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Jonathan Mallard

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Original Ownership Group sells Tot Hill Farm
« on: December 09, 2022, 12:41:35 PM »
I'll post as FYI to the Strantz thread. This seemed worthy of a different thread.


Interesting article giving some background on the origins of the course. There is mention of the new owner's desire to undertake a resoration in stages.


https://randolphrecord.com/original-ownership-group-sells-tot-hill-farm-golf-club/

Jay Mickle

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Re: Original Ownership Group sells Tot Hill Farm
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2022, 07:01:20 PM »
Seems fitting that the new owner be from Mike Strantz's home town.
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Ronald Montesano

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Re: Original Ownership Group sells Tot Hill Farm
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2022, 08:23:55 PM »
How far away did it get from the Strantz vision?
Maybe for 2022
~Eden Valley
~Hillview
~Pinehurst (NY)
~Kis 'N Greens
~Pine Meadows
~18 Mile Creek
~Greenwood
~Shawnee
~Leroy
~

Ryan Van Culin

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Re: Original Ownership Group sells Tot Hill Farm
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2022, 04:15:30 AM »
From what I understand, it was the conditioning that got pretty bad.


There was a golf management group, Integrity Golf Management of all names, that managed a couple dozen golf courses. My home course was one of them. They basically signed a 10-year lease to manage these courses, with an option to bail after one year. From what I understand, in that year, they took every dime they could out of the courses and put nothing back in.


At my local course, they left at midnight on the one-year date and took everything that wasn't nailed down, including the keys to all the carts. They even got a bunch of people to pay up front for a "12 months for the price of 10" deal right before skipping town.


So, if my info is correct, Tot Hill just didn't have the means to recover, and the conditioning has suffered ever since.

Brad Tufts

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Re: Original Ownership Group sells Tot Hill Farm
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2022, 08:52:16 AM »
This will be a curious one.


I only played it once back in 2005 or so, but I thought there were 5 or 6 holes that were trying too hard...and I'm a Strantz fan so I'm familiar with the wild visuals.


I remember playing it with a group of 0-10 handicaps, and the group decided to play the 6200y tees, scared off by the mid 140s slope by the 6600y back tees.  This made one of the par fives like 402 yards or something.


Maybe this is a bit of an opportunity to fix a few of the weirdest items...like the green with the barely-maintainable 8-foot wide tongue at the front surrounded by sand and rocks.
So I jump ship in Hong Kong....

Tom Fagerli

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Re: Original Ownership Group sells Tot Hill Farm
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2022, 10:57:26 AM »
I know that conditioning is not priority 1 but a goat farm had better conditioning than THF. That said, I still loved it (except the ninth hole which is beyond horrible IMO).

John Mayhugh

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Re: Original Ownership Group sells Tot Hill Farm
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2022, 12:05:45 PM »
I played there for the first time in July. Greens were awful but the rest of the turf was mostly playable. I had been warned, but was interested in seeing what the course looked like. Here's a good representation:

IMG_3193 by john mayhugh, on Flickr

IMO, too many greens surrounded by trees and creeks can't be good for turf health, so I think some of the problems are design as well.






Dan_Callahan

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Re: Original Ownership Group sells Tot Hill Farm
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2022, 02:29:43 PM »
I first played it in (I think) 2007. On a trip to Tobacco Road in 2020, I booked a round at THF based on nostalgia and memories that had softened over time. It's a course I would recommend someone play today if they are trying to get the totality of Mike's work. But one play was enough. I doubt I'd go back (same with Stonehouse). Lots of interesting ideas, but it never comes together the way TR and RNK do. Oddly, I think my favorite holes at THF are 17 and 18, which are sort of the least "signature" Strantz holes on the property. Much more natural, traditional feel to them, along the lines of what you find at Caledonia. There are some very fun holes sprinkled throughout (the 10th is a neat idea, as is whatever that par 4 is where you can tee off to the right to play safe or try to blast driver over the water and reach the green). But in general, it just doesn't work.

Charlie Goerges

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Re: Original Ownership Group sells Tot Hill Farm
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2022, 02:31:38 PM »
I played there for the first time in July. Greens were awful but the rest of the turf was mostly playable. I had been warned, but was interested in seeing what the course looked like. Here's a good representation:

IMG_3193 by john mayhugh, on Flickr

IMO, too many greens surrounded by trees and creeks can't be good for turf health, so I think some of the problems are design as well.




I can't speak to turf health and things like that, but that is a very appealing looking image.
Severally on the occasion of everything that thou doest, pause and ask thyself, if death is a dreadful thing because it deprives thee of this. - Marcus Aurelius

Peter Sayegh

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Re: Original Ownership Group sells Tot Hill Farm
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2023, 04:08:10 PM »
Played today.
The renovation is underway. 800-1000 trees have been felled on the front nine alone already according to the staff. Definitely evident. There's a ton of lumber bordering 1-9.
New ownership seems committed to getting the place back to Strantz's vision...and making it a destination course.

I was told course will close in May and (hopefully) re-open in Sept.



Michael Dugger

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Re: Original Ownership Group sells Tot Hill Farm
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2023, 04:37:57 PM »
From 10,000 ft, any images I've ever seen of this course indicates removal of about a million rocks is desperately needed.


All those surrounding the par 3 depicted on this thread look downright dangerous.  Not to mention, who likes wrecking their SW on the rocks?
What does it matter if the poor player can putt all the way from tee to green, provided that he has to zigzag so frequently that he takes six or seven putts to reach it?     --Alistair Mackenzie--

A.G._Crockett

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Re: Original Ownership Group sells Tot Hill Farm
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2023, 08:46:51 AM »
From 10,000 ft, any images I've ever seen of this course indicates removal of about a million rocks is desperately needed.


All those surrounding the par 3 depicted on this thread look downright dangerous.  Not to mention, who likes wrecking their SW on the rocks?


The rocks arenít going anywhere.  You donít wreck your clubs on them at Tot Hill any more than you do anywhere with a creek running through the course, and youíre in no danger of anything other than embarrassment on the par 3ís.  If you hit a boulder at Tot Hill, youíve hit a really terrible shot.


Tot Hill is in the Uwharrie mountains, one of the oldest and most weathered mountain ranges on earth.  The boulders are huge and pervasive, and itís a tribute to Mike Strantz that he not only took the job there, but built a REALLY cool golf course.  Iím looking forward to seeing the finished product after the renovation work and grow-in.
"Golf...is usually played with the outward appearance of great dignity.  It is, nevertheless, a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul."      Bobby Jones

Jason Thurman

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Re: Original Ownership Group sells Tot Hill Farm
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2023, 02:11:14 PM »
I kind of agree with Dan. I like the course because I love some of the things it tries to do. But I don't think it quite comes together the way Tobacco Road does.


I wouldn't lose any of the boulders though. Honestly there's a ton to like out there. Does the course really need much more than a lot of tree thinning? Opening up a few views and some airflow might really improve turf and cohesion.
"There will always be haters. Thatís just the way it is. Hating dudes marry hating women and have hating ass kids." - Evan Turner

Some of y'all have never been called out in bold green font and it really shows.

Peter Sayegh

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Re: Original Ownership Group sells Tot Hill Farm
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2023, 08:32:31 PM »
From 10,000 ft, any images I've ever seen of this course indicates removal of about a million rocks is desperately needed.


All those surrounding the par 3 depicted on this thread look downright dangerous.  Not to mention, who likes wrecking their SW on the rocks?


If you hit a boulder at Tot Hill, youíve hit a really terrible shot.

A.G., perfect summation.

Jason, I wouldn't compare THF to TR. To me, just two different animals. I like 'em both.
With all the tree thinning-on the front side to date-I didn't notice any appreciable difference in the views of the course which surprised me.
Improving the turf conditions seems the highest priority.

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