Ep 43 - Rob Collins on Sweetens Cove
Rob chats about Sweetens Cove but also course architecture more generally as well as the importance of up and coming designers such as King Collins golf getting the chance to show off their skills. A fascinating interview subject, Rob is a breath of fresh air and will undoubtedly be a guest again in the future.
As a team, Tad and Rob pride themselves on their vision and manic attention to artistry and craftsmanship in the construction process. We are the 'anti-Signature' firm. Each of our golf holes are meticulously crafted and refined from the drafting table through the final day of construction.
Design & Construction Process
At King Collins our design & construction process starts with a concept. We relentlessly pursue perfection in the minute details that make up our golf holes from the first day of construction through all of the finish work. Follow our process from start to finish through # 9 at Sweetens Cove.
Featured Project - Sweetens Cove
The golf course itself is a testament to the efficacy of our methods and proof of what we are capable of as a design/build firm. We completely overhauled a dead flat, featureless parcel of land to create what Ran Morrissett labeled, “one of the most audacious designs we’ve seen. “ For a cost far below market value, we created ...
Featured Project - Montane Club
We were hired in 2014 to create a plan and budget for a proposed course in Fernie, BC. Unfortunately, the developer decided to go in a non-golf direction with the land, but our accompanying plan and concept are indicative of our approach to the design and budgeting process.
Featured Project - Signal Mountain
In 2013 we were selected by Signal Mountain Golf & Country Club to renovate their third and seventeenth holes. I first played golf on the course as a child and have since completed countless rounds there. As a result, I am very fond of the layout and believe that it is a unique and special course with tremendous potential.
Prior to this afternoon, I had played 1001 golf courses, including every one of the 318 still existing courses that has ever been listed on a World Top 100 published by Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, and 8 other well know publications. This afternoon, I played Sweetens Cove and had so much FUN...the only courses I can think of that are comparable in terms of fun include Askernish GC (Scotland), Royal Worlington (England), Royal Dornoch, The Old Course, Brora, Sand Hills GC, and a few others...
Simply brilliant and brilliantly simple. Hope your phone is ringing off the hook. Thank you for your work and the results!
I often receive emails, texts, or comments on my reviews suggesting that I play various courses. That said, I have never had more people tell me to play a course than Sweetens Cove in South Pittsburgh, Tennessee. Droves urged me to make the drive across the Carolinas, and with that, I was introduced to the cult following of Sweetens Cove.
Sweetens Cove…harkens back to one of the most influential golf courses ever built in the United States (Augusta National) …. Collins and his partner, Tad King, have embraced the original MacKenzie-Jones tenets with gusto. Writing about Augusta then, MacKenzie could have been describing Sweetens today.
It's not totally unusual for a golf architect to leap out of the back room into prominence. David Kidd did exactly the same when he built Bandon Dunes in the late 1990s, and he hasn't been the only one. If the right opportunities fall into his path, I would be pretty confident that Rob will ascend to that level. His work at Sweetens Cove is remarkable: to take a flat, boring nine hole course and build something so visually dramatic and yet such damned good fun to play is, in my opinion, one of the more impressive golf architectural achievements in recent years. Some will say it is too bold; I disagree. The first and most important job of a golf course is to put a smile on the face of those who play it; well, I came off Sweetens Cove wearing the biggest grin for some considerable time, and I reckon that'll be true of the overwhelming majority who get to play there. I look forward to seeing where Rob's career takes him next; wherever it is, I reckon local golfers will be lucky guys.
Sweetens Cove is one of the most audacious designs we’ve seen. King-Collins built one of the most diverse & entertaining set of green complexes found anywhere. This kind of fun, inventive, quick golf is more commonplace in the UK, which is why the game is so much healthier there than in America. If you leave Sweetens Cove smiling, don’t panic: golf is supposed to be fun.
Rob Collins...and his team transformed a featureless and flat existing nine-hole course on the property into a fun and challenging golf experience that harkens back to the quirky links play at the likes of North Berwick and Cruden Bay....Sweetens embodies my favorite type of golf, and I can't wait to see the next courses Rob Collins and his partner Tad King create.