Tobacco Road Golf Club – Signature Hole

Tobacco Road - Par Three 14th hole

Identifying a signature hole at Tobacco Road is a tricky ordeal as every hole on this stunning Mike Strantz design is distinctly unique. Nonetheless, as the only hole on the property that brings water into play, this long par three into a two-tiered green requires extra attention off the tee.

The further back and right the pin is, the more treacherous the shot becomes from the elevated teeing ground. That being said, successfully navigating this hole simply requires picking the right club and making a committed swing. Like all the holes the brilliant Mike Strantz designed at Tobacco Road, it’s far more visually intimidating than it actually plays.

Lonnie Poole Golf Course – Short Par 3 Eighth

Lonnie Poole Golf Course - Par 3 Eighth

A short, uphill par 3 hole at Lonnie Poole that leaves the golfer with an excellent par or birdie chance. This well-designed hole accepts a well-struck shot, but judging wind and distance off the tee is crucial. Missing the hole long when the pin is in the front will leave you with a dicey downhill putt. Hitting it short and crooked into one of the front bunkers makes for a long and difficult sand shot.

I’ve always enjoyed playing this little hole that usually ranges from 120 to 160 yards. Getting out of here with a par or birdie can settle you down and give you a shot of momentum as you make the turn.

Hidden Gem: Tallgrass Golf Course in Shoreham, Long Island

This is one of the few publicly-accessible golf courses designed by famed architect, Gil Hanse. Tallgrass opened to rave reviews in 2000. What was once a pancake-flat sod farm was shaped in a links-style layout that challenges even the most accomplished golfers when the wind howls out of the Southwest.

Over the years, Tallgrass has earned a well-deserved reputation as being one of the best layouts in all of Long Island, but for whatever reason, has never fully caught on with avid players. Ownership of the course has changed several times since it opened, not always for the better. At times, course conditioning was allowed to languish. Golfers like myself have also complained about overbooking mishaps that have led to six-hour nightmare rounds.

The combination of beauty in the landscape, creativity in the design and fun and interest in the play of the course is what makes Tallgrass special. — Gil Hanse

More recently, there’s been talk that this affordable and walkable facility will be sold to a final owner in 2016 and will be shut down. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen. There’s just not enough golf courses on Long Island (public that is) that offer a quality test of golf in a manner in which the game ought to be played.

Some more information about Tallgrass, including flyovers and course strategy.