A little while ago, I wrote about the top-10 underrated resort courses, superb Florida tracks that were either not as well known as they should be or overshadowed by more famous courses at the same resort.
Do you ever cringe when you realize you've made a mistake? Well, this was a mistake by omission because I should have put the Ranch course at Black Diamond Ranch on that list.
I've played the Ranch course before, but after playing it again recently, I realized anew how good it is. It is overshadowed by the Quarry course, which in my mind is the most spectacular golf course in Florida, with its canyon holes that look as if they're either from Arizona or the moon.
But, there are golfers, including members, who will tell you the Ranch course is a better play consistently throughout, and I can't seem to mount a strong argument against them.
The Ranch, along with the Quarry, has actually improved since Escalante Golf recently took over operations, and is in super condition. It still has those rolling fairways full of interesting angles, as you'll see in the video below, and it still has those challenging, risk/reward holes that hold your interest throughout the round, along with beautiful bunkering and velvet-smooth greens.
I like the way architect Tom Fazio rewards you off the tee with "speed chutes," fairway slopes that can give you 20 to 30 extra yards if you can find them with your driver.
In any case, the Ranch is a perfect complement to the Quarry and I envy the folks who have access to the 45 holes at Black Diamond Ranch, including the nine-hole Highlands layout.