- The Quarry, annexed by Canton in 2007, was in danger of joining other area golf courses that have closed.
- The current ownership describes what was done to revitalize the business.
- The Cincinnati Bengals are planning a party at The Quarry a year after the Raiders stopped by.
Quarry is located in a hilly part of Stark County where all the roads have curves.
So do many of the 18 holes on the golf course, which opened in 2006 and was in danger of closing a few years ago.
Elevation drops seem steep enough to pop your ears. Rock walls from the days when the Quarry was just a quarry cast shadows on ponds and streams in a retreating form.
The peaceful, easy feel subsides when the course is full and play is slow enough for golfers to count the houses on adjacent properties.
But such is life in the big city when your lane is in demand. And yes, The Quarry is in Canton, as of 2007, when the city jumped the boundaries of two townships to annex it.
Quarry originally came in when other Stark County public courses were going out. Edgewood, Tam O’Shanter, Skyland Pines, Rolling Green, Lake View and Seven Hills have all closed since The Quarry opened, two miles as the crow flies from the historic Clearview Golf Club.
Doug Titko says The Quarry would have joined the list of golf venues that became something else. Partly to make sure it didn’t, he, his brother and three other partners bought it in 2019.
“The reputation was that it was a beautiful track, but it was so expensive to play,” said Titko, whose business interests include having owned four Audi Horizon shops. “It was my and my brother’s favorite course to play. It’s absolutely unique.
“I worked on a formula for a week and said, I think we can double and maybe triple the amount of games just by addressing the time windows.
“Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, based on going through their old tee sheets, they just didn’t get anyone to play in the morning.
“Who can play these days? Seniors. I put together a senior special from the get-go that we still honor. Monday through Thursday…weekends…we dropped all the prices.
“Our first year we more than tripled the rounds they had ever had out here.
“When we came in, they had three season memberships. We put together a big breakfast the first day we were open and sold 54 season tickets. We’re up to over 100 now.”
It is the fifth year for the current ownership group.
A long conversation with Titko makes this almost a rhetorical question: So the plans are to keep The Quarry open as a golf course for the long term?
“Absolutely,” he said.
Titko, 62, grew up in Brimfield and played football for Field High School. He attended the University of Akron and envisioned a career in sports broadcasting.
“I quickly realized there wasn’t a lot of money in it,” he said.
His father introduced him to golf, which became a lifelong interest.
He has played golf pretty much everywhere, in most of the 50 states. He was part of a match at Skyland Pines on the last day it was open in 2021.
“The Skyland closing was unique because Amazon was interested in the property,” he said. “They would probably still be a course if that hadn’t happened.
“I was very surprised Seven Hills closed. It was under new ownership. The owners came out here looking for some ideas. It seemed sudden when they shifted gears and decided to sell.”
Golf enthusiast Gary Taylor, founder of InfoCision Management Company, was the primary owner of The Quarry in the beginning. Taylor’s family retained a stake in the company after he died in 2013 at age 59. The family also retained ownership of a Medina golf course, Shale Creek.
The Taylor family lives in Medina and still owns Shale Creek. Five years ago, they decided to sell The Quarry, which they had handed over to a management company.
Titko knows of no other potential buyers who planned to keep The Quarry as a golf course.
“Looking back now, I can almost assure you that if we hadn’t stepped in, it wouldn’t be another course,” Titko said. “This is a big shoe to fill. It’s a big property with a lot of expenses. I’m not sure anyone else would have stepped in.
“Homeowners out here love us because they could have looked at another Tam O’Shanter.”
Tam O’Shanter’s 36 holes closed in 2018, making way for developments and a park.
“Tam O’Shanter was a unique, cool property,” Titko said. “You almost cry when you walk by there now.”
The Quarry includes a 27,000-square-foot clubhouse with The Granite Grille, which includes a huge, striking patio with close-up views of the 18th hole.
An indoor-outdoor function room can accommodate nearly 200 guests for weddings, more for some events.
“We had 660 people at a Las Vegas Raiders Hall of Fame party last year,” Titko said. “Diana Ross sang on the patio. We have a Bengals Hall of Fame party this year and the Raiders again next year.”
Another attraction is a swimming pool next to a full bar with food service.
Current ownership purchased 33 residential lots, since sold and developed, and 33 additional acres that may or may not be developable.
“I’m sure if you’re just a golfer, it’s a much harder battle than it is to have other streams of resume,” Titko said.
An unusual golf course that attracts players from all over the world is the face of the place.
Bill Flower of CanadianGolfer called the layout “very challenging and rewarding to play with so many spectacular holes and views I could have posted 50 photos.”
Golfweek has ranked The Quarry among Ohio’s best courses a few times in recent years. The course also ranks No. 7 on ohiogolf.com’s 2023 list of the best public courses in the state, behind Fowler’s Mill (Chesterland), Manakiki (Willoughby Hills), The Virtues (Nashport), StoneWater (Highland Heights), Boulder Creek ( Streetsboro ) and Stonelick Hills (Batavia).
Quarry is ranked ahead of No. 8 Little Mountain (Concord), No. 9 EagleSticks (Zanesville) and No. 10 Cooks Creek (Asheville).
For example, the weekday fee for 18 holes and a cart in a recent check was $60 at Fowler’s Mill, $54 at Boulder Creek, $49 at The Quarry and $48 at Manakiki.
Fun fact: A golf course in San Antonio called The Quarry costs $126. At The Quarry in Canton, a $41.99 online special pops up for some weekday tee times.
Tee times are 10 minutes apart and often hard to come by.
Ken Hyland, who has watched hundreds of courses as a college golf coach at Malone for 51 years, shared this quick Quarry recording last week:
“I love it. The layout doesn’t fit Canton, Ohio. You feel like you’re in the Carolinas with the creeks and canyons.”
Reach Steve at [email protected]
On Twitter: @sdoerschukREP