The Quarry at La Quinta, designed by Tom Fazio, is the ultimate golf experience set in the foothills of the Coral and Santa Rosa Mountains.

LA QUINTA, CALIFORNIA: There are plenty of familiar names on the most recent list of Golf Digest’s “America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.” Each year several of the most distinguished golf facilities drop off the list to make room for changing trends and revamped benchmarks. While the exact “secret sauce” to make the coveted standings is a closely held secret, several criteria, including shot values, resistance to scoring, design variety, memorability, aesthetics, conditioning, and ambiance, are important factors. The Quarry stands out in many areas, but it can claim to never being ranked outside the Top 6 in golf course conditioning since its inception, including a period when it was rated No. 1 in the country, ahead of Augusta National Golf Club. It’s also noteworthy that The Quarry at La Quinta is home to the Fazio designed, 10-hole Short Course that was just ranked a “Top 25, Par-3 Course in the World” by Golf Magazine.

 The Quarry is a true golf club with an emphasis on pure golf. “We are all about the golf,” said Mark Scheibach, GM/COO at The Quarry at La Quinta. “Our passion lies in providing the best golf experience in the Coachella Valley, if not the country. We strive for ‘Simply Perfection.’ If you are a golf enthusiast, this is where you want to be a member.”

A Flavor Of The Old West

The Quarry plays homage to the Old West, in many cases with delightful whimsy. During initial construction, Fazio’s crew discovered an abandoned mine that contained equipment that had been discarded a century ago. The site was restored as a vignette to celebrate the area’s history. In keeping with the Western theme there are also several Fredrick Remington bronze sculptures that are inconspicuously scattered around the course to capture the cowboy culture of a bygone era.

 “During my first site visit, I knew the topography set the stage for a strong design. It was perfect for golf,” described Tom Fazio. “The Quarry is arguably built on the most distinctive piece of land in the Low Desert of Southern California. The plan, which has not wavered since day one, was to create a golf club for golfers. It was my kind of deal that provided the leeway to create something so special without any residential compromises on routing.

“I was on the short list of consideration, since I had just finished The Vintage, only a short drive away,” recalled Fazio. “To say I was thrilled when I was offered the job is an understatement. The original group of investors, several of whom were prominent in society, put up the construction seed money to establish a club for the golf purist.

 “With politics polarizing America, I’m not sure if I should impart this example that highlights the quality conditioning expected at The Quarry. Long ago, before President Trump was in office, I was playing a round of golf with him at one of his courses in Florida. As only the Donald can, he asked me a rhetorical question: ‘Have you ever seen a course in better condition than this?’ After a slight pause, I said yes and inquired if he had played The Quarry,” said Fazio. “I explained that caddies pick up divots in a ‘divot disposal bag’ carefully refill the scar with a seed/soil mix. Astonished and impressed he paused our round and called his director of agronomy to immediately implement a similar process. I guess it’s true that imitation is the highest form of flattery. 

 “I feel blessed in life to have been involved with so many of the finest golf facilities in America. The Quarry is on the shortest of my best of best lists.”

A Fateful Phone Call

The director of golf and instruction position at The Quarry at La Quinta is one of the most desired careers in the golf industry. With the job open, resumes flooded Mark Scheibach’s inbox. “Clubs have to adapt to the changing member dynamics as generations move through, but The Quarry at La Quinta will never change its steadfast pursuit of perfection—and my members appreciate that. I was looking for the proverbial ‘needle in a haystack.’ My one condition? They must have experience at a like-minded club and a passion for the game of golf,” explained Scheibach.

 Not long after the search began, Mark received a phone call from Don Hurter. “Don was actually my first inquiry and immediately I realized he would be a strong contender. As the former head golf professional at the highly respected Castle Pines Golf Club in Colorado, former USGA Junior Amateur Champion [1978], and a Golf Digest ‘50 Best Teachers in America,’ his resume and reputation checked all the boxes,” detailed Scheibach. 

 “If you are a golf purist and really appreciate perfect course conditions and an extraordinary golf experience, this is where you want to be a member.” 

 “The most prestigious clubs across the country are associated with an outstanding attribute,” commented Don Hurter. “A club can be known for its clubhouse, what family amenities are available, or its tournament history. Very simply, what attracted me to The Quarry is that it is a home for golf aficionados. It is obvious members enjoy The Quarry because of the camaraderie of their fellow members, its pristine course conditioning, its challenging yet enjoyable layout and a game is always available.”

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