Gaining in popularity over the last two decades, disc golf is no longer a sport only for those in the know, but instead a mainstay of any outdoor exercise area or park. With this popularity comes an increasing amount of choices – which can be both a blessing and a curse. Within the Chattanooga city limits and greater metropolitan area alone, there are six disc golf courses, a competitive league, and four stores that sell the requisite gear to play.
That being said, determining where would be the best place to throw on a particular day could be difficult. Here, we’re making sure you have all of the facts on the different disc golf courses in and around town.
Dupont Park’s The Sinks is probably Chattanooga’s most well-known disc golf course, and with 18-20 challenging holes, disc golf aficionados are sure to enjoy it. The course’s driving and putting ranges can help you practice your throwing, and its hosted tournaments can challenge your skills. Why is it challenging? Well, they don’t call it “The Sinks” for nothing! It gets its name from the sinkholes around the course. Couple that with some of the holes having two baskets to choose from and wooded areas that even expert players will find difficult to navigate, and you have yourself a fun and interesting course. The Sinks also comes with some perks, such as score cards that you can get upon request, concrete at every tee, and a dog-friendly policy.
The Narrows is a newer course that opened last year right next to The Sinks. Its 18 baskets maintain the quality of The Sinks, but are more wooded. Since it’s new, it still has grass tees and doesn’t have tee signs yet, but that just means you can try throwing barefoot. As a full course, The Narrows also provides a new place to try out your disc golf endurance and could be considered a good warmup to the challenge next door.
Shepherd Rec Center
Located in a woodsy area with some elevation changes, this nine-hole course is a great place to work on your mid-range and putter lines. The concrete tees and family-friendly atmosphere make it the perfect course to teach your kids the way of the disc, to practice on, or to set up a quick play session with friends, as well. As a bonus, Shepherd Rec Center is close to the airport for those wanting to get in a quick practice before sitting on a plane for hours, and it has a splash pad and playground equipment for the kids.
Carver Rec Center
Many recreation centers have started providing at least a half course for disc golf, and the Carver Rec Center has firmly hopped on board the disc golf bandwagon. With nine holes, concrete tees – some of which are dual – and an open walking track, the Carver Rec Center is another first-rate course to bring your kids on and get a little exercise to boot. Also, if you are looking for a course to practice on without obstacles, this might be the place for you! It is located near downtown Chattanooga in a very open space with minimal trees. The only thing that may be difficult here is that the holes and tees are not marked.
Also on the list of parks adding half courses is Portland Park, situated at the base of Signal Mountain. Its nine holes are very beginner-friendly, with a mostly open course and a few trees here and there to provide a little bit of challenge – not to mention the fun tunnel that’s part of the course! If you’re wanting a smaller park to go to for a quick practice or round with friends, then this is the place to go. All nine holes take about 30 minutes on average, but you can always speed things up or take it slow, depending on your schedule.
9 on Top
Atop Signal Mountain resides a wooded, nine-hole course with natural turf tees and the promise of a fun time. Since it’s part of a public park, 9 on Top has some amenities that you may not be accustomed to from more out-of-the-way courses, like restrooms. Due to the tight trees, this course is pretty difficult, but since it’s only nine holes, it could be a great practice spot for upping your game. There are also elevation changes along the way that could really up the ante! Fun fact: 9 on Top was built by three high schoolers in 2012 as part of their senior project.You can find the course behind the local Pumpkin Patch playground.
So, which course to choose? Both recreation centers are excellent choices for family-friendly days out, so the closer location to you is likely going to be the defining factor of which to pick. If you’re a veteran disc thrower and looking for a challenge, then The Sinks is almost certainly the course you need to try. If instead you’ve got experience but are seeking to really improve, then the newly opened Narrows is a great place to throw. Portland Park and Shepherd Rec Center are both fantastic date locations since they each provide a more laid-back experience. Of course, if you’re not looking to be rushed or run into other throwers, then 9 on Top and its more secluded course is worth checking out. Whichever course you choose, it’ll be impossible not to enjoy it on a beautiful Chattanooga day.