Tobacco Road Golf Course is located in Sandford, Nth Carolina, in the famous sandhills near the Pinehurst Resort.
The course opened in 1998 on the site of an old quarry and was designed by the late Mike Strantz whose short career made a real impact with his work at MPCC- Shore Course, Tot Hill Farm, True Blue, and Caledonia Golf & Fishing Club among others. Strantz was his own man, and reputedly at MPCC in his last years before tongue cancer took him, rode the site on a white horse, and made detailed drawings of every hole to illustrate his intentions to the club comittees at the time. His impact was such that in 2000 Golfweek named him as one of the top 10 golf Architects of all time...
But it is Tobacco Road that will be regarded as his legacy, and rightfully so.
The site is heavily vegetated with all number of pines, and with some significant movement in the dunescape all through the property.
The golf course he has scuplted out of this land is absolutely unique- it is not going to host the U.S. Open any time soon, but it will definitely be one of the most fun courses you will ever have the privilege to play. Having played it once you will be planning your next visit.
"It is up there with Nth Berwick in the fun stakes!"
The course is not long, but is definitely quirky, with eighteen 'signature holes'.
It has blind shots, wild greens, places where the drive or approach appears to have inconceivably tight but where landing areas actually widen out...
Risk/reward shots abound for even the moderate hitter who can choose to take on carries over bunkers/dunes/wild areas and if successful- putt for birdie or eagle. Of course failing to make that carry can result in an ugly score on any given hole.
The course is heavily bunkered, but naturally so. Stranz has created a strategic course, but the bunkers fit beautifully into the site, as if they were meant to be there.
The green complexes are extremely interesting with some amazingly wide and shallow, others tucked in behind dunes, some with significant movement. I can't remember another course with as many greens falling from front to back as much as Tobacco Road.
Strantz was an artist, and Tobacco Road is one big wild natural looking sculpture with the whole look of the course, clubhouse, island tees, myriad of paths leading off through dunes, trees, bunkers, farm equipment tee markers- everything contributes to the overall look and feel of Tobacco Road.
Whilst I don't think there are any weak holes on the course I do have some favourites. The risk/reward par 5's at holes 1, 4, 11 & 13 are absolutely unique. You will play them liked excited schoolchildren first time around, marvelling at the audacious design...
The par 3 holes all feature wonderful green shapes nestled into the dunes, but holes 6, 14 & 17 really captured my imagination.
And par 4 holes with blind tee shots in holes 16 & 18 also grab your attention.
Tobacco Road is one out of the box. Expect to be challenged on every hole. Expect to make mistakes and be penalised. Expect to love every minute of your day on the links.
I am a big fan. Find a way to get there!
Tobacco Road is a "Travelling Golfer must play!"
Tobacco Road is one of the featured courses on Travelling Golfer trips to the Pinehurst Area of Nth Carolina.
Please contact us here is you have an interest in a golf tour including Tobacco Road. The Travelling Golfer can tailor trips to suit your group!