SANFORD, N.C. -- If you're a fan of the late Mike Strantz, you can only wonder what the imaginative designer would have done had he not succumbed to cancer at age 50 in 2005. Fortunately, though, golfers can find the best example of his creativity at Tobacco Road Golf Club, an 18-hole masterpiece in the Sandhills of North Carolina less than 30 minutes from Pinehurst.
Tobacco Road, which was built on an old quarry, has blind shots, elevation change and crazy greens. It looks more intimidating than it really is, and all these features have a purpose. Strantz gave golfers all kinds of options on how to approach holes and if you have the skills, you can post a good score as long as you can piece the puzzle together.
For example, the opening tee shot has two huge mounds in front the landing area of driver for many players, but if you look at the yardage guide or have played their before, you realize you just you need to carry the mounds to find the fairway. The blind approaches can also appear difficult, but often the greens funnel the ball toward the hole.
In any event, golfers won't get bored playing this course, and it always presents different challenges. It may be a but much for high-handicappers (you can't exactly play the ball on the ground for the most part), but any avid golfer who wants to see something out of the ordinary but well designed, can appreciate Tobacco Road.