Tobacco Road Golf Club

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4.7
53
5 Stars
42
4 Stars
8
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
2
1 Stars
1
Conditions
4.6
Value
4.3
Layout
4.8
Friendliness
4.6
Pace
4.2
Amenities
4.2
98.9%
Recommend this course
51 out of 53 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
4.7
7
5 Stars
5
4 Stars
2
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.6
Value
4.4
Layout
4.7
Pace
4.4
Amenities
4.3
StaffFriendliness
5.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
7 out of 7 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
4.9
15
5 Stars
13
4 Stars
2
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.7
Value
4.3
Layout
4.9
Pace
4.1
Amenities
4.3
StaffFriendliness
4.7
100.0%
Recommend this course
15 out of 15 reviews
Read Reviews

About

Holes 18
Par 71
Length 6532
Slope 144
Rating 71.7
Type Public
Tee Par Length Rating Slope
Ripper 71 6532 yards 71.7 144
Disc 71 6297 yards 70.3 135
Plow 71 5886 yards 68.6 129
Plow (W) 71 5886 yards 74.7 140
Cultivator 71 4946 yards 69.8 126
Scorecard for Tobacco Road Golf Club
Metrics:
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Ripper M: 72.5/145 558 392 152 535 333 148 411 178 427 3134 441 531 419 573 194 365 326 142 432 3423 6557
Disc M: 71.3/143 547 377 147 507 322 143 401 173 415 3032 421 511 412 536 178 358 321 134 414 3285 6317
Plow M: 69.4/132 W: 75.7/145 521 344 125 478 315 133 383 152 394 2845 398 486 380 497 152 351 281 127 369 3041 5886
Points M: 66.9/125 W: 71.7/136 478 301 112 466 309 107 353 142 364 2632 365 361 347 455 111 311 266 102 352 2670 5302
Cultivator M: 62.6/117 W: 67.0/118 315 280 91 368 297 107 248 132 269 2107 242 290 291 429 96 267 248 84 242 2189 4296
Handicap 3 11 17 9 15 13 7 5 1 6 10 14 2 8 12 16 18 4
Par 5 4 3 5 4 3 4 3 4 35 4 5 4 5 3 4 4 3 4 36 71

Course Details

Year Built 1998
Golf Season Year round
Architect Mike Strantz (1998)

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes
Clubs Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Teaching Pro Yes

Policies

Credit Cards Accepted VISA, MasterCard Welcomed
Metal Spikes Allowed No
Fivesomes Allowed No
Single Allowed No

Best of Lists

Reviews

4.7
53

What Golfers Are Saying

The 19th Hole is Great For:
Drinks 6
Course Challenges Include:
Forced Carries 19
Bunkers 17
Elevation Changes 17
This course/club is great for:
A Bucket list/Top 100 Pick 15
A Weekend Splurge 14
Advanced Golfers 14
This Course's Location is:
Worth the Drive 16

Reviewer Photos

Advanced Filters
Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 25 Contributor
Virginia Advisor
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Even Better A Second Time Around

I first played this course back in March and it instantly became my favorite course of all time. From the truly unique layout to the fantastic playing conditions, exceptional staff and a surprisingly good value, Tobacco Road is an elite golf destination and my second visit proved that even more.

The design of this course is where it gets its reputation and deservedly so. You won’t see another course like this anywhere (although a slightly more palatable version of Mike Strantz’ drastic layout design will be available again next spring with the re-opening of Royal New Kent GC near Williamsburg, VA). Fairways and greens hidden by large mounds are a recurring theme throughout, forcing you to aim at backdrop features and trust your yardages (I will once again stress as I did in my original review: I HIGHLY recommend hiring a caddie for your first round).

The only enhancement I noted from my first visit in March (there really wasn’t a whole lot that I saw any room for improvement) was the course conditions, now in prime season the turf was fantastic and with all the rain they’ve had this year it was impressive to see not only the grassy areas looking immaculate but also the waste areas. Not a single sign of runoff in any steep bunker on the whole course (of which there are many).

The staff continues to be a shining highlight of this course and I appreciated their presentation even more a few days later when I paid twice as much at another famous course and didn’t receive nearly the same personalized treatment or warm friendliness that TRG staff exhibit. At a course like this the starter can make a huge difference on how well your round goes and the gentleman that assisted me (my apologies I didn’t catch his name) was excellent and was a huge help when I suddenly discovered I had booked a caddie for the wrong day 10 minutes before my tee time.

The facilities here also help to give you the right kind of practice before your round. A grass range with target flags is present, there’s a chipping/pitching green that I recommend spending a good amount of time on and the putting green seems at first glance to be a bit much with a absolutely massive slope right in the middle of it but there are a few holes on the course where you’re going to wish you had practice wacking your ball full speed up a 10-ft hill with your putter!

I paid $100 for my round and that is certainly not easy money for a lot of golfers. That said, I still think this course is a very good value. You get an experience that rivals that of pro tour courses at a fraction of the cost and it’s simply a more interesting and engaging place to play. I cannot recommend this course more highly. It’s simple the best it gets!

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Hot weather
Used cart

As unique a golf experience as you get

Tobacco Road is as wild a golf experience as you get. From the time you drive up to the clubhouse, you know you aren't at your stuffy traditional country clubs.

First things first. The course is indescribable. Everyone will tell you it is a wild rollercoaster of a golf course with tons of blind shots, massive bunkers, undulating greens, and thrilling shots. They are all correct, but it is so much more than that.

If it is your first time, buy the yardage book or download the app that has the yardage book on it. Otherwise, you will spend most of the time not knowing exactly where to go.

The course has highs and lows. You will have some extremely thrilling shots, but others seem tricked up. There likely won't be an in-between for you...you will hate it or love it. I happen to think it was interesting to play and enjoyed the non-traditional shot making focus.

The staff was amazing. The starter was an actual ranger that knew exactly where everyone was on the course. I was playing behind a large group, so he was able to re-route me to give me a way to play without waiting. He also swung by every few holes to see if I had questions where to go or how to play a hole. Can't say enough for having someone that cares about the pace of play and enjoyment of every last person.

The staff inside the clubhouse was great too. Spent time talking about the course with us and genuinely wanted feedback. There is a little pro shop and food area. You can get some good food and watch people finish up on 18 while you are on a rocking chair on the porch.

Overall, it is a great experience playing Tobacco Road. This is a true buddies and match play course. Get everyone together and enjoy a unique golf experience.

Conditions Average
Value Average
Layout Average
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
I Recommend This Course
5.0

One of the most unique courses I've ever seen.

This is a course every serious golfer should play at least once in his or her life. It is incredibly unique, as it is apparently built into an old sand quarry. It is an incredibly raw and challenging course with a large number of blind tee shots and terrifying waste areas. It's a course you should play several times to score well on. The staff was great and the course was in immaculate condition. Go give it a try!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 500 Contributor

All time favorite course

I played this 8 Year’s ago and remembered loving it so I went back next time I was in the area. I was wrong - I didn’t just love it but believe it to be my favorite course anywhere! The people are wonderful, the course is beautiful, in great shape and an absolute blast to play!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Great Track!

This course is so unique and non-traditional. Mike Strantz's amazing imagination created a real beauty here. Every hole is unique and fun to play. You need to play it more than once, there are a few blind shots that you could do without, but once you've played it, it's not a problem. Traditionalist may not like it, but they will respect it. Awesome track! Super fun with some buddies. Play the right tees or it could make for a long day. Only complaint is all the good press has gone to their head, green fees continue to go up. At some point, it won't be worth it. Course is always in great shape.

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

Don’t be cheap - get a caddie

This was a WONDERFUL golf experience. My daughter & I played there on our North Carolina Golf trip...we were NOT disappointed. I think the architect, Strantz, could have been one of the greats (RIP). I had heard from a buddy how challenging this course is, so we chose to hire (in advance) a caddie. It was a GREAT call. There are lots of challenging, blind shots that require local knowledge, plus walking this course gives you so much appreciation of the elevation changes. But if you hit it well, you WILL SCORE WELL! Give it your best shot...it’s worth the trip!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Cold weather
Used cart

If this is your first time playing here don't get hung up on your score!

This is a course that is a true treat and your must play it more than once to even begin to figure it out. I played it twice 18 years ago and had a blast playing it again but I did not remember the variances of the layout which is to be learned.

Great strategic layout as each hole offers different ways to play it depending on how brave you want to be!

The only reason I did not rate it 5 stars is because of how it is not clear to the first time player exactly how to play many of the holes from the tee or even the fairway. That adds a difficulty to calling it a truly enjoyable round despite the fact walking off holes laughing because you got 'fooled' by Strantz is not exactly what happens every day.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 25 Contributor
Virginia Advisor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather

An Unparalleled Golf Experience, If You Do It Right

If you’re playing Tobacco Road Golf Course for the first time, you’ve likely told some friends about it and you’ve probably had some strong opinions and/or advice thrown your way to try to prepare you for it. Being prepared for the course and knowing what to expect are crucial for enjoying your round and I HIGHLY recommend hiring a caddie to guide you through. My caddie, Will, was fantastic and he attributed more to my enjoyment of TRG than any other factor.

The real key to enjoying this course as it was designed regardless of whether you’re playing alone or with help is to respect the course but not fear it. Holes like #1, #8, #16, and #18 from the tee look menacing if not impossible. But with a sound and smart tee shot, you’ll find the hidden fairways rather inviting and the sensation of landing on them quite rewarding.

As for the course itself, well, it’s the 85th that I’ve played, and it’s #1 of all those, and it’s not close. I should caveat that statement by saying that I love Mike Strantz signature design features which many golfers aren’t huge fans of: the aforementioned hidden fairways (and greens), massive tiering on the greens, sand everywhere, and a general lack of lush greeness. What all golfers will appreciate are the generous landing areas, long grass that’s relatively easy to find and hit balls out of, and free practice swings in the waste areas.

Rounds here can take a while (though you’re rarely waiting unless you’re playing exceptionally well) which gives you time to really appreciate the landscape, even if it’s never St-Patricks-Day-green. The rustic look and theme match the history of the land here and really add a level of charm even some more prestigious courses don’t have. Tee markers are designated with shapes instead of colors, sandy cart paths weave through the tuffs of fescue and waste areas, and there’s even what appears to be the remains of an old mine shaft you hit over on a par-3. The holes here are so picturesque and unique, you’ll have a hard time not taking photos on each one.

When you’re spending over $100 just on green fees, you expect course conditions to be a level above and for the most part, Tobacco Road delivers. In fact, my only complaint is that for the amount of slope in the greens the speed of them was a bit extreme. My caddie said they generally run about 10-10.5 but that some were actually close to 12.5 during our round. Our threesome had several putts that rolled back to our feet and one or two that went off the green completely. That said, the hybrid Bermuda turf that’s new to this course makes putts roll so smoothly and true, you may not mind all the extra practice. Being able to see the grain direction across the green is another cool feature and with no unevenness in the putting turf you can see exactly where the green slopes (subtle breaks, unfortunately for me, are less obvious).

While you are often reminded by the staff that there are no rakes for the bunkers and you can take practice swings in them, they are still groomed by the maintenance team and look spectacular. The fairways too look awesome with their short cut and dramatic undulations. The tee boxes, fairways and greens were devoid of any weeds, unfilled divots, unrepaired ball marks.

The staff here is phenomenal and deserve a lot of credit for making my experience such a good one. The caddies are provided by a separate company but just having the option is what made me so excited to play. It was my first time having someone else carry my bag as I walked and I know it sounds cliche but I really did feel like a pro--I even had a couple shots that I walked in...how great a feeling is that? But it’s really the knowledge of where to aim on shots and putts that make getting a caddie worth it. As a bonus, you get someone that’s passionate about golf to talk to for 5 hours; that’s worth $20 in itself. The starter and pro shop staff are very welcoming and knowledgeable and help those without a caddie know what to expect out here.

The off-course facilities are very, very good. TRG doesn’t have the grandeur of some other expensive clubs, I thought for a second I had driven up to a cottage with a putting green. But everything you need is here on sight (except for an ATM, so make sure to bring plenty of tip cash for your caddie). Two practice greens for putting, another for chips and pitches, and a full, grass driving range. Be sure to give yourself at least 30 minutes of practice time to get a feel for the greens and bunkers.

The value proposition of Tobacco Road is relative as with most courses. This is the most I’ve ever paid for a round (by nearly twice) but the experience was better than any other by a margin equal to the cost premium so I would say it’s a solid value. I can’t afford this kind of venue more than once or twice a year. But as a bucket list course, as a once-in-a-lifetime round of golf, it’s a no-brainer. It’s a gimmie.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Tabacco Road

My wife's Mother and Brother & Sister in law live 2 blocks from Pinehurst No. 2 and I played that about a year and a half ago. We get down several times a year and just going through the list of good courses. A friend from Fort Wayne played Tobacco Road and told me to play it. It was breathtaking, difficult, especially the first time but one of the most amazing courses and unique courses I have ever played. The sand was everywhere, but the greatest accomplishment for me that day was playing with the same golf ball the entire round. I think my partners went through about 20 golf balls. You will either like this course or you will hate it. I will play it again down the road.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Average
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Denver Advisor
Top 50 Contributor
First Time Playing

An American Original

Tobacco Road is a course that is polarizing; as with all works of originality, those who like the way that things have always been will not like it. If you are looking for something original and different, then you will love it. I was in the latter group.

Plenty of contours in the greens so the best way to pin A might be to aim for spot B. Plenty of elevated green sites or downhill green sites so club selection becomes more difficult to gauge.

Tee shots of plenty of risk/reward options. If the heroic carry is made, then you are rewarded with an easier approach. Easier or off target drives are met with hazards or a semi blind approach. Par 5s have multiple options with the player going for it in two needing to pull off a tremendous shot over hazards.

One note is that all hazards are waste areas so take advantage of the local rule and use practice swings-you will learn much as hazards vary greatly.

I can only recommend that you play this more than once. Every play reveals a different way to play the hole or something to avoid. Embrace the uniqueness and blind shots. In time, like your second round, you will know what to do. A course that could be interesting for a lifetime.

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