Day Trip: Tobacco Road Golf Club

The first hole at Tobacco Road Golf Club, designed by Mike Strantz. (Photo Courtesy of Tobacco Road Golf Club)

Where: Tobacco Road Golf Club, Sanford, N.C.

The Skinny: Tobacco Road was designed by the late Mike Strantz, who was not only a golf course architect but an artist and a visionary. Strantz might be best known for his designs at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club and True Blue in Pawley’s Island, S.C., but his work at Tobacco Road is nothing short of remarkable.

The land on which Tobacco Road sits was once used for raising tobacco but later became a sand quarry. Through Strantz’s vivid imagination, Tobacco Road became an artistic creation. The land heaves and swells and fairways are bordered by sandy waste areas and native grasses. The player also needs a good imagination to play Tobacco Road, as visually, the course demands that you choose a shot and commit to it. Strantz said that he wanted to test “a player’s eye, determination, and wits.”

Tobacco Road was Strantz’s fifth solo design and opened in 1998. Strantz worked for Tom Fazio as an on-site designer before venturing out on his own. He studied the writings and philosophy of Dr. Alister Mackenzie and put many of Mackenzie’s design characteristics into his own. Caledonia was his first solo design.

Strantz died in 2005 after a fight with cancer. He was 50.

Says Golf Club Atlas: “Mike Strantz stood out as an architect capable of building something different and exciting – sometimes shockingly so. ‘I have never seen anything like this before’ is the standard cliché after playing your first Strantz course.” That’s exactly what you will say after playing Tobacco Road.

The Tab: Monday through Thursday, greens fees are $100 per player and $130 Friday through Sunday.

For More: www.tobaccoroadgolf.com

 

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