I find the fact Tobacco Road to be rated as "poor" by some and "excellent" by others to be a big compliment to Mr. Strantz. To me, I now consider it to be the best golf course I have ever played. I like it more than I do Pinehurst #2. The simplest way to explain why is that while Tobacco Road is visually terrifying, and extremely intimidating, it is without a doubt fair, and extremely possible to play well. If you're experiencing it the first time and don't have someone with you who's played it before, that saying goes down the drain. However, if you do have that luxury, as I did, you'll find nothing is impossible here.
If you execute the proper shots, there's no reason why a golfer can't have a reasonable birdie look on every hole. Poor execution or psyching yourself out is the only explanation for not doing well on a given hole, in my opinion. There are places for the golfer to bail out and manage a par from, and times where you can attack and fire right at the stick.
Ultimately what Tobacco Road does so well is offer something new on each hole. There are 18 different golf holes and all have a feature that you won't see on any of the other holes on property. My personal favorite is #13, with its double dogleg and amazing green surroundings. A great example of being intimidating, but absolutely a possible birdie if the ball is placed in the right spots.
One thing I'll add is that the margin for error off the tee is massive. The only "bad" tee shots here that'll put you in "bad" spots are those that are utterly massive hooks or slices. You have to be more precise hitting into the greens than you do onto the fairways, but it's gotta be a massive screwup to have something like that happen. Stay cool, calm, and collected... that stuff won't happen.
Final thought: driving into this place, you would think that it was an abandoned mining site or old farm. It's got a very rustic feel and is quite unassuming. Then the course blows your mind right out of the gate. I love it. Tobacco Road is something every golfer should experience.
Date: October 02, 2017