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The Quarry Worth the Wait in Edmonton

By Gord Montgomery

The newest golf course in Edmonton, The Quarry, lives up to all its advance billing – and more.

The Quarry is an absolutely wonderful track from the first hole and its demanding downhill right-to-left tilting fairway to the final hole, one with water guarding the left side off the tee and an approach shot into a double green.

Designed by Les Furber, The Quarry comes complete with five tee boxes for each hole over a layout that will encompass 27 holes by next year. For now it’s 18 holes, but what an 18 holes it is.

How good is The Quarry? Well, about as good as it gets.

Five years in the making and open for just over a month now, the newest entry in a crowded Edmonton golf scene is drawing rave reviews from pros and amateurs alike.

“Any new golf course in Edmonton is going to have some hype around it,” the course’s Head Golf Professional, Taylor Scinski commented.

As for the expectations that ran rampant during the winter with the countdown on to The Quarry’s opening date, but with little information coming forth about the facility, Scinski said there was a reason for that.

“We were pretty quiet about it; I don’t even think intentionally,” he continued about that media silence. “There were so many unknowns from the construction point of view – when we were going to open, what the structure was going to be. I don’t think it was so much intentional but it did drive some interest, for sure.”

Now that the playing public’s curiosity has been sated the word on the street is this is a track one has to play. What they’ll find on the front nine, The Granite, are demanding tee shots, large greens, fairways that tend to narrow around 150 yards from the green before flaring out again, and above all, something they haven’t seen prior to this in an Edmonton area course.

“I think people are going to be surprised by the elevation changes out on Granite, which is our first nine for this year,” the Pro continued. “We go way up into the hills and back down,” into what was once a sand and gravel pit, thus the name in a venue reclaimed with grass and trees.

Spencer Brown, the Superintendent of The Quarry who has been on board with the project for four years, noted there wasn’t much around when he began.

“When I came here there were lots of topsoil piles, a big hay field out in one part. It’s come a long way and we’ve spread a lot of dirt. It’s basically gone from a dusty dirt hole to a nice green area.”

One noticeable feature on the course is the mounding. Those mini hills serve two purposes, the superintendent noted, one being the low maintenance requirements and the other, and more of a concern to the golfer, is the challenge they present as they’re covered with fescue grasses.

“We started with piles that were from the old quarry and we were shaping out here to where they got changed to the pointed peaks,” Brown explained. “It’s just different from your standard links style course with their rolling mounds. It’s one of the first things you see out here and it’s one of my favourite features out here.”

What’s also different out here is the length of the course from the tips – 7,600 yards give or take a foot or two – which means those pretty well lay beyond the length of the weekend warrior. Those distances were put in for a few reasons said the head pro.

“The game is changing so much that any new golf course is going to be longer than any older traditional golf course. We’ve kind of made this one a little longer to maybe try and get a big event (CanTour) one day.”

For the regular Joe and Jane, the tees on the Granite and Slate nines measure out from 5,100 yards off the front deck to 6,863 off the second longest blocks, meaning there is a playable spot for anyone on Edmonton’s newest, and long awaited new golfing challenge and one golfers have been salivating over for five long, quiet years.

One Golf Pro who had just come off the course when spoken to, raved about what he saw on his first visit to the newest challenge in the capital region.

“The Quarry was an absolute pleasure to play with such a calming and relaxed atmosphere on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River,” noted Jeff Sveen, a Class A Professional and the owner of Play Golf Alberta.

“Les Furber has created a gem, really making you focus on course management and placing the golf ball in strategic positions.  With the five sets of tees this golf course caters to all levels of golfers, and is a great addition to our many quality golf courses in the Edmonton area.”

Oh yeah, the monster out here. Well, that refers to the yardages this course will play at from the tips. When you back up to the furthest point possible you’re staring down the throat of a beast that measure out at over 7,600 yards.

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