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Course Spy: Tobacco Road

Tobacco Road
Evan Schiller
The sliver of green at the par-3 14th hole at Tobacco Road.
Tobacco Road
Sanford, N.C.
Course Finder Profile |
Greens Fee: $59-$74 for non-residents.


The rustic pro shop suggests no frills, and that's what you get, right down to the short, irons-only driving range. But don't fret: the beer cart is omnipresent and you'll often find yourself avoiding driver off the tee anyway.


Thanks to the many blind shots that start on the first tee and end with the approach to No. 18, things tend to move slowly here. But the rangers are visible and polite. Plus, you can use the extra time to figure out the target line.


If you prefer A-to-Z target golf, this ain't for you, with blind shots and greens with more bumps and false fronts than a Hollywood starlet. If you relish courses that area head-scratching joy to play, you won't find anything better.


Apart from weekends in spring, Tobacco Road can be played year-round for less than $100. If you can find anything else this much fun for that price, then it's probably indictable in several states.


Mike Strantz's design here is exhilarating, infuriating and bewildering — but never dull. This immensely entertaining test of patience and self-belief might just be the most underrated course in America.

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