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4.5
82 Reviews (82)
5 Stars
61
4 Stars
15
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
2
1 Stars
3
Conditions
4.5
Value
4.3
Layout
4.7
Friendliness
4.4
Pace
3.4
Amenities
3.8
90.8%
Recommend this course
77 out of 82 reviews
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Average Rating
Avg Rating
5.0
10 Reviews (10)
5 Stars
10
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.9
Value
4.8
Layout
5.0
Pace
3.3
Amenities
4.0
StaffFriendliness
4.7
100.0%
Recommend this course
10 out of 10 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.7
14 Reviews (14)
5 Stars
11
4 Stars
2
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.6
Value
4.5
Layout
4.9
Pace
3.1
Amenities
3.9
StaffFriendliness
4.5
92.9%
Recommend this course
13 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

4.5
82 Reviews (82)

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 5
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played

Well worth Annual Visit

As per title, not a course to play weekly due to complete uniqueness of layout - lots of blind shots and pre use yardage needed but compensated by needing every shot in the bag
Condition was great albeit greens a little slower than normal and it would appear players are allergic to repairing pitch marks

Feedback would be that the pro shop could show a little more customer service, borderline rudeness however much not intended

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Average
Pace Average
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 20
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

I’ve never had so much fun!

Tobacco Road has to be one of the most fun places to play in the country! It is so unique and captivating from the word go. What I believe is so hard to describe is how Strantz was able to make the blind shot not seem like a bad thing. There are quite a few of them throughout the course but instead of shaking your head and cursing the architect, there is this deep sense of excitement to see what’s over the hill! Hole 16 is the perfect example of his mastery of blind shots. The tee shot is completely blind, and you have to aim at a stove pipe up on a distant hill. Furthermore, you have to hit it over a hill and then keep it from running through the fairway. Sounds daunting, but once you’re on the tee, the use of sand and the shaping of the hills blocking your view is just so beautiful, I don’t think you can complain. Once you’ve hit to the fairway, then you make a sharp turn left up through an amphitheater of grass and sand to a green perched high above. Oh, and if you’re the bold type, from the tee you can simply go over the hills and a stand of trees and try to drive the green. It’s a fantastic hole...just like the other 17 holes on the property!
My only real criticisms of the experience are these:
First, the course could really use on upgrade on cart paths. Those a really bumpy in quite a few places. Use the sand soil to your advantage and have packed sand paths more often.
Second, for the blind shots, I think they need a better system than just ringing a bell. Some gps golf carts, fairway flags, or some periscopes would come in handy.
Thirdly, I hope that from time to time, some of the waste areas get a little more sand put in them...the ridge waste area on 15 was more rock than sand. For how much sand there is at this place, I’m sure it’s hard to keep up with it all the time.
Lastly, it was curious to find some crab grass patches around a few of the greens throughout the course. It wasn’t a bad problem by any means and won’t affect play, but for a place so popular as Tobacco Road, you just don’t expect to see that.
That’s it for criticisms, Tobacco Road is just awesome. I highly recommend you play here. Only word of advice is what I put in my Tot Hill Farm review, you need to play this course with the right mindset. Play to have FUN, MARVEL, EXPERIENCE, and DISCOVER! Do this, and you will have a great time at Tobacco Road!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Fair
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 8
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Staff
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Special Place

Second time around this course and it was just as fun as the first. No course like it anywhere.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 12
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 6
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Unique Target Adventure

To prepare myself, I watched numerous Tobacco Road vlogs on YouTube. I highly recommend The Fore Play Travel Show: Tobacco Road, to give you the best idea of what to expect. It certainly helped, but nothing can totally prepare you for the first time experience.
Range is small. Nice mountainy putting green.
I normally play from 6200-6300 yards but I played from the Plow tees....5886 yards, slope of 132. More than enough of a challenge. My normal score is 83. I shot 43-52. Took a 12 on #10 as it took me 7 shots to get out of the greenside bunkers. Not that tough of a bunker shot. I just suck out of the bunkers.
I can see why it's a love/hate course. Target golf at its finest. You must execute distance and direction or you're going to end up in some undesirable spots. Some blind shots. Some tricky areas....false fronts on #5, #8 and #16. Visually intimidating but if you're hitting the ball solidly you'll score well. Chances are you're going to make a big number somewhere. Just don't let it ruin your round. Enjoy the one of a kind experience.
Fast and smooth greens. No GPS on carts. On the day we played, able to lift clean and place ball in the sand/waste areas as there's no rakes to smooth over footprints and tire tracks.
Great layout, conditions and challenge. Friendly staff. Slaw dogs at the turn were tasty. Pace of play was 5 hours, but that is to be expected here. I rarely lose a ball but I lost 3 on the day.
I had the worst score of the trip @ Tobacco Road of the 4 courses we played...Talamore, Legacy and Mid South but rate it as the best course we played. For $130 it's a must play. You won't play another course like it.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 29
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Hot weather
Used cart

Nothing Like It

If you've never been there, there's nothing like it. Check out the website before you go just so you know what you are in for. Not a course I'd want to play daily due to it's quirky set-up and many blind shots but it's a fun change from the norm every once in a while. Insanely creative design. Was in stellar shape!! Staff was great. Because of the layout it is never going to play fast but they may want to either spread the tee times a little further apart or have forecaddies with groups/around the course because we were waiting frequently during our round.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Poor
Amenities Fair
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 209
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 75
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 Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played

Unlike any other

Someone else said, "to love this course, you need an open mind." I agree completely. This layout is unique... interesting... and most of all - fun if you have an open mind. A negative attitude leads you to call it tricked out. But I don't see it that way, even though I do see other course that way.

Tobacco Road includes some of the most memorable golf views and holes I've seen (and I've traveled to many courses around the country and world). The view ofnthe first tee shot is burned in my memory. If you care about golf architecture, this is a must see. Its a tough, short course.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
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 11
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 65
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Iowa Advisor
Top 250 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 75
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
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