The 17th green is going to be nearly an acre in size," Collins said. "It's going to be based on a famous, old Alister MacKenzie green that's no longer in existence at a golf course called Sitwell Park in England, and it's kind of a white whale in golf course architecture circles. It's something that people have always wondered if anybody would ever try to do a green like that. Well, we're going to do that out here, and you can do it out here, because the land is bold enough, and it will allow you to attempt something like that."
The 40,000 square foot 17th green at Landmand Golf Club, bottom, next to the green on No. 1, top right. (Image Courtesy of King-Collins)
Variety is what King and Collins focused on with their design. Short par-5s, long par-5s, par-3s of varying lengths. Landmand has it all.
There's just tons and tons of variety," Collins said. "(The holes) are all intermixed in a way that it has a nice ebb-and-flow in it, up-and-down, and push-and-pull to it. It doesn't just slam you over the head for five or six holes straight, it'll absolutely kill you for a hole or two, and then give you a break, and then put the pedal down again, its got this nice flow to it."
King said golfers will be faced with something different on every hole, and also each time they play the course. He also said the views will be memorable.
"It's a 580-acre parcel, and even though it's such a large parcel, the way it's routed is you can see long views of a lot of golf, and there's two hubs of golf that really standout," King said. "It's got wow factor written all over it."
Another goal was to make the golf course walkable. Though players will be able to take carts, Collins said the course won't wear them out if they decide to walk. It was also important to the architects to consider the unrelenting wind in Nebraska, especially with the exposed land at the top of the hill.
It was very important to have holes played in each direction, and every direction, and not back and forth, so you're always into it the wind or with it," King said. "You've got it coming at you from everywhere, and we want that, we embrace that. Also, due to the nature of the wind, there's a lot of width in the fairways. We don't like to lose golf balls, that's one of our mantras."
King and Collins have received a lot of praise of their work at Sweetens Cove. They've been considered for several other high-profile projects, and they just recently opened a new nine-hole course in Accord, New York, which is already being dubbed "the back-nine" with its similarities to Sweetens Cove. However, they still see this opportunity in Nebraska as their big break.
We've looked at some really good sites, and been close to some really good projects over the last four years, you know, this one here in Nebraska is really our breakthrough," Collins said. "This is the proverbial big-one that Tad and I have dreamt about for many years. We've been wanting to get our hands on a site like this, and the Andersen's gave us our big break, really. This is the real deal, and we're pretty pumped about it."
The construction process began just a few days ago, when King and Collins arrived on site, and the dirt started moving. The Andersen's purchased all of their own equipment, straying from the normal tradition of renting. Will said renting can be very expensive, and at the end of it, nothing is owned. So, purchasing the equipment made sense for the family, which will also use it on their farmland, and it also helps King-Collins know exactly what they will have at their disposal.
The goal is to open in June of 2021, but that assumes everything goes exactly as planned. Other factors could change that date, including the unpredictable weather in Nebraska, but Andersen hopes to be seeding by next September and open for play by the following summer.
Landmand will be a public golf course, but will have a membership option as well. Andersen said he expects a round with cart to cost around $75, unless you're a guest of member, which will drop the price to about $50.
We want to have a balance on the rounds, and get enough to keep the place profitable, but also keep the quality of the golf course high," Andersen said. "We think that will be around 80 rounds a day, or a shade under that."
Andersen said there is a possibility of adding some cabins on the ridge up to the clubhouse and some stay-and-play packages, but that is down the road a ways. For now, their goal is to just get the golf course going and he's very excited about the crew he has to get that done. He said King and Collins are "passionate" and "down to earth."
As the land goes from pasture to links, the golf world awaits to see what the farmers can bring to the table.
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