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Ari Techner

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I posted this in another thread but decided this deserved it's own thread. 

As of Tuesday, a group including architect Rob Collins and I have taken control of the course formerly known as "Sequatchie Valley Country Club."  It has also been called "Battle Creek" for a short time during grow in.  The new official name is Sweetens Cove Golf Club.  We are currently in the process of getting it ready for play and hope to open in August.

I know some of you are aware of this project but for those that are not the course is located off I-24 in S. Pittsburgh, TN which is located about 30 min from downtown Chattanooga and about an hour from downtown Nashville.  The course occupies the same land as the former Sequatchie Valley CC but is an entirely 100% new golf course.  I'll let Rob comment a little more specifically on the work done.  He basically built the entire course by hand with the help of a small crew.   He was on site pretty much every single day.   IMO this is why the course has such amazing attention to detail especially in the bunkers and on and around the greens. 

The greens are Mini Verde and the fairways are 419 Bermuda.  The native areas and bunker edges are a Fescue mix and there is no rough. 

From my perspective this has been a long and strenuous process that started last September with a phone call from my good friend Mark Stovall the Superintendent at Lookout Mountain.  He told me that I had to check out this new course in S. Pittsburgh and that he would arrange for me to go out and see the course with the architect.  A week or so later I met Rob Collins for the first time and went out and played the course with him and another GCAer that I work with, Patrick Boyd.  To put it simply I was blown away by what I saw.  Absolutely blown away.  This 9 hole course was some of the most fun I had ever had on a golf course.  On top of that I could see that different pin positions, wind direction or even placement of tee shots would provide a completely different experience that looked like it would be just as much fun.  The flexibility of the course and specifically the greens, the width of the fairways, the hazards and their placement equal a course that provides a completely different look and challenge depending on the day.  I could not believe what I had stumbled onto.  It so much exceeded what I was expecting to find that it was staggering. 

In talking to Rob I found out that the family that owned the golf course was having some internal squabbles about the course and was looking to get rid of it or was even thinking of letting it go back to nature without ever even opening!  I was shocked.  I was so taken with this course that the thought of it never getting to open and being gone in a few short months was just tragic.  I shared my strong feelings with Rob and we started talking about what we could do to save the course.  Fast forward to May and the fantasy of that day has become a reality and I could not be more excited!

I want to stress that I absolutely positively 100% did not go into this with even the slightest thought of getting involved with owning and running this place.  Golf courses are not my business and I had not intended for it to be.  As some of you know I have another golf business, Scratch Golf Clubs, which takes up most of my time.  I also have a young family and an intense desire to play as much golf as I possibly can at every possible opportunity.  I am also lucky enough to have access to some of my favorite courses in the world so having a compelling place to play is fortunately not usually an issue for me.  This project will not help me find more time during the day to spend with my young family, work a few more hours for Scratch Golf or get a few extra rounds in here and there.  That said this course was just too good to let go back to nature and never see the light of day.  That is the simple and only reason that I got involved with the project in the first place.  This course is just amazing and so much fun that the golf world needs to see it and have the opportunity to enjoy playing it as much as I do.

We have a TON of work to do before we hope to open in August but I could not be more excited about the prospect of the course finally opening and sharing it with the people of TN and the rest of the golf world.  Visitors will find a very friendly place that can be played by anyone for a very reasonable green fee where they can have a great time playing the game we all love.  Fun is and will be the name of the game at Sweetens Cove and I personally invite all of you to experience our extra fun version of golf in our little scenic mountain valley between Chattanooga and Nashville right off I-24.   

I have some other pics from grow in last summer where the course is green that I will post shortly when I get a chance.  I will also update as we get sand into all the bunkers and get the course ready to open.  In my best TN accent, "hope to see y'all at Sweetens Cove later this summer!"

Ari Techner

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Re: Introducing Sweetens Cove Golf Club in S. Pittsburgh, TN.
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2014, 06:38:53 PM »
Here are some more pics from last summer during grow in.  Hole measurements are from back tees.  Some bunkers are not filled with sand yet and completely cleaned out in these pics.

Hole 1  
540y par 5






Hole 2
370y Par 4








Hole 3
550y Par 5










Hole 4
95y - 210y Par 3






Hole 5
285y Par 4










Hole 6
430y Par 4







Hole 7
325y Par 4








Hole 8
390y Par 4








Hole 9
140y Par 3








Few more pics of bunker detail:










Wade Whitehead

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Re: Introducing Sweetens Cove Golf Club in S. Pittsburgh, TN.
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2014, 06:45:50 PM »
Tell us about the bunker on 5.

WW

Bill_McBride

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Re: Introducing Sweetens Cove Golf Club in S. Pittsburgh, TN.
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2014, 07:00:38 PM »
Ari, that looks just amazing.  Love the falloff of the first green.   Would love to get up there next spring.   Congratulations on becoming a golf course owner!

John Kavanaugh

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Re: Introducing Sweetens Cove Golf Club in S. Pittsburgh, TN.
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2014, 07:11:55 PM »
This is great news! Will Scratch be moving on site?

Stephen Davis

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Re: Introducing Sweetens Cove Golf Club in S. Pittsburgh, TN.
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2014, 07:13:43 PM »
Ari,
That is truly amazing! The attention to detail does look fantastic and it looks like it would be a blast to play. Congrats! This is exactly what golf needs more of!

Rees Milikin

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Re: Introducing Sweetens Cove Golf Club in S. Pittsburgh, TN.
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2014, 07:13:46 PM »
Congrats again to Ari, Rob, & others who were able to preserve this course.  

Here are a few pictures from the few times I have been fortunate enough to play.

These are from October:

On the 2nd fairway looking back towards the 1st & 8th holes


On the 2nd fairway looking towards the 3rd & 5th holes


Fairway bunker on the 2nd hole


Back of 2nd green looking back on the 2nd fairway


From the right side of the 2nd green looking down the 3rd fairway


On the 5th fairway looking toward the 4th green and 6th - 8th fairways


On the 5th fairway looking at the bunkering & green


On the 7th fairway


7th green from front left corner


Looking back down the 7th fairway


The 7th Green from the left


The man himself, Mr. Rob Collins walking up the 8th green


From the GCA March event on the 9th green and overview of most of the course
« Last Edit: May 15, 2014, 07:26:45 PM by Rees Milikin »

Ari Techner

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Re: Introducing Sweetens Cove Golf Club in S. Pittsburgh, TN.
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2014, 07:37:29 PM »
Tell us about the bunker on 5.

WW

Wade,

5 is a short drivable par 4.  The green is a lions mouth type of green but the front of the mouth is angled more to the side of the line of play than in the direct middle of the line of play.   That bunker is the green side bunker in the middle of the mouth.  It is an amazing bunker, one of the neatest visually I have ever seen anywhere.   It looks nasty and is for sure not a place you want to be though it's not nearly impossible to escape.  I've been in it 3 times and managed to get onto the green in 1 shot all 3 times and actually get up and down 2/3 times.   

Carl Rogers

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Re: Introducing Sweetens Cove Golf Club in S. Pittsburgh, TN.
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2014, 07:38:01 PM »
Will the stroke rating be about 78 & the slope about 145 from the tips?
I decline to accept the end of man. ... William Faulkner

Ari Techner

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Re: Introducing Sweetens Cove Golf Club in S. Pittsburgh, TN.
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2014, 07:42:22 PM »
Ari, that looks just amazing.  Love the falloff of the first green.   Would love to get up there next spring.   Congratulations on becoming a golf course owner!

Bill

Thank you!  I could not be more excited!

I absolutely LOVE the first green.  It is, IMO, one of the worlds great green complexes.   It is just so much fun and offers so much variety based on the hole location.   The left side has a nice false front that then blends into a semi punchbowl while the right side falls away hard from front to back right.  It's just incredible.   I started to fall hard in love with this place waking off the first green the first time I saw it.  

Ari Techner

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Re: Introducing Sweetens Cove Golf Club in S. Pittsburgh, TN.
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2014, 07:44:25 PM »
This is great news! Will Scratch be moving on site?

John

Scratch's main operation will stay up in MI but we are talking about a Scratch Fitting Center on site and we could potentially move Don White's grinding room from Chattanooga out to the course sometime in the future.

Ari Techner

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Re: Introducing Sweetens Cove Golf Club in S. Pittsburgh, TN.
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2014, 07:46:05 PM »
Ari,
That is truly amazing! The attention to detail does look fantastic and it looks like it would be a blast to play. Congrats! This is exactly what golf needs more of!

Stephen

THANK YOU!  I can't wait to open and start sharing it with people.  

Ari Techner

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Re: Introducing Sweetens Cove Golf Club in S. Pittsburgh, TN.
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2014, 07:51:20 PM »
Will the stroke rating be about 78 & the slope about 145 from the tips?

The course actually does not play that hard at all.   It's a lot more "fun" than it is "hard".   There is a ton of width, the course is not super long, there's some nasty hazards but there is a ton of room to play around them.  

If you make the trip I think you will find it to be a very fun golf course that is challenging but not overly so.  
« Last Edit: May 15, 2014, 08:03:33 PM by Ari Techner »

Ben Kodadek

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Re: Introducing Sweetens Cove Golf Club in S. Pittsburgh, TN.
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2014, 07:55:40 PM »
Ari,

This place looks fantastic.  Congratulations!  Do you anticipate having two hole locations per green?

Based only on these pictures, I would call SCGC a sibling to Rivermont.  Am I the only one?

Reed Kemp

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Re: Introducing Sweetens Cove Golf Club in S. Pittsburgh, TN.
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2014, 09:11:49 PM »
Looks wonderful - best of luck!

Brian Finn

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Re: Introducing Sweetens Cove Golf Club in S. Pittsburgh, TN.
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2014, 09:46:06 PM »
I am ready to hop in the car and drive down right now.  Looks incredible. Congratulations to all involved. I can't wait to play SCGC!
New for '24: Monifieth, Montrose, Panmure, Carnoustie, Scotscraig, Kingsbarns, Elie, Dumbarnie, Lundin...

Rob Collins

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Re: Introducing Sweetens Cove Golf Club in S. Pittsburgh, TN.
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2014, 10:05:58 PM »
Tell us about the bunker on 5.

WW
The greenside bunker on 5 is an interesting hazard in that it can potentially ruin your score if you're in the wrong spot, but the bunker was built in such a way that daring shots can be pulled off with the right combination of luck and skill. I liked the idea of putting the sleepers in there both for aesthetics and for the shotmaking challenges that they would present in the event that one's ball nestles close to their base. The sleepers were installed with the help of a gigantic Komatsu excavator that we used to install much of the drainage. We would hold them in place while the operator jammed them into the ground (each one is a foot or more deep in the ground). As we made our way around the bunker with the sleepers, we hit something extremely hard beneath the floor of the bunker and the mighty excavator was stymied. So, rather than carry them all the way across the face, there are two rows with the sand splashing up in between. As it turns out, our unforeseen encounter with the mysterious, impenetrable mass below ground made the bunker a lot cooler than it would have been otherwise. As the great Dan Proctor told me, "some of the best features on a course happen by accident".
Rob Collins

www.kingcollinsgolf.com
@kingcollinsgolf on Twitter
@kingcollinsgolf on Instagram

Rob Collins

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Re: Introducing Sweetens Cove Golf Club in S. Pittsburgh, TN.
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2014, 10:24:15 PM »
I posted this in another thread but decided this deserved it's own thread.  

As of Tuesday, a group including architect Rob Collins and I have taken control of the course formerly known as "Sequatchie Valley Country Club."  It has also been called "Battle Creek" for a short time during grow in.  The new official name is Sweetens Cove Golf Club.  We are currently in the process of getting it ready for play and hope to open in August.

I know some of you are aware of this project but for those that are not the course is located off I-24 in S. Pittsburgh, TN which is located about 30 min from downtown Chattanooga and about an hour from downtown Nashville.  The course occupies the same land as the former Sequatchie Valley CC but is an entirely 100% new golf course.  I'll let Rob comment a little more specifically on the work done.  He basically built the entire course by hand with the help of a small crew.   He was on site pretty much every single day.   IMO this is why the course has such amazing attention to detail especially in the bunkers and on and around the greens.  

The greens are Mini Verde and the fairways are 419 Bermuda.  The native areas and bunker edges are a Fescue mix and there is no rough.  

From my perspective this has been a long and strenuous process that started last September with a phone call from my good friend Mark Stovall the Superintendent at Lookout Mountain.  He told me that I had to check out this new course in S. Pittsburgh and that he would arrange for me to go out and see the course with the architect.  A week or so later I met Rob Collins for the first time and went out and played the course with him and another GCAer that I work with, Patrick Boyd.  To put it simply I was blown away by what I saw.  Absolutely blown away.  This 9 hole course was some of the most fun I had ever had on a golf course.  On top of that I could see that different pin positions, wind direction or even placement of tee shots would provide a completely different experience that looked like it would be just as much fun.  The flexibility of the course and specifically the greens, the width of the fairways, the hazards and their placement equal a course that provides a completely different look and challenge depending on the day.  I could not believe what I had stumbled onto.  It so much exceeded what I was expecting to find that it was staggering.  

In talking to Rob I found out that the family that owned the golf course was having some internal squabbles about the course and was looking to get rid of it or was even thinking of letting it go back to nature without ever even opening!  I was shocked.  I was so taken with this course that the thought of it never getting to open and being gone in a few short months was just tragic.  I shared my strong feelings with Rob and we started talking about what we could do to save the course.  Fast forward to May and the fantasy of that day has become a reality and I could not be more excited!

I want to stress that I absolutely positively 100% did not go into this with even the slightest thought of getting involved with owning and running this place.  Golf courses are not my business and I had not intended for it to be.  As some of you know I have another golf business, Scratch Golf Clubs, which takes up most of my time.  I also have a young family and an intense desire to play as much golf as I possibly can at every possible opportunity.  I am also lucky enough to have access to some of my favorite courses in the world so having a compelling place to play is fortunately not usually an issue for me.  This project will not help me find more time during the day to spend with my young family, work a few more hours for Scratch Golf or get a few extra rounds in here and there.  That said this course was just too good to let go back to nature and never see the light of day.  That is the simple and only reason that I got involved with the project in the first place.  This course is just amazing and so much fun that the golf world needs to see it and have the opportunity to enjoy playing it as much as I do.

We have a TON of work to do before we hope to open in August but I could not be more excited about the prospect of the course finally opening and sharing it with the people of TN and the rest of the golf world.  Visitors will find a very friendly place that can be played by anyone for a very reasonable green fee where they can have a great time playing the game we all love.  Fun is and will be the name of the game at Sweetens Cove and I personally invite all of you to experience our extra fun version of golf in our little scenic mountain valley between Chattanooga and Nashville right off I-24.  

I have some other pics from grow in last summer where the course is green that I will post shortly when I get a chance.  I will also update as we get sand into all the bunkers and get the course ready to open.  In my best TN accent, "hope to see y'all at Sweetens Cove later this summer!"

It has been an incredibly long road to get to this point...even though we signed the papers three days ago, there is still a part of me that feels like I am living in a dream. Thanks to Ari, the course has been saved and will have the opportunity to see the light of day. We will welcome our fellow GCA'ers with open arms and hope y'all will come out and see it!
« Last Edit: May 15, 2014, 10:31:59 PM by Rob Collins »
Rob Collins

www.kingcollinsgolf.com
@kingcollinsgolf on Twitter
@kingcollinsgolf on Instagram

Lou_Duran

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Re: Introducing Sweetens Cove Golf Club in S. Pittsburgh, TN.
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2014, 10:09:21 AM »
Ari and Rob,

Contrats!  The course looks wonderful.  Did you get enough land to build a second 9?  Was the concept from its origin 9 holes or planned for 18?  If staying with 9, are there plans to use a two-hole system with separate tees to provide a different second 9 experience?  I see the need for a TN trip next year.

Adam Lawrence

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Re: Introducing Sweetens Cove Golf Club in S. Pittsburgh, TN.
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2014, 10:15:41 AM »
Lou - I think you will find there is plenty of variety there as it stands!

When Rob told me earlier this week the lease was signed, it was truly the best news I had heard in a long time. I love this course, having seen it during construction two years ago and then almost finished last year. I defy anyone to play there and not finish with a smile on their face, and I hope it is a resounding success.
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Author, 'More Enduring Than Brass: a biography of Harry Colt' (forthcoming).

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Brent Hutto

Re: Introducing Sweetens Cove Golf Club in S. Pittsburgh, TN.
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2014, 10:18:21 AM »
I love "nasty hazards but room to play around them"! Sounds like my kind of golf course. Any opportunity to play scaredy-cat golf for about 15 holes then take a stupid risk three times a round fits my course management to a T.

Looking forward to visiting at some point. Congratulations.

Philip Caccamise

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Re: Introducing Sweetens Cove Golf Club in S. Pittsburgh, TN.
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2014, 10:30:07 AM »
Will the stroke rating be about 78 & the slope about 145 from the tips?

The course is not terribly difficult at all, I'd guess it will be rated about 70.8/128 from the back tees (about 3200 yards.)

It is an AWESOME golf course. Just flat out fun to play. The best 9 hole course I've ever played. I am super excited that it is in good hands and I wish the best of luck to Ari and Rob, I will certainly be down again and will bring a few with me.

Bill_McBride

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Re: Introducing Sweetens Cove Golf Club in S. Pittsburgh, TN.
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2014, 10:35:21 AM »
Ari and Rob,

Contrats!  The course looks wonderful.  Did you get enough land to build a second 9?  Was the concept from its origin 9 holes or planned for 18?  If staying with 9, are there plans to use a two-hole system with separate tees to provide a different second 9 experience?  I see the need for a TN trip next year.

Let's try to get something planned about a year from now.

Ben Hollerbach

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Re: Introducing Sweetens Cove Golf Club in S. Pittsburgh, TN.
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2014, 11:21:36 AM »
Ari,

From the pictures this course looks like a tremendous amount of fun and exactly what golf needs in a course. Looking at the property on google maps it appears there will be a driving range south east of the course?


Will Lozier

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Re: Introducing Sweetens Cove Golf Club in S. Pittsburgh, TN.
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2014, 11:35:11 AM »
Ari,

This place looks fantastic.  Congratulations!  Do you anticipate having two hole locations per green?

Based only on these pictures, I would call SCGC a sibling to Rivermont.  Am I the only one?

Ben, That is the first thought that came to my mine...the look of the greensites and bunkers!

Ari, you are a true friend of the game.  What a great, great move!  Congrats!

FAMILIES need 9-holers!!!!!!!!!

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