 1992.
Known for his renovation and restoration work at Baltimore Country Club at
Five Farms, Colonial Country Club and Southern Hills, one of Foster's first
original designs was The Quarry, which features a links-style front nine, with
many water hazards and a back-nine chiseled inside the old abandoned 86-acre
Rated as a must-play by many, The Quarry has been ranked as one of the top
courses in the state of Texas since its inception.
REVIEW: The opening hole at The Quarry is a downhill, dogleg-right par four of
just 388 yards. The key here is hitting the fairway, as the landing area runs
out, so three-metal or long iron might be the play. The green sits well below
your feet, so adjust your approach accordingly. Water guards the entire right
side of the putting surface, leaving little room for error. Bail out left and
you'll end up in a much-used bunker. Hey, it's better than losing a ball.
Sitting alongside the train tracks, the second is one of the longest par fours
on the course, stretching 453 yards. The fairway is very accessible, as long
as you bypass the 45-yard bunker down the right. A medium- to long-iron awaits
to the longest green on the front nine. Chipping areas surround most of the
putting surface. Avoid missing long and left and you'll survive the hole they
The third hole is the first par three on the course and it's a beauty. From
the back markers it's just 168 yards, but water covers the left side and the
green slopes toward the trouble. To make matters worse, the wind blows from
the right, so you'll need to be spot on. A word of caution: a pair of bunkers
guard the right and they're quite nasty.
Talk about risk-reward, the fourth is just that. A short par four of only 325
yards, it certainly is possible. The risk is water down the entire right side
from tee to green. The reward, of course, is reaching the putting surface and
having a shot at eagle. For most normal players, an iron or fairway metal off
the tee to a very wide fairway will leave just a wedge to a long and narrow
putting surface. The two-tiered green can be tricky, especially when the pin
As its name indicates, the fifth is a "Watery Grave." A dogleg-left par five,
your opening tee shot must be placed onto a peninsula-of-sorts fairway that is
mostly surrounded by water. Your second shot, to the bridge-ajoined fairway,
should be relatively stress-free as the landing area is bunker-free, but
raised. For those who go for the green in two, the fairway tightens as you get
closer to the wide, but narrow, putting surface. Two bunkers front the
elevated promised land to even the score. A back-right pin can make this easy
hole a real bear.
One of eight par fours under 400 yards long, the sixth is a straightaway hole
that features a 60-yard bunker down the left side of the fairway. Shape your
tee shot at the church steeple and you'll be left with a short-iron to a green
that slopes from right to left. Two bunkers guard the putting surface, but
this is a definite birdie hole.
A fairly benign hole, the seventh is a relatively straight par four, with just
one bunker down the right side. The key here is the approach shot to a
minuscule green that's just 27 paces deep. No sand guarding it, but any shot
short will kick left away from the putting surface.
Another glorious par three, the eighth is only 158 yards, but water and wind
can and will dictate your play. The shot towards the wide and undulating green
is a complete carry over water and sand. Being greedy here will only hurt in
the long run, so play to the middle of the green and who knows, maybe the flat
stick will save you. If the pin is back and to the right, play a second ball
for fun and go for it.
The closing hole on the outward nine is a gem of a par four. Stretching just
349 yards from the tips, you'll need to bust a drive to clear the ditch that
splits the fairway in two. Although it's just a 200-yard carry, it plays
uphill from tee to green, so give it a rip. Favor the right side, as the
landing area tilts hard to the left. Just a wedge will remain to a highly-
elevated putting surface that's just 27 paces long and very narrow. The two-
tiered green slopes hard from back to front, so try and stay below the hole
and, by the way, avoid the left greenside bunker. Other than that, piece of
The course really starts to heat up when you reach the Quarry nine. No. 10 is
the longest par four on the course at 474 yards. Not only that, it plays
uphill, so make sure you add a club or two. The fairway is quite generous and
filled with rolling contours throughout. Miss right of the cart path and
you'll have little chance of finding your ball. Your approach to the elevated
green is quite deceiving, so make sure you take enough stick. Chipping areas
front and right can make for a difficult up and down.
In contrast, the 11th plays downhill towards the green and is just 370 yards
in length. The left fairway bunker sees plenty of action, as most players bail
out due to the sharp fall off on the right. Yours truly can attest to that. A
big drive can set up a simple short-iron to a green that runs from left to
right with a ridge separating the front and back. A pin position in the back
and right will bring more chipping areas into play.
The third sensational par three on the course, the 12th, stretches 205 yards
from the tips and is all carry over marsh and water to the green. A nice draw
from right to left is the play here, as it takes the water out of play, but be
careful, as the green slopes towards sand and water left. The putting surface
is minimal at just 29 paces with plenty of contour. Any play short will roll
back down away from the green. Aptly named "Alcatraz," you'll need to escape
Water continues to be the dominant trait on the back nine as you reach the
13th. This sharp dogleg-left hole features a full carry over the lake that
covers the entire left side of the hole. Although these holes sit down in the
quarry, the wind really affects No. 13 in particular. A sweeping draw fits the
eye from the tee, as this will set up a simple wedge to the smallest green on
the course at just 24 paces in depth. Fronted by a deep bunker, a back-left
pin will only be partially in view, so trust your game and go for it.
The most difficult hole on the back nine is the long par four 14th. Named
"Stacks" for its aiming point, this brute is 442 yards in length and plays
gently uphill. Limestone outcroppings dot the rough, but the fairway is wide
and accommodating. Even with a big tee ball, you'll have a medium- to long-
iron to the elevated green. Putts move sharply on this small and undulating
putting surface, so play enough break or a three-putt could be in the cards.
A really good chance of getting a stroke back comes in the form of the par-
five 15th. Just 528 yards, the tee shot plays downhill towards the generous
fairway. Although it tightens at the 300-yard mark, most players should have
plenty of room. Give it a lash from the fairway if you have the stones, but
you'll need to avoid the bunker that fronts the green. Not a bad spot to be in
if you have a quality sand game. Just 25 paces in depth, the putting surface
is wide but shallow, so your approach must be spot on. Now's the time to make
birdie, since the final three holes yield very few.
Sixteen is the most difficult of the four par threes at The Quarry. It's a
robust 242 yards from the tips and uphill all the way. When was the last time
you hit driver on a par three? Can you say never? Well, there's a first time
for everything. The elevated green sits atop a hill, with all putts breaking
toward the tee box. Not a good combination, especially if you miss short.
One of the prettiest, yet intimidating holes on the course, No. 17 is called
"Reload." For a golfer, that's not a word you want to hear, but it happens
quite often. Yes, if you must ask, I hit two. With the quarry wall to your
right, you tee off from the highest point on the course, with a panoramic view
of the entire quarry. From the back tee, it plays as a dogleg-left with what
seems like a sliver of fairway in the distance. The landing area does run out
at the 300-yard mark, so three-metal is probably the smart play, as the cart
path splits the fairway. A short-iron should remain to the longest green on
the course and one of the most slick. With the flag back-left, you'll need an
extra club or two and be careful to avoid the bunker duo on the left.
Although not the most difficult hole on the course, the 18th requires
strategy, not something usually associated with a par five. The reason is
because the downhill fairway tightens dramatically at the 280-yard mark, not
to mention the rock wall boundary on the right and rough and rocks left. Your
second shot is played uphill to a landing area that sits 100 yards from the
elevated green. Remember to adjust accordingly to attack the pin. The putting
surface is long with several levels, so take enough club for the back-left
FINAL WORD: Located just minutes from the airport and downtown San Antonio,
The Quarry Golf Club is a blast (no pun intended) to play.
The front nine is virtually devoid of trees and it winds around several water
hazards. Starting with the opening hole, they come into play on five of the
When The Quarry was originally built there was very little, if any, housing or
commercial areas. Now, of course, it's a different story, as a strip mall runs
down the left side of the first hole, taking away a little bit of the
Although the front nine plays quite shorter than the back, it's still a test,
specifically when the wind is up and you need to hit your approach over water,
like on the first and third holes.
Pick the right set of tee markers, because when you reach the back nine,
you'll be hard-pressed to match your front-nine score.
The inward holes at The Quarry are really the most interesting, especially
Nos. 12 and 13 and 16 through 18. Despite being under 400 yards, the 17th not
only is quite deceiving, but one of the most difficult holes on the course. No
wonder it earned its current moniker.
There are several vital statistics that make The Quarry a required visit.
First of all, the rates are reasonable, from a low of $25 after 5 p.m. to a
high of $79 on the weekend. It's not often that a top layout features such
Secondly, the challenge of the golf course is very appealing, and not just
from the back tees. Forced carries over water and ravines, uphill marches
towards greens, strategic choices off the tee, The Quarry has it all.
The amenities are complete and the staff is very knowledgeable. PGA golf
professional Sean Etheredge leads the entourage of helpful staff. A native of
the San Antonio area, Sean has spent over six years at The Quarry overseeing
all aspects of the operation. In addition, former PGA and Champions Tour
player Jim Barker is the Director of Instruction. Barker has received many
accolades, including being named one of the top teachers in the country by
both Golf Digest and Golf Magazine in 2001.
Affordable, challenging, unique and a great experience -- what more could a
golfer ask for?
Foster claims on his website that his aim is "to produce timeless and enduring
work" and he certainly delivered on those intentions at The Quarry Golf Club.