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  • Writer's pictureDooner

The Iron Maverick III - Tot Hill Farm

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

UPDATE (8/11/23): Iron Maverick III is officially SOLD OUT!

Our sincerest thanks for turning this into a 2-day event and lining up around the corner for more!


In 2019, The Iron Maverick was born out of a spirit of celebration. A joyous gathering of like-minded golf-obsessed folks that marked the return of a living work of art. Mike Strantz's ode to Irish Links golf - Royal New Kent Golf Club - had closed a couple years prior. Having never played it, we immediately made plans to do so once it was sold, restored and reopened. We invited some friends from our fairly new (at the time) Instagram accounts @GolfCrusade and the @StrantzFantzClub to join us if they wanted.


Not knowing what to expect, about fifty golfers from eight different states showed up and put in 96 rounds of golf in a day. A successful event indeed, but what about a series of events, eventually covering all Strantz's courses?


COVID shut us down in 2020, but only temporarily. In the fall of 2021, Iron Maverick II hit the holy trinity of South Carolina Strantz designs - covering Caledonia, True Blue and Bulls Bay in a 36-hour stretch that ruined golf for many for months after the fact.


Life laughed at us when we tried to plan the third installment in 2022, but is it we who might laugh last?


To look at what's next, we have to look first at when and where our affinity for Mike Strantz's work began. When is the early 2000s. Where? Asheboro, North Carolina and a little course called Tot Hill Farm Golf Club.

Tot Hill Farm, Mike Strantz, Golf Trip, Iron Maverick, Golf Architecture, golf crusade
Tot Hill Farm's famed approach to the 12th with the 10th hole connecting up to the right (2005)

Literally carved out from what would seem to be a combination of rock and pasture, Tot Hill Farm opened in 2000. We heard rumors - of almost mythical proportion - that the course was either the coolest or the cruelest one anyone had ever seen. In case you couldn't tell, we thought it was the latter. A golf sicko's version love at first sight if you will.


If you've stood on that first tee box, you know how lucky you are to be there. Lady Luck, however, was not on the course's side very long.

Tot Hill Farm, Mike Strantz, Golf Trip, Iron Maverick, Golf Architecture, golf crusade
Maintenance barn fire Jan '22 (K.R. Hoogkamp)

A flood destroyed multiple greens in 2003-04. A management company hired to run the course tucked tail and bailed in the middle of the night, leaving the original owners to pick up the pieces. The course continued to deteriorate over the years. Many feared a closure was imminent in January 2022 after a fire destroyed the maintenance barn, taking with it the much of the necessary equipment needed to keep up the place.


But the night is darkest before the dawn. And what a new day it is for Tot Hill Farm!


A little less than a year after the fire, a new ownership group led by Pat Barber (Charleston, SC) took the reigns. After a massive influx of cash for a full-scale course restoration, Tot Hill is not only back, but it is on its way back to being better than ever!


Don't believe us? Come play with us... this October 23rd... UPDATE (8/4/23): Due to extraordinary demand, WE HAVE ADDED A SECOND DAY. IM3 will now have two days with two different fields of teams/players!

Tot Hill Farm, Mike Strantz, Golf Trip, Iron Maverick, Golf Architecture, golf crusade

This is our Graceland. Come EXPERIENCE it with us.


WHAT'S INCLUDED IN IRON MAVERICK III?


What you'll get in your sun up to (after the) sun down experience...

  • Morning Round - 18-Hole Shotgun on the Championship Course - play your own ball - play whatever tees you desire. Want to play the tips (which go back across Tot Hill Farm Road on the 10th Hole, or maybe even the designed, shaped, but never opened Championship Tee on the 14th hole)? Have at it! Want to bounce around based on the hole to find the best shot value? Go ahead! Play the course the way you want!

Tot Hill Farm, Mike Strantz, Golf Trip, Iron Maverick, Golf Architecture, golf crusade
A moonlit view of the iconic 12th & 10th green complex, once again connected by fringe cut over the tunnel!
  • You'll get a SMOKIN' hot lunch catered by Black Powder Smokehouse of Asheboro!

  • Each player will receive a $20 pro shop credit to use as desired on the new merch line with all new, Mike Strantz hand-drawn logo discovered during the restoration!

  • Afternoon Round - 21-Hole Round on the 'Crusade Course'! Mike Strantz designed his courses with a 360-degree view in mind. In that light, we've created a never-before-played reverse routing that will feature holes anywhere between 56 and 606 yards in length! All new angles, options and chances for glory. And... as the first to ever play this newly discovered loop, a course record will up for grabs!

Tot Hill Farm, Mike Strantz, Golf Trip, Iron Maverick, Golf Architecture, golf crusade
Can you guess where this tee shot for the 'Crusade Course' routing will be from?
  • After the afternoon round has finished, we'll have open play on the course til' dark (for those that just need a few more holes or photos)! Pick a hole or three and head back out if you want... You might want to tackle the legendary 825-yard Par-SEVEN finisher the course once employed (tee off on 16, putt out on 18)!

black powder smokehouse, asheboro, nc, pig pick
How good is this gonna taste when the day is done?
  • When the golf is done, we've got a Post-round Pig Pickin' with all the fixins! Black Powder Smokehouse will be cooking an entire hog ON-SITE! Just imagine that smoky goodness filling the cool fall air each time you pass by the Farmhouse!?!

  • Beer, water & soda are included (in a responsible amount!) & will be available at refreshment stations on course throughout the day.

  • Custom Iron Maverick III branded Tee Gifts

  • As the sun sets, the fire pits get lit to gather near & recap the days' favorite moments.

  • Who knows, there perhaps may even be a Gambler's Hole after dark?

How much will this experience cost you? If you know us, you know we're all about bringing you great experiences and opportunities at a great value. Thanks to our friends at Tot Hill Farm and Black Power Smokehouse, we're able to bring you The Iron Maverick III - the first major event at THF post-restoration mind you - for the price of just $250 per person!


And that's just the stuff we're telling you about today! If you've followed us for awhile, you know we love to add partners and value as we go. There will be more to come in the three months before the big day!


COURSE & CLUB IMPROVEMENTS


Come see first hand what has us so excited...

The Mavericks during initial construction of Tot Hill
  • new Prism Zoysia greens & surrounds

  • restored original green size & shape to most every hole (including the top tier of #13)

  • restored championship tees (including 10, 12 & the shaped but never completed 14th)

  • new/restored Strantz's original bunkering

  • tree removal (more than 1000 to date!) restoring/exceeding original width and shot options

  • less trees + irrigation & drainage fixes = incredibly improved turf conditions

  • added bailout areas (thanks to tree removal) around the greens

  • restoration of the 1800s farmhouse and its transformation into the new clubhouse which includes a pro shop, grab & go concessions, "Strantz Room" & more!

  • clubhouse area will also feature community spaces, such as front and side porches, fireplaces inside and out, fire pits as well as enhanced putting and practice greens.

Tot Hill Farm, Mike Strantz, Golf Trip, Iron Maverick, Golf Architecture, golf crusade
Many a photo has been taken from the 5th tee. Bring your camera!

It is important to note that with all this investment, the rates at the new Tot Hill will not be what they once were. You get what you pay for in golf. What you paid for in the old days of THF was sadly what you got. Most people would agree in recent years, conditions had deteriorated to the point of disrepair. This infusion of vision and capital is exactly what the course needed.


Thankfully, those recent old days are gone! The dawn has finally arrived! You're going to pay more for the experience going forward, but we don't think you'll be disappointed!


REGISTRATION


Start getting your teams together! Teams? Yes. Traditionally we have kept this event to foursomes, but we will open a limited amount of twosomes since their will be little formal competition this go 'round.


We will post an update to our social channels a few days before we will start taking formal registrations (payments). For now, SAVE THE DATE!!!

Tot Hill Farm, Mike Strantz, Golf Trip, Iron Maverick, Golf Architecture, golf crusade
The Par-3 Third at Tot Hill was named the best 3rd Hole Built Since 2000 by Golf Digest (2020)

When the time comes, all payments will be made through the course on their new revamped website (that will be launched on or about July 20th) at www.tothillfarm.com. Please DO NOT call the course to try to register. They are still closed for renovations. If you have questions, hit us up via the chat button on this page (it will send us an email and we'll get back to you). You may also email us direct at thegolfcrusade@gmail.com or reach us via DM on Instagram @golfcrusade.


One person will register and pay for the entire team for simplicity's sake.


Once the event sells out, a waiting list will be established. Just like last time, we will likely draw a couple teams from the waitlist right out of the gate to give everyone a chance if they're not fast enough on the click.


Lastly, please remember we are not a business. We are just a couple of guys that enjoy doing this. We each have jobs doing other things, not to mention families. We wish we could do this every day for a week (or longer!) to accommodate everyone that wanted to play. So long as this remains a fun thing for us, we'll keep doing it. We are humbled by the amount of folks that keep on us, asking us to do 'another Iron Maverick'. You're the reason we're back here again today!


For that, we thank YOU!

Tot Hill Farm, Mike Strantz, Golf Trip, Iron Maverick, Golf Architecture, golf crusade
Ever wonder what it'd be like to hit this shot from 4 fairway into 3 green? The Crusader Routing will let you!

TRAVEL & LODGING


As with previous Iron Mavericks, travel and lodging are on your own. However, we have have secured a block of rooms at two hotels in Asheboro (about 8 miles from the course). Hotel info will be shared with participants post-registration. VRBO options in town are limited, but we expect some folks may try to piggy back this trip with a few rounds in the Pinehurst area as well.


PARNTERS & SPONSORS


As mentioned a number of times already, none of this would be possible without the help of our friends at the new Tot Hill Farm Golf Club! We're excited to bring you some of the best BBQ we've ever tasted (and we've sampled our share through the years) from Black Powder Smokehouse!


We love to feature other friends, businesses, artists, etc. that we enjoy ourselves. If you've got a talent or product you'd be interested in having us showcase that for you in the lead up to and at the event, please reach out and let us know at thegolfcrusade@gmail.com.


As an example, our supremely talented friend Claire W is already back as our 'Hole in One' Partner - providing a hand-painted, personalized keepsake if anyone make an Ace! We actually commissioned Claire a couple years ago to paint the routing for Tot Hill too!

Want to partner up? Giddy up and let's go!


FAQ


When will registration begin? Soon. We won't keep it a secret. Make sure you 'star' @golfcrusade & @strantzfantzclub on Instagram so you get the notifications of new posts!


Can I register as a single? Due to the expected demand, we don't anticipate singles being available (at least not initially). In past Iron Mavs, singles have commented on social posts and paired up with others needing partners to make a team. We suggest trying that first. We will try to connect you with others if we see your post and notice a match.


Do you accept bribes?

That depends... Are you a member at Augusta National? :)


I played in a previous Iron Maverick, can I pre-register somehow?

The only team getting an automatic bid is the winning team from the most recent event. Like we said, we wish we could do more of these, but we like the 'open' nature to them allowing anyone in the golf community the chance to participate. We're honored you'd even ask!


NEXT STEPS


Get your team ready! Save the Date! Put in for vacation from work! Stay tuned for the registration on-sale announcement on our social channels. We are PUMPED! We hope you are too!


Until then, enjoy some looks of the course from a recent visit we took July 1st! With a few more months to go, this place should be DIALED in for an unbelievable day for all of us!


Sincerely Fores,

BMAC & Dooner

Your Golf Crusade & Strantz Fantz Club



Tot Hill Farm, Mike Strantz, Golf Trip, Iron Maverick, Golf Architecture, golf crusade
We'll be here to welcome you to Tot Hill Farm on October 23rd!

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