King-Collins building Nashville course on ‘remote’ site minutes from downtown
King-Collins Golf Course Design, which first grabbed golfers’ attention with its work at Sweetens Cove, in Tennessee, announced Wednesday that it is building another course in the Volunteer State, just outside Nashville, with construction slated to begin this spring.
The course (whose ownership group includes GOLF.com’s parent company, 8AM Golf) will be at a private facility called Bounty Club and offer unrestricted 15-mile views of the city skyline.
“A little over a year ago, we saw the property for the first time, and we were immediately enamored with its potential,” Rob Collins, principal designer of King-Collins wrote in an Instagram post. “Blessed with centuries old dry & wet creeks and gently rolling terrain, it’s nearly impossible to believe that this seemingly remote site is only thirteen (13) minutes from downtown Nashville!”
King-Collins has subscribed to the design-build movement in which Collins and his partner, Tad King, serve as both the architects and constructors of the course. The benefits of such a model include cost savings and having the best talent always on-site. King-Collins employed the same system at Landmand, in northeast Nebraska, where they needed to suppress dynamic landforms to create stellar golf, and Red Feather in Lubbock, Texas, where they created holes from nothing.
At Bounty Club, King-Collins has been given an abundance of natural features with which to work, including a 250-foot hill upon which a farmhouse-style clubhouse will look out over the property. The course will start and finish midway up the hill but most of it will weave through open meadows and past wet and dry creeks that run throughout the rolling site.
When I walked the land with Collins and King on a recent visit, I counted a stream and/or natural ditch on 12 holes. Figuring out how to use those landforms and slopes to their advantage will be a never-ending puzzle for Collins and King. The team will add some bunkering but the natural features will be the stars.
The design will be ideal for match play, in part because of the many ½-par holes. For example, the tee at the par-5 1st is benched into the hillside and affords commanding views with the fairway tumbling away some 30 feet below. A good drive makes the open-mouthed green reachable in two.
Another favorite hole of King and Collins’ is the 2nd, where the green sits in a “V” formed by the intersection of two creeks. “How can you hope for more?” Collins said to me on our stroll. “What a perfectly natural green site that will require very little from us.” Collins is a Tennessee native and ever since his Sweetens Cove success has been combing the state looking for another favorable site.
The rest of the front nine tacks around the meadow before heading to higher land on holes 6 and 7. The designers smartly decided against returning nines, which allowed them to take advantage of all of the 350-plus acres and make the course a delight to walk.
King said the ownership group’s decision to sand cap the property will ensure bouncy-bounce playing conditions throughout. On some of the downhill holes like the 255-yard 10th, golfers will be looking to land their balls 10, maybe 15, yards short of the putting surface to have them release onto the open green. Shots like these golfers never tire of.
King-Collins may have saved the best for last. The 15th is a killer two-shotter slightly uphill to another natural green site by a dry creek. The shortest par-3 (135 yards) comes at 16 followed by the shortest par-4 (315 yards) at 17. Both will produce round-capping fireworks. The home hole, a par-5 with several routes to consider off the tee and again into the green, will be ideal for settling tight matches.
Even in its infancy, the course will feel surprisingly mature because so many of the design cues are based in nature. And it’s that natural vibe that will be at the core of Bounty Club’s appeal. It will offer the best of both worlds: a quiet round in which you are cocooned in the wilderness and yet with a bustling city just a short drive away.