This is the final Americans in Pinehurst Roundtable, this time with friend of the podcast John Mark Kennedy, wherein we delve into that most special of Sandhills’ courses, Tobacco Road. I’m often asked by folks that haven’t made the pilgrimage to Sanford, North Carolina, what makes the course so special, and I invariable struggle to come up with a satisfactory response.
On a piece of land with a complicated history, from tobacco patch to mining and sand extraction, it now looks and feels like it’s a place destined for people to play golf, though it doesn’t look like any other golf course in the world. Of the myriad reasons why I feel so connected to this Mike Strantz opus of artistic expression, the infinite options of how to play each hole, the amazing setting where it appears nature has begun to reclaim an industrial desert, the incredible vertical movement of the course, and vertical hazards in the form of both enormous dunes rising up from the sand and the vast pits of sandy waste and native vegetation, each of which requiring attention to execution, which is easier said than done with such eye candy about.
It’s a course that is loved or hated, but never boring, and eminently memorable in all respects. Enjoy.