Sweetens Cove Golf Club
|Red (W)||36||2272 yards||33.4||109|
|Black M: 36.55/123||563||375||582||169||293||456||328||387||148||3301||3301|
|Blue M: 35.35/121||503||352||536||169||293||434||313||361||132||3093||3093|
|White M: 33.05/111||469||311||477||146||229||388||257||333||116||2726||2726|
|Red W: 33.45/109||401||242||393||114||199||326||224||285||88||2272||2272|
Best of Lists
Golf Advisor: Top Courses in Tennessee
The most fun I’ve had on a course in years!
The statement “golf the way it was meant to be played” was written for this place. It is an amazing layout, an easy walk and soooooo much fun to play!
As Good as Advertised
I wish I could play this course every day. It reminded me a lot of Pinehurst No. 2, but more fun.
Confessions of a Cove Dweller
Sweetens Cove is my favorite golf course in America. I should mention that because if you have never been before the initial arrival can be quite jarring or inspiring depending on your perspective. I believe that Sweetens Cove is a Rorschach test for golfers in that you can see whatever you want to see in the place.
If you believe golf should be about a great course design, endless strategic value, and places that inspire the deepest possible sense of camaraderie than Sweetens Cove is a wonderland. If you like big fancy clubhouses, expensive grill menus, and high priced pro shops then this may not suite your tastes. Sweetens Cove is home to one of the best designed American golf courses built in the past decade, but there are virtually no amenities to speak of. The "clubhouse" is a shed on the hill of the parking lot and the only bathroom is a port-o-john. Some carts are available, but walking is the best way to get around. There is no bar, no food, and no fuss. If you go to Sweetens Cove, you go for the golf and the golf there is incredible.
The course was built as a redesign from and existing course that was largely a featureless local hangout, but the design-build firm of Rob Collins and Tad King have transformed the property into what has become a cult phenomenon for golf architecture geeks. Sweetens Cove sits in the beautiful Sequatchie Valley and is surrounded by the charm of the Blue Ridge mountains. The golf course compliments its natural surroundings in a most impressive fashion and the details of the design leave players feeling like they are walking through a work of art.
Sweetens Cove has been featured in many major publications and has even hosted large gatherings of golf influencers on multiple occasions. Those who frequent the austere accommodations of the course are proud to call themselves the Sweetens Cove Illuminati. I like to think of myself as a Cove dweller who can't get enough of the place. It takes me six hours in the car to get to South Pittsburg, Tennessee and every time I make the drive I do it with a smile and car full of supplies to make the trip a memorable one. If you want to find the most uniquely satisfying golf experience in America, you need to pack your things and get to Sweetens Cove.
If you go, be sure to stop in the shed and ask for Rob, Patrick, or Nash and ask them to tell you a little bit about the place. Rob told me once that his favorite quality of the course was that it has soul. I agree with him and for my money there is no other course in the country that offers such a rewarding experience every time I go. I am a Cove dweller for life and I can't wait to get back to that little valley in the Tennessee mountains for another walk around my favorite course.
The good...the bad....and the ugly
The Good---A very enjoyable Mike Strantz copy in middle of nowhere Tenn.
The Bad----I haven't seen this amount of crabgrass in a fairway in over 20 years. Customer service...what customer service?
The Ugly----The only porta potty on the property would make a billygoat puke.
Play it once but don't pay full rake rate and ask about the current conditions.
Gorgeous is all I can say!
This course is absolutely gorgeous. Me and my buddies played 36 and loved every minute of it. Never mind that the off course amenities are lacking. We came there for the golf and weren't disappointed. Pack a lunch and play all day! Would drive the 1hr45min any time. The only negative was when we were leaving, the shack boy told us to clean out our carts. Huh?
Unique, beautiful course!
First impression was not good! I’d seen the online ad with beautiful pictures of each hole! We arrived to
a most unfriendly young man sitting on the porch of the “golf shack”. I asked where the putting green was.. he laughed.. and pointed to a circle of grass about 10’ in diameter with one hole!
He told us to grab a cart that was parked next to the building. It had old used cigarette butts inthe ball holder and the whole cart was full of cobwebs. When I asked for a scorecard, he said there was one on the cart... failed to mention it was a used card. He did give me a new card when I asked. The only restroom is a porta potty by the first tee... only one on the course!
There are no yardage markers, nor any water on the course! It was 90 degrees and not one of the three water jugs on the course had any water! There are no rakes in the traps.... and no map on the scorecard or tee marker maps!
The course, especially greens were beautiful!
Just too bad they don’t take the extra step and add a few basic things to make the experience enjoyable!!
Glad we played but won’t be back!
This place is awesome
This is pure golf - an absolute treat if you love the game. No fancy club house, no driving range, no practice green - just 9 of the best holes of golf you will ever play. It is a thinking mans golf course where every hole gives you multiple options off the tee and then coming into the green.
Don't play just 9. Plan to play at least 18 and you will not be disappointed.
Great course for kids or players who don't hit it far because there are no forced carries and always options for coming into the green. I'm a 2 handicap and found it to be a great test of golf. Beautiful views, beautiful course, and a layout you won't forget.
As a kicker, the staff is super-friendly, including club owner Rob.
Hidden Gem - Highly Recommended
Great hidden course with very challenging greens.
- Course condition
- Pace of play
- Need more yardage markers
- Need to have SkyGolf/SkyCaddie map the course with GPS
- Wish it was 18 holes
- No practice/warm-up areas of any kind
Awesome Nine Hole Course
The course is fantastic from start to finish. Every hole requires thought and strategy to play properly and score well. The greens are all fantastic, having significant undulation changes.
So much fun to play! Great design for all skill levels to enjoy. Amazing to see the before and after pictures of this redesign. If you have a chance gooooo play this track.
The Pinehurst/Southern Pines, N.C. areas has become one of my favorite golf destinations, particularly in the colder months. After reading about Sweetens Cove and seeing pictures online, I knew I needed to make the two-hour drive and come see this place for myself. I have not encountered a course so similar to those of the North Carolina sandbelt. I did not know the course that existed here before, so I have nothing to compare it to, but it must have been a monumental change. The ownership pours the money into the golf course, not amenities, and I am totally fine with that. There is no paved parking lot. No driving range. No practice green. The only restroom is a Port-a-John near the first tee. Something resembling a snack shack usually located at the turn serves as the clubhouse. And this is what is so striking about this place - the contrast between the golf course and everything else. I knew I would like the place while perusing the back of the scorecard before teeing off, which reads: "USGA Rules of Golf govern play at all times. Replace divots. Repair ball marks. Smooth sand before exiting hazards. Enter and exit all hazards at their shallowest points. With respect to all other matters, common sense shall be exercised." It is rare to be able to play some of the green-side shots required here in a non-links environment, but you will. The variety of the holes are quite good. The par-3 4th's green is 20,000 square feet. The pin placements on this serpentine green are endless and it is quite a sight. I have had the good fortune of playing several Biarritz greens in my life, but all have been on par 3s. The 8th hole is a par 4 with a Biarritz green that has a four-foot swale dividing it. The 9th is the best par-3 finishing hole I've ever encountered. It's not quite a true redan hole, but it is so wide that you can truly play a sweeping right to left shot that will roll nearly 50 yards. The cape-style 6th is a monster that is the hardest hole on the course in my opinion. Hard par, easy bogey. I rarely walk and play anymore, but chose to do so here and I'm glad I did. It is an easy walk with little to no elevation change. Finally, I went with the intention of just playing nine, but quickly changed my mind midway through the first 9. Course knowledge of seeing it once around was worth three strokes. I will definitely be back.
The most fun you will have on a golf course
This is the most fun you will ever have on the golf course!
The course conditioning was perfect, playing firm and fast similar to Irish links. And what can I say about the greens beside WOW! The strategic contouring allows for many creative shots to be played into, and on the greens. The greens are wildly entertaining, similar to the famous Tom Doak designed green complexes at Ballyneal. An absolute design genius by Rob Collins...kudos! This is the most fun you will ever have putting.
The course is perfectly conditioned, with fabulous scenery. It's almost like your playing an ocean side course, but better and at the foothills of the mountains.
Great layout, fair course, amazing scenery, and just a pleasure to play. If I lived local, Sweetens Cove would instantaneously have one more member. Please do yourself a favor and play this course as soon as possible, it is a once in a lifetime experience. Also an enjoyable walk.
It's a must
This golf course is something really special. If you ever get a chance to play.....do it. You will not be disappointed.
Very Undulating Greens - Very Unique Course
I first drove by this course a few years ago and saw it was clearly under construction, so when I had an opportunity to play it, I read the reviews on here and decided to give it a try. It's one of the most unique courses I've ever played, with the Australian sand belt look. I would rate this course as enjoyable, but the huge flaw to me were the extremely undulating greens. I realize what they were trying to do here with sectioning the greens, a great idea, but they way overdid it. Had the undulations been reduced to what I would consider reasonable, this would truly be a great course and I would have given it 5 stars. Having said that, the greens are NOT unfair, just overdone.
High-end Beach Course in Foothills of SE TN
Read or saw mention of this course on Internet, so researched it and decided other reviews made it worth the trip. Many years ago, had played the nine hole sequatchie valley cc course so was curious what they were able to create on such a small plat. They obviously dug the old course completely out, because there is no resemblance between the two. Imagine the nicest beach course you have ever played, this course is that but one star nicer. From some of the tees it can appear tight but that is just part of its charm and design, it really has fairly generous landing areas. It is not a links course as mentioned in some of the reviews but more a Sandbelt course kind of a combination. It has some mature trees that come into play and numerous large waste bunkers that frame the hole layouts. Large amounts of soil were moved to create wonderful contours, tee boxes and greens. The fairways are lush and good Bermuda grass that provide excellent lies. The greens are also Bermuda grass, not sure of the exact strain but definitely dont look or roll like that crappie championship bermuda all the area courses seem to be utilizing nowadays. The ball rolls pretty true but some areas of the green are bumpy as if the aeration marks didn't heal smoothly. The greens, oh the greens are what give and take away your score. Each is severely contoured and extremely large, I mean large. An approach shot hit to the right part of the green will actually filter down close to hole like you see on some of major golf tournaments on TV. But approach shots hit long or short or right or left of target might get the Ol dikembe mutumbo and be redirected off the green or toward opposite end of green. Consequently there are a lot of unique up/down opportunities also, because if you can land your chip or pitch onto slope of green it will cozy down close to hole. The course is extremely walkable, has numerous fun drive able holes. $20 green fee. As mentioned though there is only one portajon, a shed for a clubhouse, you park in grass along the fence and only two water coolers on course. But your coming for the golf course, challenge and natural beauty. Be sure to read back of the scorecard for local rules and directions. Also playing from different sets of tees changes the layout and way you attack about half the holes.
Outstanding course, beautifully maintained
I am new to the area and had heard about Sweetens Cove from several friends. I looked up the course online and the pictures were impressive. But I have been fooled to many times by great pictures and a less than great course. Regardless, I had to give this 9-hole layout a try. I was not disappointed.
From the first tee you can sense that this is an outstanding course. While the 9-hole layout is compact (a mere 6602 yards for 18 played) it is a challenge and perfect for the mid-to-high handicapper. You don't need a 300 yard drive to score well. In fact, some holes (like #7, a 328y hole from the tips) needs placement rather than distance. If you drive 220y to 250y on most any hole, you will have a mid- to short-iron in.
The greens are a large part of the challenge on this course. Most are very large and undulating, almost hilly. Placing the shot on the correct portion of the green is essential or three puts will be the norm. One green, on #4, a par 3, has at least three distinct levels and is so large that it could be easily be a two club difference from front to back.
The lack of any clubhouse makes a casual foursome outing a bit difficult but there are plenty of food places and a Waffle House on the highway exit 5 minutes away so breakfast before or lunch after is still doable.
Locals should visit this course and travelers should plan a stop. It is worth the time.
Review is all true. I started to second guess myself when I drove off the main road and toward the gravel parking lot -- if that's what you would call it. But the course.... out of this world!!!
Need a clubhouse
The course is very challenging. overall the greens and fairways were in good shape, but the amenities were very poor. The course was very tight. the greens were hilly and hard to read. We played for ten dollars, which made the course bare able. Regular price would be ridiculous.
Yes, the course has a shed for a clubhouse. If you care about the amenities for a club, I'm not sure why you are reading a review about the golf course. As far as the course being "tight"...some holes are 75 yards wide and on the 3rd hole you could have a relatively unobstructed shot to the green from any point in the property. If i had to pick the 10 most wide-open courses I've ever played, this would be one of them...
This course is so different than anything in the SE region. Incredibly large and undulating greens, very Chambers Bay like, a links course in southeast Tennessee. An absolutely must play!
new course. only has 9 holes. no practice green or driving range. they have the craziest greens and bunkers you might ever see. unbelievable contour on the greens. the bunkers/waste areas are cool. but the greens are huge and have several feet of contour on every green