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4.6
40 Reviews (40)
5 Stars
28
4 Stars
9
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
1
1 Stars
1
Conditions
4.2
Value
4.4
Layout
4.6
Friendliness
4.1
Pace
4.6
Amenities
2.1
95.3%
Recommend this course
38 out of 40 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
5.0
1 Reviews (1)
5 Stars
1
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
5.0
Value
5.0
Layout
5.0
Pace
4.0
Amenities
3.0
StaffFriendliness
5.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
1 out of 1 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.7
11 Reviews (11)
5 Stars
8
4 Stars
3
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.4
Value
4.7
Layout
4.6
Pace
4.7
Amenities
2.4
StaffFriendliness
4.2
100.0%
Recommend this course
11 out of 11 reviews
Read Reviews

About

Holes 9
Type Semi-Private
Style Links
Par 36
Length 3301 yards
Slope 123
Rating 36.5

Having opened in 2014, Sweetens Cove Golf Club is nestled in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. In a town with a population of roughly 3,000 people, this nine-hole course wasn’t built like most golf courses. Featured in a New York Times Article, architect and owner-operator Rob Collins hired a crew and spent roughly $1 million to build the course from scratch, without help from any golf course design firms. Players can walk the course for $25, or for $35 can take out a cart to play. If you’ve got a lot of time on your hands, you can play the course all day with a cart for only $100. Prepare to bring some breakfast for the breakfast ball, because there’s no clubhouse to get food, only a shed where you check-in. What makes this course fun is players get a little taste of everything. From drivable par 4s, to lengthy and hilly greens, expect everything but the kitchen sink. Since its opening, several household names have joined Collins’ to be an investor including Peyton Manning and Andy Roddick.

Course Details

Year Built 1951
Fairways 419 Bermuda Grass
Greens Mini Verde Grass
Golf Season Year round
Architect Rob Collins (2011) Tad King (2011)

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes
Clubs Yes
Pull-carts Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range No
Pitching/Chipping Area Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

Credit Cards Accepted VISA, MasterCard Welcomed
Metal Spikes Allowed No
Walking Allowed Yes

Accolades

Reviews

4.6
40 Reviews (40)

What Golfers Are Saying

Course Challenges Include:
Undulating Greens 9
Bunkers 7
This course/club is great for:
9-Hole Rounds 9
Locals 8
Seniors 7
This Course's Location is:
Worth the Drive 6

Numbers based on reviews tagged with attribute.

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Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 4
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Walked

Seeing is Believing

Few places actually live up to the hype that they receive. Sweeten's Cove actually lives up to the hype and more. When you drive up, the initial impression is underwhelming. Gravel parking lot, portable bathrooms and a backyard storage shed to check in. Once you get out of the car, you start to understand the hype. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful. The putting green is like a roller coaster, with unbelievable twists and turns. We spent 30 minutes on it before and after playing 27 holes just having fun. You have a great view of the entire course and surrounding mountains from the shed area. It's just stunning.
Now for the golf. WOW is my best summary. The tees are wide open with large landing areas. The approach shots are a challenge and the short game when you miss a green presents extreme situations. It took far too many holes for me to figure out that I needed to leave the lob wedge in the back and use a putter anytime I was on short grass within 20-30 feet of the green. Just a couple of feet short or long of the needed landing area on approaches, chips and pitches would find the ball rolling back to your feet or off the backside of the green. Don't worry about your score. Just enjoy the experience. You will likely have a big number or two around the course. Just take a deep breath, a quick look at the mountains and realize that there is more to golf than posting a low score on a hole.
This was truly a fun day. The late morning 9 was a little slow and stayed backed up till we got past #5. Then the pace picked up to a fun level. The last 2 nines were very fast, as the course seemed to start clearing out after noon.
I plan to return. You should play this course. You'll be glad you did.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Average
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 15
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
Incentivized Review
5.0
First Time Playing

Succeeded expectations!!

I have been wanting to make the drive from Memphis for over a year now and glad I finally did. By far the most extreme and fun greens I’ve ever played on. Can’t wait to come back in the spring

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 1
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Pure golf

Rarely do you go to a course that lives up to the hype , Sweetens. Cove is as good as advertised and for all the right reasons! What a treat to play a course that leaves you wanting to play golf all day long

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 235
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Birmingham Advisor
Top 10 Contributor
Previously Played
Cold weather
Walked

Short-game stresser

Third visit to Sweetens. Brought my son for the first time.

Course was in stellar shape considering the course basically sits in a geographically natural bathtub and had received 11 inches of rain in the past 10 days. Bunkers had a lot of casual water but the fairways, except for a few spots, were exceptionally dry and exceedingly playable.

What I had forgotten about this place, but was quickly reminded, is how much pressure it puts on your short game. It is easy to chip from one side of a green to the other. There is also not really any rough on the course other than the fescue-lined areas that frame the holes, so you really have to be a wizard with a wedge to get chips and pitches close from the closely-mown areas. Less loft is recommended and you will be tested to judge how hard to hit a putter from off the green up a 5-foot slope and get it to come to rest on the proper level. Good luck, because double bogey is lurking everywhere. In fact, it occurred to me on this time around that I think most players will more readily make a birdie or bogey or worse than par on these holes. That sounds kind of crazy, but the rollicking green sites and swales that can funnel a ball just as quickly away from pins as it does toward them offers a feast or famine scorecard.

The bunkers, due to the water, were tough to play from, but this is understandable. Even in ideal conditions, they are no picnic, particularly the greenside bunkers. They are claustrophobic in size in many cases. Sometimes banging your ball off the railroad tie facades of the bunkers is the best, if not only, play to give yourself a better chance of escaping them.

There have been many improvements since my last trip. I don’t remember water stations throughout the course as there is now. A huge, Himalayas-style practice green is about ready to debut in late November, which will provide countless pre- and post-round fun.

Something else that has been added since my last trip is dual pin flags on each green. Obviously, with the nine-hole layout, this provides a different challenge between the loops. We picked a color to play to on the front and the other on the back, but there are many options for fun games for all skill levels.

Keep up the good work gents!

Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 38
Handicap 15-19
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Conditions Average
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Fair
Pace Excellent
Amenities Fair
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing

Fun layout with wild greens

Sweetens Cove is a very unique nine hole course with large greens with two pins so you get a different look on your second nine. The greens are as challenging as any I have ever played with swales, humps, drop-offs and false fronts. It actually was quite fun trying to figure the greens out and three putting was not a reason to get upset. It is a beautiful setting with an interesting routing with plenty of room to work off the tee which allowed a variety of angles for your approach shots. It is a great match play course that is a must play in the Chattanooga area.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Average
Pace Excellent
Amenities Poor
Played On
Reviews 45
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Golf Advisor
Perfect weather
Used cart

A walk on the wild side

Interesting, engaging, frustrating - a wild combination of vast, multi-option-fairways and putting surfaces that defy gravity and logic. Worth seeing, if o ny to find out out what all the buzz is about. Aspires to be a Tobacco Road but not quite up to the visual intrigue of that legendary course. Certainly not minimalist, given the earth mowing to create everything. Soil is wrong for the intended ground game and the site floods a lot. Still worth seeing/playing/evaluating. One of those courses that polarizes, with opinion split between cultists and skeptics.

Conditions Average
Value Excellent
Layout Average
Friendliness Fair
Pace Good
Amenities Poor
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 159
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Golf Channel
First Time Playing

Golf Advisor Getaway at Sweetens Cove

Having heard so much about the course, I was eager to check it out! It was in pretty nice shape considering the lack of rain in the area. Off the tee the course was pretty forgiving and right in front of you. Once you get to the green complexes, look out! It is as if there are buried elephants all throughout. Plenty of undulation and slope on every one of them. Each green has to flags to differentiate the nines. Course management is of the utmost importance here and you need to give yourself the proper club and angle into the greens. This course may not be for everyone, but it is definitely worth playing to find out!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Fair
Played On
Reviews 297
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Golf Advisor
First Time Playing

A thrill

Just wrapped up a 45-hole day at Sweetens on our Golf Advisor Getaway. We rented the course for the day and had it to ourselves. I walked 18, then we played the “Illuminati routing” and then went back out for 18 more in a cart. Obviously I wouldn’t have spent 10 hours here if I didn’t find the place fascinating. Not everyone in our group loved the greens. They are definitely severe, especially where some of the pins were (they set up two pins per green so you could play 18 different holes easily). I can see how higher handicaps could have a hard time. I found them to be mesmerizing. The feeling you get when you hit a crisp chip or deft approach stiff is very Pinehurst or St Andrews-esque. Rewarding but also treacherous. Prepare for some humbling moments. The course off the tee is pretty forgiving and the short par 4s are wildly fun. The 7th green takes no prisoners.

Fresh off their recent investment, Sweetens has more maintenance staff and new equipment. A new putting course is grassed and should be done soon. I’m excited to continue to watch this place evolve, and hope it gives tired nine-holers around the country the inspiration to try something bold. It’s better to make a statement than to be bland.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Poor
Played On
Reviews 7
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 3
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played

The little course that could

Strictly golf to be played at Sweetens. No clubhouse or cart girls needed. Just wonderful golf on a gorgeous layout that could be played ten times in a row and all be different. If you haven’t played this golf gem then you’re missing out on one of the best golf experiences of your playing career .

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 12
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Pure

The fairways are wide and the greens are very undulating. There are waste areas and bunkers everywhere. If you want to play a links style course, go here! I will definitely be going back here in the near future! They don’t make very many golf courses like this anymore.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Fair
Played On
Reviews 3
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
1.0
First Time Playing

Get some carts Sweetens Cove

Drove 2 hrs to play the course. Check in for our tee time where we’re told, very rudely I might add, that “there are no more carts”. Guy preceded to just stare at us with no explanation & doesn’t care how long we drove to get there. Hey Sweetens Cove: you’re the “#1 course in the state”. Get some carts. And a decent staff. It’s 95 degrees outside

Will not be back.

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Poor
Friendliness Poor
Pace Poor
Amenities Poor
Played On
Reviews 8
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Walked
Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Fair
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 2
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

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!

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Poor
Played On
Reviews 47
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 500 Contributor
Mississippi Advisor
First Time Playing

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.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Fair
Played On
Reviews 6
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Featured
Florida Advisor
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Walked

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.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Poor
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 2
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Hot weather
Used cart

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.

Conditions Fair
Value Fair
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Poor
Pace Excellent
Amenities Poor
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 2
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Hot weather
Used cart

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?

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Fair
Pace Good
Amenities Poor
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
2.0
First Time Playing

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!

Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Poor
Pace Good
Amenities Poor
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