Golf Advisor Icon
Rating Index Rating
Tooltip Information Icon
4.5
88 Reviews (88)
5 Stars
65
4 Stars
16
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
3
1 Stars
3
Conditions
4.4
Value
4.2
Layout
4.8
Friendliness
4.4
Pace
3.5
Amenities
3.9
93.3%
Recommend this course
83 out of 88 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.4
7 Reviews (7)
5 Stars
5
4 Stars
1
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
1
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.1
Value
3.9
Layout
5.0
Pace
3.6
Amenities
4.1
StaffFriendliness
4.3
100.0%
Recommend this course
7 out of 7 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.8
16 Reviews (16)
5 Stars
14
4 Stars
1
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
1
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.6
Value
4.4
Layout
5.0
Pace
3.4
Amenities
4.1
StaffFriendliness
4.6
100.0%
Recommend this course
16 out of 16 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
88 Reviews (88)

What Golfers Are Saying

The 19th Hole is Great For:
Drinks 7
Course Challenges Include:
Forced Carries 24
Bunkers 22
Elevation Changes 21
This course/club is great for:
A Bucket list/Top 100 Pick 20
Advanced Golfers 18
A Weekend Splurge 16
This Course's Location is:
Worth the Drive 21

Numbers based on reviews tagged with attribute.

Reviewer Photos

Advanced Filters
Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 31
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Cold weather
Used cart

One of a kind...

Bucket list course. One of a kind experience. A must play for any fun loving golfer looking for something unique. Somewhat reminiscent of The Loop at Forest Dunes (MI), but with more elevation changes. I enjoyed the round and would like to replay now that I know the layout. Highly suggest a forecaddie for first timers, as there are a ton of blind shots and tricky nuances....

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 6
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
2.0
Previously Played
Cold weather
Used cart

Pace of Play

I wrote a review for Tobacco Road in late 2020 based on a 5 and a half hour round. There is never and excuse for a round that long. Please consider this review a follow-up to that review that includes some interesting information I learned from a marshal on the course that very much relates to my 2020 experience.

The round I played last week was a little faster than last year, but still around 5 hours. Considerably too long at a course of Tabacco Road's caliber and price point. On the back 9, after having several conversations with a very cordial marshal, he had been telling our group about a very slow, and in his words, "Golf Challenged" foursome 3 holes ahead and almost two holes behind pace. I asked him if he had asked them to skip a hold or two to get back on pace and he proceeds to tell me that he would be fired if he did that and that at Tobacco Road "the customer is always right". This is a faulty policy as far more customers are leaving frustrated and disappointed in exchange for making one slow foursome, in this case, happy.

Tobacco just can't quite seem to get things right in terms of managing pace of play and instilling tactful etiquette that is equitable to all their customers. Again, I love the course a lot, but this flaw in their service puts it a solid notch below the experience you will find at any of the Pinehurst courses, as well as Dormie, Pine Needles or Mid-Pines.

Conditions Average
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Average
Pace Poor
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 4
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Gotta see it believe it

Truly all its cracked up to be. Not just a round of golf but a more an amazing golf experience. Thanks to the late Mike Strantz and all the staff at the road!!! We will see you next year!!!!

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 4
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Best believe the hype!!!

My first time here did not disappoint! Thank you to the late Mike Strantz and the staff. This once bucket list item will now be in the annual rotation! YOU GOTTA SEE IT TO BELIEVE IT!!!!!

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 6
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Extremely Disappointing Pace of Play

I love Tobacco Road. It is Mike Strantz’ best work and everyone should take the time to enjoy it at least once. It will challenge the very best golfers, yet provide you some very good scoring opportunities, particularly in it’s par 3s.

We played last Thursday and teed off around 11:30am after driving down from Northern VA that morning. We walked off the 18th green at 5:05pm. Not much more needs to be said about a 5 and half hour round of golf. It ruins the entire experience....even Tobacco Road. I went into clubhouse after the front nine and mentioned to two young gentlemen behind front desk that it was really slow and they promised to do something about it...yet we didn’’t see one Marshall all day long. There are way too many courses in the Sandhills and my group will likely choose elsewhere next trip down in early 2021.

Conditions Good
Value Fair
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Average
Pace Poor
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
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 13
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 211
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 25 Contributor
Virginia Advisor
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 13
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played

Must Play

We have a group trip that goes to NC every year and makes this course the centerpiece. It is by far the best I ever played. Mike Stranz was a visionary and departed ever too soon. Every hole is WOW. The course is challenging and the greens are super fast. The Staff is the best. It needs to be on every golfers bucket list regardless of how good or bad your game is.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
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 13
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 Avatar
Commented on 02/12/2020

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

Default User Avatar
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
Nearby Courses
Sanford, North Carolina
Semi-Private
4.1946
185
Sanford, North Carolina
Private
4.5808529412
152
Sanford, North Carolina
Private
4.4501176471
100
Olivia, North Carolina
Semi-Private
0.0
0
Sanford, North Carolina
Public/Municipal
4.3333
3
Vass, North Carolina
Semi-Private/Resort
2.95075
45
Vass, North Carolina
Semi-Private/Resort
2.95075
45
Sanford, North Carolina
Semi-Private
4.7551142857
15
Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Semi-Private
3.7318
112
Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Semi-Private
3.4895294118
104
Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Semi-Private
3.3627764706
186
Southern Pines, North Carolina
Resort
4.2538823529
58

Stay & Play Offers

From $300
Valid dates: Jan 01, 2021 - May 30, 2021
We invite you to come and experience the serenity of Borrego and challenge of Rams Hill while benefiting from our package pricing as you select from 3 different lodging options.
Now Reading
New Cookie Policy
WE AND OUR PARTNERS USE COOKIES ON THIS SITE TO IMPROVE OUR SERVICE, PERFORM ANALYTICS, PERSONALIZE ADVERTISING, MEASURE ADVERTISING PERFORMANCE, AND REMEMBER WEBSITE PREFERENCES. BY USING THE SITE, YOU CONSENT TO THESE COOKIES. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON COOKIES INCLUDING HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CONSENT VISIT OUR COOKIE POLICY.
CONTINUE