THE SCHAUMBURG GOLF CLUB Located at 401 N. Roselle Road is now a year round golf facility, with the addition of it’s simulator bays on the lower level of the main clubhouse. Come play TPC Sawgrass home of the Players Championship before the pro’s do on tour next month. Opening day at the Schaumburg Golf Club is just a little more than six weeks away, be ready for the golf season ahead. Call (847)-885-9000.      ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Linkedin and Facebook. On the National Course at Reynolds at Lake Oconee, Greensboro GA.

We’ve heard the phrase before, ahead of it’s time, or a person who is called a visionary.

In the case of the Tobacco Road golf course in Sanford North Carolina, and designer Mike Strantz both phrases are true.

If you haven’t taken a trip to the Pinehurst area, you need to. While the golf in Pinehurst and Southern Pines area is really good. Do save one day for a little side trip about 30 minutes out of town from Pinehurst to Sanford. It’s worth it.

If you have ever heard someone talk about Tobacco Road, odds are they tell you it’s a golf course that falls into the love it or hate it category. When the course first opened in 1998 the style was different than what many golfers were used to, there was blind shots and a few greens with unique undulations in them. People really had to wonder what Strantz was thinking.

Welcome to the opening tee shot at Tobacco Road, oh the mounds, well the extra dirt had to go somewhere.

Some of those golfers today are probably still wondering if they never went back, and gave the course a second chance.

But if you travel around the country to play golf, and you have played places that were built after Tobacco Road, like Bandon Dunes, Sand Valley and or Streamsong to name a few, Tobacco Road won’t seem so different.

If Strantz who cut his teeth in the golf design business under Tom Fazio, before taking a look at the works and books of Alister MacKenzie, had built Tobacco Road for a facility under the eye of say Mike Keiser, it would have had instead credibility.

“I don’t care if people think my courses are too hard,”-Mike Strantz named the Golf World 1998 Golf Course Architect of the year.

 The Clubhouse at Tobacco Road gives the feeling up being a slightly upgraded log cabin. (R) the par 3, third hole that plays 152 yards from the tips.

Strantz design of Tobacco Road isn’t really hard, but it’s challenging. The yardage runs from 6,557 all the way back, to 4,296 from the front tees. There are five sets of tee’s, all come from the theme of the tobacco farm the golf course was built on.

Strantz did a nice job of working the elevation change into the holes on the golf, like on the par 5, 18th hole.

There is more elevation change than one might think they would find on a farm. Strantz takes advantage of that through out his design.

He even incorporates the tools of the day from the farm, in the design as his tee markers.

The Ripper iron is the front marker, with the Disc one set of tee’s back. Followed by the Plow, then the Points, and the Cultivator disc is all the way back.

While the course has it’s fair share of sand, there are no bunkers on the course. In all sandy area’s you may ground your club, smooth your lie, and remove any stones or foreign objects that might impede your swing. You just can’t improve your position.

While it took some 17 years, the course broke through with several national awards from various national golf publications in 2015.

The par 5, 13th hole often leads to a tucked pin, that is partially hidden from approaching golfers.

More good news for golfers is that there is no Out-of-Bounds on the golf course, and water rarely shows up at all.

So if your golf travels take you to North Carolina, in the Pinehurst area, who not take a side-trip to Tobacco Road. It’s destination golf, from before many of our current day new destination golf facilities were even built.

Longtime Director of Golf Operations Chris Brown knows the golf course inside and out, and be a wealth of knowledge if you seek him out before you hit your first tee shot. Tobacco Road is located at 442 Tobacco Road in Sanford NC. call and make tee times at (877)-775-1940 or visit online

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About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WCPT AM820 Chicago, he writes for both the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine, and formerly Chicagoland Golf. Rory has played over 525 courses in 39 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, within the golf industry.