The tricky “bathtub green” on the par-5 13th at North Carolina’s Tobacco Road (Photo by Brian Oar /
Talking GolfGetaways Podcast

Talking GolfGetaways 29: Inside Tobacco Road golf with co-owner Mark Stewart


Before 1998, Pinehurst was Pinehurst — the home of American Golf and Donald Ross. The Pinehurst Resort. Mid-Pines. Pine Needles. History, tradition and an elegant take on the game, cultivated over decades, as quiet as the game itself, as peaceful as the sunrise glowing beyond an opening tee shot.

And then Mike Strantz appeared. And along came Tobacco Road.

In Episode 29, “Talking GolfGetaways” hosts Mitch Laurance and Darin Bunch are joined by good friend Mark Stewart of the family-owned Tobacco Road in Sanford, North Carolina, as the three extol the extraordinary qualities that architect Mike Strantz brought to the Pinehurst landscape with his radical — and incredibly fun — golf course design.

The three discuss the love-hate relationship a few people have with the visually stunning, always challenging design at the award-winning Tobacco Road, with Mark offering an articulate defense of the course that is at the top of both hosts’ Favorite Places to Play (it’s No. 1 for Darin and in Mitch’s Top 10).

Darin shares some of his favorite Tobacco Road holes while Mark provides a breakdown of each based on his intimate knowledge of Strantz’ architecture and the landscape that existed before Strantz’ artistry took hold (how the land was mined in the 1960s and 70s helped shape Tobacco Road long before there were even thoughts of building the golf course).

Mark also talks about the benefits of, the golf-packaging company that can create golf getaways and vacations for golfers looking to visit both Tobacco Road and other Pinehurst-area courses.

It’s a thoughtful, wide-ranging and sometimes hilarious conversation (it even starts with a Kanye reference!) about the game we love with a man who knows Tobacco Road better than anyone, leading an ownership team committed to offering fun and challenge to all golfing adventurers willing to battle Mike Strantz both physically and psychologically.

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“Talking GolfGetaways with Mitch Laurance & Darin Bunch” is sponsored by and can be found on and across the Golf News Net platform. “Talking GolfGetaways” is also available on audioBoom and iTunes. New episodes post daily, five days per week (for the most part), and listeners can use #TalkingGolfGetaways to join the golf-travel conversation on social media and let Darin and Mitch know your Tobacco Road stories (and if you’ve ever put up a double-digits on a single hole).

About the author



The GolfGetaways crew of Darin Bunch and Mitch Lauarance have decades of golf travels and adventures to share, which they do here at GolfTripX, on their "Talking GolfGetaways" podcast.

“Talking GolfGetaways with Mitch Laurance & Darin Bunch” can be found on and across the Golf News Net digital platform, including iTunes Podcasts, audioBoom and Stitcher. New episodes post semi-regularly (for the most part, except when we’re traveling or golfing or generally having other kinds of fun). “Talking GolfGetaways” is also available on audioBoom, iTunes and Stitcher.

Follow us on Twitter @GetawaysGolf and @MitchLaurance, and use #TalkingGolfGetaways and #2HaggisBags to hit us with your favorite golf-travel stories and recommendations — you just might make it onto a future episode of “Talking GolfGetaways.”