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Tobacco Road Golf Club

Getting To Know: Tobacco Road Golf Club

An Insightful Interview With Joe Gay, Director of Golf

By Brian Weis

Whether you have played a course 20+ times a year or looking to play the course for the first time, insights from an insider can help enhance your golf experience. Below is an interview with Joe Gay who shares some valuable tidbits about the course, memorable holes and must eats and treats at the 19th.

Give Our Readers An Overview of the Golf Course/Property
Tobacco Road is a nationally ranked thrill ride of a golf course that is built in an abandon sand quarry by the late Mike Strantz. Using the sand features left by 50 years of excavating, Strantz strategically moves you through and over sand formations during this artistic journey.

If Someone Was Looking To Golf In The Area, Why Should They Play Your Course?
Every destination claims to have a "must play" course. In the golf rich, historic Village of Pinehurst Area, there are many courses that you should play but only one course you have to play. Tobacco Road is "that" course!

What Tips or Local Knowledge Would You Provide To Help Them Score Better At Your Course?
The architect at Tobacco Road certainly used intimidation to challenge the golfer. Know your limitations and keep the ball in front of you. Don't hesitate to give up distance off the tee by hitting a fairway metal or hybrid club to hit the fairways. Distance is not a premium, accuracy is.

Recent Awards or What You Are Most Proud About The Course?
Tobacco Road is two for two in arguably the two biggest ratings lists: Top 100 places to play in America in Golf Digest & Golf Magazine.

What Is The Signature, Most Talked About, or Most Photographed Hole?
There are truly 18 of them..........but if I were pressed on the subject, I'd say the 18th has it all: Tee shot overlooking massive sand pit, lush fairway flanked on both sides by love grass covered bluffs, semi-blind approach into multi-tiered green set into embankment.

What Is Your Favorite Hole? Any Tips to Play It?
My personal favorite is the 16th. To me, it summarizes the whole course. It is visually stunning, it looks impossible, yet it yields more birdies than one would expect.

Must Have Dish or Drink after the round at the 19th Hole?
Can you not have both? You're in the South and our pork BBQ is second to none. Yes, you need to eat it with slaw! The beer is cold and tends to calm the nerves.

Who Holds Course Record and What Was Their Score?
The late Vance Heafner, PGA tour player from the 1980's shot 61. He was a 4 time NCAA All-American collegiate golfer 40 miles up the road at NC State University.

Back Tee Stats
Par: 71
Yardage: 6532
Slope: 144
Rating: 71.7

More Information
Tobacco Road Golf Club
442 Tobacco Road
Sanford, NC, 27332

Revised: 07/21/2013 - Article Viewed 36,500 Times - View Course Profile

About: Brian Weis

Brian Weis Brian Weis is the Publisher of, a network of golf travel and directory sites including,,,, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.

All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like, and It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.

On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.

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