Tobacco Road Review
-Alex Jensen, HDCP 3, Favorite On-Course Drink: Miller Lite
This year, we decided to skip the free lunch at Applebee’s and instead drive up to Sanford, NC and give Tobacco Road a run for its money on Veteran’s Day. We arrived early to the course so we could take in the full Tobacco Road experience. From the moment you arrive off the main road you get this feeling that this place is just a little different. From the small sign off the main road to the winding narrow roads through the tree-line, it is truly an “experience.” The course ended up taking a 10% discount off normal rate and we orchestrated a forecaddie through ‘caddiewalk.com’ which is a caddie program designed to service multiple courses in the Pinehurst region. We highly encourage using the forecaddie for Tobacco Road due to the knowledge of the holes and the ability to jump ahead and see balls down from the various hidden shots. Golf Course Architectureranks this course #50 of the top 100 in the world. Construction on the course completed in 1998 and it is an absolute beauty. To know what Mike Strantz, the course architect, had to build on and see what it is today is nothing short of golf course art and awe. The character of the course is something everyone needs to experience at least once. Each hole has distinct rolling hills and different cuts and dunes that resembles similarities to what you might see in Irish and Scottish dunes courses. There are 5 creatively named tees from back to front being the “Ripper, Disk, Plow, Points, and Cultivator.” From the 1st hole with a driver that has to split between a narrow opening, the eyes are immediately tested and then tested again when you have the option to shoot your second shot through another narrow opening in the fairway. Our group had 2 walkers and 2 riding. After the round the 2 riding in the carts mentioned they would have preferred walking to take in the genuine beauty of the course design. A few house rules are that you are allowed to pick your ball out of the bunkers which are all deemed waste, and improve the lie below the ball, while replacing the ball in its originally spot. We would not have known this had it not been for our caddie and the small sign on hole 2. Tobacco Road is a course unlike any other golf course I’ve ever played. Between the changes in elevation, crazy angles, and unique hole designs, Tobacco Road proved to be one of the most fun golf courses I have ever played. The course is not long, so we played the Ripper (Tips) which comes in just over 6500 yards. Hole 13 which is a 536-yard par 5, may be the best par 5 this side of the Mississippi. I would say #5 defines the total summation of the course. You can rip a drive through the fairway so instead aim 45 degrees right of the middle landing zone and pipe a drive. You will find the hole turns hard right and opens up significantly. From there, you might have 100 yards into a bowl green where everything runs to the pin. Sets up for an awesome eagle put on a hole that reminds you of those fantasy-land courses in the EA Sports Tiger Woods video game. Overall, put Tobacco Road on your list of must-play courses. Get there early to take in the scenery and maybe indulge in a delicious BBQ sandwich from the clubhouse. You will have many chances to go for it and we fully expect to go Bunker to Bunker at Tobacco Road.