Editor’s note: This column originally published in The Charlotte Observer on Aug. 29, 2013.
MOORESVILLE — There I stood, on the 10th tee at Trump National Golf Club, with The Donald himself behind me and Greg Norman – yes, that Greg Norman – standing directly across from me waiting to see me hit my opening tee shot in our little friendly game together last week.
For the majority of North Carolinians, Yadkin Valley is the home to Mount Airy, the birthplace of Andy Griffith and the inspiration for Mayberry in “The Andy Griffith Show.” But what might surprise you is that it’s also one of the top value-golf destinations in the state.
The moment the final group of golfers finished the first hole at the 2016 Wells Fargo Championship last summer, crews moved in to prepare Quail Hollow Club for the 2017 PGA Championship coming to Charlotte in August. It’s been a whirlwind of activity since then as the course has gotten a substantial makeover.
Consistently ranked as one of the top public courses in the United States, few can compare to Sanford’s Tobacco Road Golf Club, arguably the greatest work of the late Mike Strantz.
However, Tobacco Road is also one of the country’s most polarizing courses, boasting greens with massive undulations and what some golfers say are too many blind shots. Oh, and don’t forget the cavernous bunkers.
With a slope rating of 145 from the ripper tees according to the U.S. Golf Association, the challenges Tobacco Road presents might steer you away. But here are five reasons why you should make the drive 30 minutes north of Pinehurst and play the course this summer: