Tucked in a scenic cove between the foothills of the Coral and Santa Rosa Mountains in the eastern part of the Coachella Valley was an abandoned sand and gravel pit that for more than half century had been mined by the County of Riverside to extract materials for building local roads.

Known as the Keller Pit, it was a working quarry until the late 1980’s.

Living nearby was avid golfer Bill Morrow. To say that Morrow loved the game of golf would be an understatement. He was such a fan that he took it upon himself to play Golf Digest’s Top 100 courses. What he and some of his friends didn’t care for were overcrowded courses and the hassle of having to schedule tee times.

One day, after yet another five-hour round where they had to wait on every shot, Henry Burdick, one of his playing partners, complained that this was ridiculous and that they should build their own course.

Morrow and Burdick were both members at PGA West. The two friends discussed creating a true golf experience - a golfer’s golf course where a limited number of dedicated individuals could play anytime on a challenging, yet playable course that would be unparalleled in its spectacular surroundings.

After playing the Tom Fazio designed Black Quarry Ranch club in Florida, Morrow set out to find the perfect site to build his dream course in the Coachella Valley. Morrow found the perfect place in La Quinta and requested to purchase the site – an abandoned quarry. Morrow and Burdick purchased the 105-acre site from the County of Riverside. Months later they purchased an adjacent 95 acres. In order to ensure the golf course settings wouldn’t be too tight, another 160-acre piece above the upper cove was purchased.

So Morrow and Burdick, along with 13 associates who shared their dream, founded the $25m project.

Construction began in June of 1993 with Opening Day slated for January 1, 1994. In all, 4,000 trees and palms along with 80,000 shrubs and cacti were planted. The course opened on January 1, 1994. The 21,000-square-foot clubhouse was completed on April 22, 1994. Designed to capture panoramic vistas of the course beyond, members dine and share their stories while looking over a tranquil lake to the waterfalls behind the picturesque 10th green.

In 1997, an additional seven acres were purchased for a spa facility, tennis court and three four-bedroom homes for the convenience of members to rent.

The ownership of The Quarry was transferred back to the members in July of 1999 - for $1.

In 2002, an additional 74 acres were purchased and became the Quarry Ranch, the site of 29 new pieces of real estate and the Tom Fazio - designed Short Course. The Short Course has become known as the best of its kind in the world and one of those delightful pleasures that is part of The Quarry experience.

Tom Fazio

No stranger to Tom Fazio courses, Morrow was introduced to the highly acclaimed golf architect by Quarry member, Ron Lane. Morrow invited the designer to take a look at the property and evaluate its potential.

After personally overseeing close to 15 routing plans, Fazio came up with a three-level layout that created very distinct playing areas. The quarry walls became a focal point allowing golfers to play off it, alongside of it, into it and off of it again. The bottom quarry floor hosted seven holes. Another seven holes rested at the alluvial fan which loomed 80 feet above the quarry. Four holes perched within a mountain cover above. In all, golfers would experience a gradual change in elevation of more than 400 feet when playing the course.

“The Quarry was a trendsetter in so many ways,” said Fazio. “It set a standard for golf in the desert.”

Flavor of the Old West

Always respectful of the first inhabitants who walked this land, The Quarry plays homage to the Old West. In keeping with the theme, enlarged versions of Frederic Remington bronze sculptures along with sculptures by James Earl Fraser, C.M. Russell, K. Kampbell and Swanson were inconspicuously and thoughtfully placed throughout the property. These pieces average five feet in height. They are splendid and unexpected additions to an already spectacular setting. Continuity of the western flavor is evidenced in the clubhouse where smaller bronze statues of the outdoor sculptures have become permanent trophies showcasing each year’s club tournament winners.