What does the design firm of King-Collins Golf have in common with A-ha, Tommy Tutone and Norman Greenbaum?
Not much. They've just shed any "one-hit wonder" concerns.
Tad King and Rob Collins, the architects who fashioned the smash-success Sweetens Cove Golf Club out of a floodplain west of Chattanooga, Tenn., have just announced they're ready to break ground on their first 18-hole, new-build golf course: Landmand Golf Club, near the eastern Nebraska town of Homer. Homer is about 20 minutes south of Sioux City, Iowa, and 90 minutes north of Omaha, Neb.
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Tad & I are extremely excited about the opportunity we’ve been given by the Andersen Family on an extraordinary piece of ground near Homer, NE. We will be starting a new 18 hole project here, which will be known as Landmand Golf Club (Swedish for “Farmer”), in early September. With towering landforms, long views, & great soil, we recognize that this is a rare opportunity to deliver an exceptional golf course. I’ll continually update the process here. These photos are from our visit in mid June when we routed the golf course.
Even before this announcement, King-Collins have been parrying any notions that their influence might not range beyond South Pittsburg, Tenn. They are on board to design PGA Tour player Zac Blair's The Buck Club when financing is able to come together, and they have also been engaged on projects at Sea Palms Golf & Tennis Resort on St. Simons Island, Ga., where they have rebuilt the 18th green on the original George Cobb-designed course and also fashioned a 4-acre short course called The Miracle, both of which are on track to debut this fall. But for now, all eyes are on the duo's activities in Nebraska.
The Cornhusker State has been the site of several influential golf courses of the past quarter-century. It all started in 1994, when another two-surname design outfit, Coore & Crenshaw, made the golf world take notice of tiny Mullen, Neb., when their seminal Sand Hills Golf Club opened. More "found" than built, Sand Hills ushered in the minimalist movement in golf course architecture, which in addition to a least-disturbance approach to course-craft, relies on emphasis of the natural qualities of land to let the golf course unfold. Other practitioners include Tom Doak and Gil Hanse, who are among the most in-demand architects in the world.
It will be fascinating to see how King and Collins adjust their approach on a site with the kind of movement and readily firm turf apparent at Landmand, which reportedly will be open to the public, with around 100 memberships sold as well.
Sweetens Cove had to be almost totally manufactured out of flattish, low-lying ground, and it has won near-universal acclaim for both its addicting design and its no-frills approach to presenting a fun golf course for people to enjoy.
Given this announcement (as well as a rumor of more work on the horizon in New York), King-Collins seems to have more hits in store for golfers.