Nothing ever stays the same; sometimes that’s good.
Black Diamond Ranch in Lecanto, Florida was a super private club for years, but it’s more welcoming to guests lately. In fact, they offer a stay and play “Member for the Day” experience. There are 45 Tom Fazio-designed holes at Black Diamond–there is the Ranch, Quarry and nine holes they call Highlands. Like most Fazio golf courses, there are plenty of mounds and the greens are large and adventurous with dramatic slopes.
It’s not uncommon for the greens to be over 11 on the Stimpmeter; they are beautiful. Unlike most Florida golf courses, there is undulation in the area, which gives the golf course shape and character. And of course, there are plenty of peaks and dips on the Quarry’s No. 14, 15, 16 and 17. This stretch of holes plays through and around a retired quarry and are some of the most fun holes in the world. Nothing is more fun than hitting balls from an elevated perch–players get to hit driver from an elevated tee on No. 15 and an iron on the elevated No. 17 tee, a beautiful par three.
After the round, cold beers, cocktails, wings, sandwiches and steaks are served in Black Diamond’s clubhouse. A seat on the veranda overlooking the beautiful No. 9 green is highly recommended. It is a true “Member for a Day” experience. In fact, guests stay in homes just like the ones the members live in. The spacious homes have all the comforts of home–pool, grill for evening cookouts and a full kitchen stocked with utensils. A quick visit to the nearby supermarket and this temporary Black Diamond address might actually be better than home.
At Black Diamond’s exclusivity peak; Tommy Bolt, Ted Williams and Steve Spurrier were regulars–there was even a Tiger spotting once. But things change and guests are welcome now. Rates start at $325 per person based on quadruple occupancy and includes golf on the check-in and checkout day.