Tobacco Road Golf Club

4.6889058824 4.7 stars from 5 (49)
  • Holes: 18
  • Par: 71
  • Length: 6532 yards
  • Slope: 144
  • Rating: 71.7
  • Layout

  • 442 Tobacco Rd, Sanford, North Carolina 27330, Lee County
  • (877) 284-3762
  • (919) 775-1985
  • www.tobaccoroadgolf.com

Year built: 1998
Architect(s): Mike Strantz (1998)
Type: Public
Golf Season: Year round

Rentals/Services

Carts: Yes
Clubs: Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving range: Yes
Teaching pro: Yes

Policies

Metal spikes allowed: No
Singles allowed: No
Credit cards accepted: VISA, MasterCard Welcomed

Tees | Layout | Full Scorecard

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

Accolades

Rating Snapshot

GA Rating Index 4.7 stars from 5
Off-Course Amenities: 4.1 stars from 5
Value: 4.3 stars from 5
Pace of Play: 4.2 stars from 5
Staff Friendliness: 4.5 stars from 5
Course Layout: 4.9 stars from 5
Course Conditions: 4.6 stars from 5
Rating Breakdown 49 Reviews
5 stars:
39
4 stars:
7
3 stars:
0
2 stars:
2
1 stars:
1

recommend this course

47 out of 49 reviews


What Golfers Are Saying

Location is worth the drive   Great for a bucket list/top 100 pick a weekend splurge advanced golfers   Challenges include forced carries bunkers elevation changes   Great for drinks  

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Reviewer Photos

Reviews


Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender

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


redstickgolfer's avatar
Age:  25-34

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 06/10/2018

Reviewed on

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!


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course


"Don’t be cheap - get a caddie"


u00000720331's avatar
Age:  65+
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 04/14/2018
First time playing

Reviewed on

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!


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Average


I recommend this course


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


Rangr's avatar
Age:  55-64
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  5-9

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 03/25/2018
Previously played Used cart Cold weather

Reviewed on

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.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course


"An Unparalleled Golf Experience, If You Do It Right"


MizunoBen's avatar
Top 50 Contributor
Age:  25-34
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  10-14

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 03/16/2018
First time playing Walked Perfect weather

Reviewed on

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.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course



"Tabacco Road"


DougGolfer1024's avatar
Age:  55-64
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 11/25/2017
First time playing Used cart Perfect weather

Reviewed on

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.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Average

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course


"An American Original"


JeffArenson's avatar
Top 50 Contributor
Denver Advisor
Age:  45-54
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  10-14

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 11/19/2017
First time playing

Reviewed on

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.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


"Tobacco Road breaks the mold for excellent golf"


MikeBaileyGA's avatar
Golf Advisor
Age:  55-64
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 10/20/2017
First time playing Used cart Perfect weather

Reviewed on

Tobacco Road has been on my list of courses I've most wanted to play for a long time, and after finally getting to experience this legendary Mike Strantz layout, I can honestly say I wasn't disappointed in the least. In fact, it exceeded my expectations. Without a doubt, this is one of the most imaginative golf courses I’ve ever played. Yes, there are a lot of blind shots, and intimidating ones at that, but much of that is an illusion. Strantz gives ample room to land your drives; in fact you could say the fairways are very generous, even if they don't look like it at all times. With native grass and sand (it's not a hazard) everywhere, you'd think there's nothing but trouble out there, but it's really opportunity. I played decently, but not great and didn't come close to losing a ball. The most fun part of this course, though, has to be the greens, which are angled in every imaginable way. You can use the slopes to your advantage, especially if you can work the ball a little, and it's a blast to do just that. On the 11th hole, for example, I had an approach to a green that was sloped hard left to right, so I played a draw into the hole to hold the green and funnel the ball back to the hole. Unfortunately, I missed the six-footer for birdie, because the greens aren't easy to read, With all that said, having played the course once now would make for a great advantage the second time around. I'm looking forward to that day.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course



"Probably the most unique course I've ever seen"


u000007595507's avatar
Age:  55-64
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 10/20/2017
First time playing Used cart Perfect weather

Reviewed on

Awesome experience! Each shot contained some form of visual intimidation. After a few holes, you understood that beyond the intimidation was a fairly forgiving area to receive the ball. Shoot out to Mike Bailey from Golf Advisor, who was added to our group. We enjoyed every minute!

I'm hoping to get back to this course one day and enjoy playing it again, with the knowledge gained after having seen it for the very intimidating first time.

Perhaps not the course for a beginner. Pete Dye and Six Flags all rolled into one really cool golfing experience.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


"Very cool"


Ted5584078's avatar
Age:  35-44
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  10-14

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 09/23/2017
First time playing Used cart Hot weather

Reviewed on

This course is very challenging and difficult. I found that is was also one of the most unique courses I think you could ever play. It is certainly the most unique course I have ever played by a long shot. We played with a local who played 3 times a week. Thank god we had his local knowledge to help us navigate the courses many treacherous potential dangers. Even knowing what they were we still found many of them! The course plays slow because most people are first time players and understandably it is hard that way.


Pace of Play: Poor

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Average

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course



mikehamm76's avatar
Age:  35-44
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  10-14

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 08/07/2017
First time playing Used cart Perfect weather

Reviewed on


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


"Fun layout"


u000007488827's avatar
Age:  25-34
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 07/28/2017
First time playing

Reviewed on

Awesome day. Showed up at 1 to an empty golf course. Hit some balls and played in 3 hours. Never waited. Incredible layout. If you hit driver well you can score. The yardage book was helpful and we rode up to look at some greens before hitting shots. It paid off and we loved the course. Greens were a touch slow and they had punched a few weeks ago. Staff was excellent. Would go back every chance I could.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


"Nice Course-Not Great"


u000005690107's avatar
Age:  65+
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Once a week

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 06/22/2017
First time playing

Reviewed on

Course has excellent fairways and greens. Waste areas were extremely hard to play out of with all the rain that they recently had. The back 9 gets rather frustrating with the layout, hard to tell where/how far to hit even with the yardage books. You're forced to tee off with a bunch of shorter clubs which wasn't much fun. Cost was $100 but plays more like a $70 course. Would recommend playing it once but don't think I would go back.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Average

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Average

Off-Course Amenities: Good


I recommend this course


"There are greens simiar to the putting green!!"


willmy86's avatar
Age:  25-34
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  0-4

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 06/06/2017
First time playing Used cart Perfect weather

Reviewed on

What a course. We got lucky to play with a guy who works there. He guided us through the course. Most people say this course is very hard and it can be. I think it is fair and forgiving if you have decent distance control coming into the greens. Green speeds were great too. It is a must play Course conditions were perfect


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Moderate


I recommend this course


"Second time around was disappointing because of pace"


BostonGolfTraveler's avatar
Top 25 Contributor
Boston Advisor
Age:  55-64
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  10-14

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 05/31/2017
Previously played

Reviewed on

As with the first time we played this course it really lived up to expectations once again when it comes to condition and of course the layout. Sadly our round was pretty much ruined by the pace of play, it took three hours to play the front nine and then sadly we had to walk off the course after 14 holes. We allotted five hours for this round just to be safe so we would have plenty of time to get to the airport in Raleigh for our flight home but as it turned out five hours was not going to be enough. On the 14th hole we were already approaching the five hour mark and there was no relief in sight as there were three groups On the short par four when we got there. I'm sure if you go and you don't get stuck like we did you'll enjoy your round there's this really is one of the most intriguing golf courses in the country but to see ranger sitting in the woods talking to each other while we were all backed up surely did not help the way we felt as we drove off the course. I'd still recommend this course to anyone who hasn't played it and I just hope you don't get stuck like we did


Pace of Play: Poor

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Average

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Average


I recommend this course


"Roller Coaster for golfers"


golfdh's avatar
Age:  65+
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 04/11/2017
First time playing Used cart Perfect weather

Reviewed on

Wow! Totally unexpected but, should have guessed it given Mike Stranz's talent.

There is a surprise around every corner and, that is a good thing. One must bring their whole bag of shots.

This course will not be for everyone. If one expects Augusta National in the sandhills of North Carolina they will be disappointed. This course is an absolute treat to play.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


"Incredible Course - love it or hate it"


None's avatar
Age:  25-34
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  0-4

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 04/06/2017
First time playing Used cart Cold weather

Reviewed on

This is one of those courses that you will absolutely love or absolutely hate. The course itself is like nothing you will have ever played...it's hard on the eye and challenges your ability to hit the yardage you need. If you are ever in the area I highly recommend it. We played five courses in the area and this was the favorite. Not a course for a beginners.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


"The most fun I've ever had on a golf course"


AHigherHandicap's avatar
Age:  25-34
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 03/17/2017
First time playing

Reviewed on

Mike Strantz broke every unwritten rule of course architecture when he did this one. There are blind shots all over the course, huge huge huge bunkers and waste areas. Every single hole is fun and has you wondering what will come next. I will go out of my way to make it back here as often as possible.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


"Slowest Round of golf- EVER"


u127813379's avatar
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week

2 2.0 stars from 5 Played on 02/24/2017
Previously played

Reviewed on

I love this golf course. However, I doubt I will want to play here again. The round was 5 hours and 40 minutes.

It was 2.5 hours on the front, and an incredible 3 hours and 10 minutes on the back. We waited on every single shot, on every single hole. It was horrible. Some of the holes are incredibly interesting. Greens were in good shape for February. We had players in front of us, that refused to pick up. Looking for balls every hole. Rangers were no help. They were pleasant enough, but they are limited on what they can do to pick up the pace. It was not a good experience.


Pace of Play: Poor

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Average

Value for the Money: Average

Off-Course Amenities: Average


I recommend this course


"Tobacco Road"


Fortheloveofgolf71's avatar
Age:  45-54
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 02/18/2017
First time playing

Reviewed on

Top 3 courses of all time for me. If you don't like hitting out of sand then this is not your GC. No OB or bunkers. All considered waste area. Lots of "obstacles". Will definitely be back. Just a cool course.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Good


I recommend this course


"Fantastic!!!"


u00000202322's avatar
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 02/15/2017
Previously played Used cart Perfect weather

Reviewed on

I have played Tobacco Road about a dozen times and have always found the course to be in great condition regardless of the time of year. This is a love it or hate it kind of course. I love it. I play this course every time I am in Pinehurst. It never gets old! Target golf. You must pick the right tee box or else you will be in for a really long day. The first time I played The Road, I just was amazed at the first hole. It is the toughest first tee shot I have played. Better warm up at the range.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Average

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course



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