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4.3
75 Reviews (75)
5 Stars
54
4 Stars
15
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
2
1 Stars
3
Conditions
4.3
Value
4.0
Layout
4.5
Friendliness
4.3
Pace
3.6
Amenities
3.8
86.9%
Recommend this course
70 out of 75 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.8
5 Reviews (5)
5 Stars
4
4 Stars
1
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.8
Value
4.6
Layout
5.0
Pace
3.2
Amenities
4.0
StaffFriendliness
5.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
5 out of 5 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.0
14 Reviews (14)
5 Stars
7
4 Stars
4
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
2
Conditions
4.1
Value
3.8
Layout
4.4
Pace
3.4
Amenities
3.6
StaffFriendliness
4.0
78.6%
Recommend this course
11 out of 14 reviews
Read Reviews

About

Holes 18
Type Public
Par 71
Length 6557 yards
Slope 145
Rating 72.5

Course Details

Year Built 1998
Fairways Bermuda Grass
Golf Season Year round
Architect Mike Strantz (1998)

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes
Clubs Yes
Pull-carts Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Teaching Pro Yes
Pitching/Chipping Area Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

Credit Cards Accepted VISA, MasterCard Welcomed
Metal Spikes Allowed No
Fivesomes Allowed No
Single Allowed No
Walking Allowed Yes
Dress code Appropriate golf attire

Accolades

Reviews

4.3
75 Reviews (75)

What Golfers Are Saying

The 19th Hole is Great For:
Drinks 7
Course Challenges Include:
Forced Carries 23
Bunkers 21
Elevation Changes 20
This course/club is great for:
A Bucket list/Top 100 Pick 19
Advanced Golfers 17
A Weekend Splurge 16
This Course's Location is:
Worth the Drive 20

Numbers based on reviews tagged with attribute.

Reviewer Photos

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Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 196
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Virginia Advisor
Top 10 Contributor
Previously Played
Hot weather
Used cart

Solstice Event Tons of Fun!

I participated in a 54-hole Solstice event and it was just a blast! Great job by all the staff to pull off such a unique experience for the 50+ players involved.

Course was in great shape as always (greens were a little slower than usual but that made for faster pace of play) and after experiencing this Mike Strantz masterpiece for the 7th, 8th, and 9th time, it continues to be my all-time favorite course.

The intimidation factor is a little overblown, Tobacco Road is more fun than it is hard and worth every penny. Definitely go play it this year if you can!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Pure Fun

Me and my dad went on a trip to the Pinehurst area this past week and played Tobacco Road before we played anything else. It’s a great course located in the middle of nowhere. But it wasn’t a bad drive from Pinehurst. The course was incredible. Probably my favorite course we played on the trip including Pinehurst No.2,4, and 8. We walked it but I recommend riding. The walk was tough and we thought it would be about the same experience riding. The course features many unique hole designs that you will never see anywhere else. The opening hole features a great first tee shot through a valley of mounds. All the par 3s are great especially the 14th hole. The course will tear you up if you aren’t hitting the ball well but is scoreable for a first timer who’s playing well. My favorite hole was number 13. This is a medium length par 5 in which the third shot is over a giant mound into a punchbowl green. You can’t see but about 10% of the green from the fairway. Overall the course was beautiful, fun to play, and extremely unique. I would love to play this course many times in the future.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 68
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
North Carolina Advisor
Top 250 Contributor
Previously Played
Hot weather
Used cart

Quirky but Worth the Challenge

Imagine somebody dropped a bomb in a sandy hilly area of North Carolina and whatever patches of grass survived turned into a golf course.

It may not sound amazing, but the Road is one of North Carolina's best and most unique courses, and is well worth the trip and the cost. Even at $152, I thought it was an excellent value.

The course is chock full of sandy waste areas, hills, and visually intimidating shots with blind approaches to greens. But I think it's far more visually intimidating than actually difficult. Each hole is very unique, though the first six holes may be the course's best stretch.

The staff was very friendly and both the starter on 1 and the spotter on 16 (blind tee shot) were very kind and welcoming. The clubhouse is reminiscent of a mountain lodge and has surprisingly good and affordable food.

My one complaint about the road was pace of play. On a summer Saturday, our round took 5 and a half hours, with several holes where we had to watch the group in front of us tee off while we were on the same tee box. Might behoove the staff to space out tee times a few more minutes since it takes many first-timers time to find lost balls/check out blind approaches.

I love the Road, and can't wait to get back!

OVERALL: 8.8/10

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Poor
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 2
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Absolute must play

I had the pleasure of playing Tobacco Road on a recent trip to Pinehurst. This course is a must play when in and around the Pinehurst area. The staff was exceptionally professional and accommodating. Price value is exceptional when compared to other courses around the pinehurst area. We were lucky enough to have an open course with the next group 4-5 holes behind us. Conditions were excellent for the time of year. The course itself is intimidating from the tees but turns out to be more forgiving than expected.

Overall, this is an awesome course to round off any pinehurst golf trip. I will certainly be back.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 10
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Windy weather
Used cart

If you like Mike Stranz....

you'll LOVE Tobacco Road. Full disclosure, I'm a fan - which means I'm ok with a fair number of blind shots and forced carries. If you've played Caledonia or True Blue, you'll very likely enjoy this track. The one area that needs attention is pace of play. MOVE UP AT LEAST ONE SET OF TEES. Do not use your "normal yardage" as a guide. Unfortunately we had a number of folks on the course who were over matched and slowed us down significantly. Otherwise, again, I loved the layout, conditions were great and the staff was extremely solid.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Poor
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
1.0
First Time Playing

4.5 hours for 12 holes

Love or hate this contrived, tricked up layout and it’s silly routing....everybody is entitled to an opinion. Tobacco Road is a monument to slow play and a poster child for everything ruining golf.

Two hours into our round we had just finished the 5th hole. We requested a refund and were offered only a rain check...as if we would ever return. We finally gave up after finishing 12 holes ... 4.5 hours into the round .

Pro sho staff is disinterested to the point of being rude. “There’s nothing we can do.” Guys who don’t belong on the course and can’t hit the ball 200 yards play the back tees and everyone suffers.

REALLY?

It’s all about the Benjamins here. They know most people will never return so they simply don’t care.

Conditions Average
Value Poor
Layout Poor
Friendliness Poor
Pace Poor
Amenities Fair
Default User Image
Commented on 02/12/2020

I like this course but pace of play here is a major problem.

Default User Image
Commented on 11/14/2019

hey buddy, your a clown.

sincerely,
every other golfer

Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
3.0
First Time Playing

Seven hour round

After1 1/4 hours we had only played 3 holes. When the marshall showed up we told him the pace of play was unacceptable. He did nothing to speed up the groups ahead—-who all were trying to play from the championship tees. On the eighth tee we called the pro shop and told them it had taken four hours to play 7 holes. Nothing was done. Finally, after 12 holes, having been on the course for 5 1/2 hours, we gave up and went in. When we told the head pro why we quit, and asked for at least a partial refund of our green fees, we were told “no refunds.”
This course is very challenging but management does absolutely nothing to make golfers play from tees appropriate to ther abilities.
Do not take the time to go there unless you enjoy 7 hour rounds.

Conditions Fair
Value Poor
Layout Average
Friendliness Poor
Pace Poor
Amenities Fair
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
1.0
Previously Played
Wet weather
Used cart

Disappointed golfer

We visited Pinehurst last week (8 golfers) and on Sunday we were planning to play 18 holes at tobacco road in Durham, NC. and head to the airport after that. It was raining and the course was closed for few hours and that meant that some of us who were flying back couldn't play. I asked the director of golf, Chris Brown, who was at the shop on Sunday as to what are our options and he said that we can give you a rain check good for a year only. I told him that we play different courses every year (like other groups do) and we are not going back next year here. I asked if he can issue the rain check to legacy vacation who arranged our trip and he said NO, we cant issue a rain check to a booking agency and it has to issued to us. Basically Chris Brown, director of golf, rejected any option I offered to him. I asked to speak with the GM, and he said the buck stops with him. the cost of this course is over $150 and it is not cheap!. We played the course a couple of years ago and we loved the course, however the management at the course are MONEY HUNGRY and UNWILLING to work with you if any issue(s). The golf shop people should take customer service training course. We were disappointed with Chris Brown and the way he treated us and the people who were waiting at the course to play were looking at us and shaking their head for the ill treatment we got for the course management. Very disappointed and will not come back to the course. If you want to play at that course, be careful!!

Conditions Fair
Value Poor
Layout Average
Friendliness Poor
Pace Average
Amenities Fair
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 49
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Iowa Advisor
Top 500 Contributor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Roller Coaster Golf!

I played Tobacco Road three times on a recent golf trip to North Carolina. I can only describe the trip around the course as Roller Coaster Golf. It's such a fun ride, but you gotta hold on for dear life at some points.

If you've read or heard anything about Tobacco Road, you know it's golf at it's craziest. Mike Strantz sculpted a brilliant routing out of an old mine about 30 minutes from Pinehurst. The result is a course with intimidating blind shots, huge undulating greens and fantastic views all around.

While many of the tee shots are blind and look narrow, there is actually a lot of room out there. I'm not the straightest driver of the golf ball, and I only lost 2 balls in 3 rounds. The key is to trust your lines and hit it.

There are also many birdies to be had around the course. On every green there are 1-2 slopes you can use to get your approach shot close to the hole. In our group, we had lots of shots roll to within a few feet of the cup.

One of the coolest aspects of the course is the bunkers, which are all waste areas. There's not a single rake on the course! And you can take your cart right into the bunker if you want. On holes like 6 and 17, you have to drive into the bunker to get close to the green.

My favorite hole is the par 4, 9th. From the ripper tees it plays about 420 yards to a severely uphill green. There is a massive bunker if you miss the green to the right. It's so much fun walking up to the green not knowing if your ball found the surface or not! I love the suspense.

I cannot recommend Tobacco Road highly enough. It's a must play for everyone who loves golf.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
Incentivized Review
4.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Strantz Forever

I have played 5 of Mike Strantz's courses and this one is second only to Caledonia for the "Pleasure to Play" factor. Wandering through large sand formations left from previous "mining" operations the course challenges your imagination on every hole. The par 5 #15 with the passageway between two huge mounds makes you place your layup shot to the proper side of the fairway for the daily pin placement. Condiitions were very good and my Son and Grandson and I all enjoyed the friendliness and courtesy of the staff. It is a tragedy that Mike passed away as he was entering the prime of his life and career. Had he lived longer I am sure he would have added more challenging but enjoyable courses to his repertoire. Perhaps he now is the Course Designer of Record in Heaven and hopefully I will be able to play on a Mike Strantz course if I am privileged to make it there.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
Incentivized Review
4.0
First Time Playing
Hot weather
Used cart

Whee!

Played here at 10 AM on a weekday in September. Went off by myself with no prior knowledge of the course. I have a Garmin GPS that showed me the general hole layouts. A lot of guess work as to where to hit it off of the tee and even more as to where the green actually was. Conditions were very good and the greens were of a moderate speed. Over some shots I actually said out loud to myself "where the Heck do I hit it?" Overall it was great fun if a bit frustrating at times. Would love to play it again with some newly learned course knowledge.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 68
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
North Carolina Advisor
Top 250 Contributor
Previously Played
Wet weather
Used cart

One of North Carolina's Best

Our day at The Road was unfortunately very wet with passing showers and a couple brief downpours. But despite subpar weather conditions, it was a great day of golf at one of North Carolina's most unique courses.

From the valleys off the first tee to the completely blind 18th tee shot, The Road is truly a quirky and unique design, with no two holes the same. There are myriad waste bunkers surrounding each hole, but the fairways are quite generous. Conditions were great, even with all the rain the course received; the greens rolled great all day and drained well. However, some waste bunkers showed signs of erosion, likely as the result of all the rain.

It's a great test of golf and shot making, with lots of sharp doglegs, blind approaches, and elevation changes. The greens are also very undulating. It's not overly long (only 6,500 from the tips), but still a great test of your game.

My only gripe is the price: we paid $130 for a Saturday afternoon round with a cart and range balls, but I can't help think that's a bit steep. No doubt there's some Pinehurst inflation present, but I think this is more of a $100 course than a $130 course.

Nevertheless, The Road remains one of my favorite courses and I'll definitely be back for another fun round.

OVERALL: 8.6/10.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 6
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Staff made the day

Knew this was a love/hate course going in, and I definitely slanted toward love. I expected crazy holes after reading reviews and hearing word of mouth, but aside from a couple holes (circular dogleg par 5, for example), it was fair and “real” golf. Staff moved us on the 2nd tee to avoid some awful and slow golfers ahead of us, so we ended up jumping around to finish the round, but it was most welcome and the kind of proactive service more courses should deploy. If you are going to put out a bunch of slow hackers, don’t let them ruin everyone’s day by turning every round into 5+ hours.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 15
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Sand Hills Special

Currently rated 53 in the 2019 Golf Digest Top 100 places you can play. While excellent I believe it is slightly over-rated. The greens and fairways were in fantastic condition, it would have been a challenge for them to be better. Course layout is considered by many to be diabolical, for me it was just convoluted. There were way to many blind shots. A few holes you can not even see the fairway from the tee, much less the greens. They had at least 7 holes requiring you to ring a bell so the group behind you knew it was safe. The bunkers/waste areas were challenging yet penal and the greens were exceptional in the way they were sloped to either assist a good shot or punish a slightly bad one.

The combination of green reading, requirements, people not ringing bells, and totally blind shots make this a long round. You should plan to spend a minimum of 4.5 hours here on a round of golf. We played the front in 2:10 and the back in 2;40. We ran into a deliberate group of golfers that were obviously perplexed by the greens. This would be a norm for a day of golf here,

We played from the Disc marker (traditional blue/white).
The course rating/slope was 71.3/143 and played out to 6317 yards.

My golf partners rated this as a personal top 10, for me a definite return, but not nearly a top 10. Although due to the uniqueness of this course it should be a must play for the avid golfer.

.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Average
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 53
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Golf Channel
First Time Playing

Extremely unique offering in the Pinehurst-area sand hills

This Mike Stranz designed course should absolutely be on your list. The design can at times feel fairly wild/freeform when compared to other more traditional North Carolina sand hills style courses.

Stranz was considered by many to be more artist than course designer and there is no place more demonstrative of that fact than Tobacco Road. From the moment you drive in passing a sand and gravel plant at the entrance to the old-school machinery art leading up to the clubhouse, you realize you'll be in for a unique experience. The clubhouse and facilities are simple, but inviting and match the overall vibe of the facility.

As a player, you can get caught up in the visual intimidation out there in front of you, so you'll really benefit from a yardage book or GPS/satellite app. This bird's eye view will boost your confidence and help with club selection as there are many holes where driver isn't necessary.

I loved the Par 3s at Tobacco Road as they featured some of the most dramatic greens on the course. Though the greens can be very undulating, I found they help you if you use them to your advantage to feed the ball to the hole.

I'd definitely love another crack at TR because I feel I'm much smarter and more informed about the layout and expectations after my first time through.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 12
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
Incentivized Review
4.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Second time around - don't think I'll be back

Played TR early in the spring and was my 2nd time playing it. Played the year before - both times as part of a guys golf trip down from Ontario Canada. The first time we played we kind of enjoyed it but couldn't quite make up our minds whether or not we really liked it. There were a lot of blind shots and some tricked up holes. We wondered if we knew the course a bit better, would it be a course we would like to play. Well, after our second time playing there, we decided it wasn't our cup of tea. Despite knowing the course and what to expect, we found the layout too unconventional for our liking. Too many blind shots and tricked up holes.
We would definitely recommend playing here in order to test your game and to decide for yourself if it's something you like. I think its a "love it or hate it" type of layout.
Course conditions were excellent - nice fairways and fast hard greens. Pace of play was a bit slow but not too bad. It's a bit out of the way but worth the effort to play a very unconventional course.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Average
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

5 1/2 Hour Round!

Love the layout and the conditions were excellent. There are some blind tee shots but the course is very fair and generous fairways.

But the tee times were 20 minutes behind schedule and the round took 5 and a half hours!! Totally ruined the flow of the round. I'll play it again but this time in the AM with faster rounds (hopefully!!)

Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Poor
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 191
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 25 Contributor
Indy Advisor
Previously Played
Wet weather
Used cart

Unique Fun Course

To say Tobacco Road is unique is an understatement. Other Strantz courses can be tricked up but not to this extreme. Ski slope greens and fairways are found throughout the course. There are several holes where position matters more than distance. If you spray, there are all kinds of dangers awaiting from waste bunkers to thick grasses.

On this day in March it was very soggy, making it play long. The greens were in fantastic shape though, especially for this time of year. It ate me up and spit me out as I went along and I left wanting more.

If you expect and prefer a straightforward golf course go elsewhere, if you want a unique experience that will challenge every aspect of your game this is the place. Personally, I would play here as often as I could if I lived in the area, and will return when I travel to this part of the country again.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 71
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Top 100 Contributor
Previously Played
Wet weather
Used cart

El Camino

I took a quick look around the El Camino course on the front nine on the way out of Pinehurst. The course was in great shape given the heavy rains that we'd gotten in the area for the past 10 hours. Everything drained fairly well within 30-45 minutes of the rain stopping. Fairways maintained very well, greens smooth. Always a course to stop by and play if you're in the area.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Best course I’ve played

This is the best course I’ve ever played.
You can only make golf course conditions so good and many of the courses I’ve played are in great condition. We played Pinehurst #4 and Pine Needles as well on this trip, and they were in perfect condition just like Tobacco Road.
The layout however is another thing, and Tobacco Road is the most amazing layout I’ve ever played.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
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