published on 03/15/2008
Chickamauga golf course may turn to discs
By Contributed Article
A light dusting of snow, accompanied with temperatures in the 30s, might sideline most outdoor sports, but not the 28 people from the Chattanooga Disc Golf Club bundled up to test out a new potential course on Saturday morning in Chickamauga.
High Point Golf course traditionally has been a “ball” golf course, but some of the terrain made the back nine holes difficult. But for disc golf, extreme terrain is what makes for some of the best courses; no need for golf carts or paved walking paths. Manicured lawns and plaid pants are certainly not required, making the sport a bit more natural to their surroundings and easier to maintain.”
The Sinks” course in Chattanooga was primarily built, in 2005, by the players who frequent it. Disc golf also requires a bit of recreation — hiking from hole to hole is a great form of exercise while focused on playing the game.
It plays very similar to traditional ball golf, but instead of a hole, a basket with chains is the target for the players to throw specifically designed discs at. Having a few more complexities than traditional golf, disc golf has numerous different types of throws, including a “Tom-a-hawk.”
A ball will cut through a crosswind; but a disc has to be thrown with the wind in mind or it will hook in to the woods, according to Dave Smith, a professional-level disc golfer from Chattanooga. Golfers use a wide variety of discs, just like ball golfers use clubs and irons, with the only difference being discs aren’t used for a measured distance; that’s left to the accuracy of the thrower.
Discs are designed to turn specifically (hyzer and anhyzer) for different results. The sport has been around since the ‘70s and has expanded significantly in the past decade.
The governing body, Professional Disc Golfers Association, oversees the level of play, with a handicapping system, rankings and a worldwide tournament series, with everything from beginner information to professional tour standings at the PDGA.com website.
The potential is there for High Point Course to be a tournament-level course, and “one of the nicest in all of the Southeast,” according to Nick Phillips, a 17-year-old Junior World Champion who started playing a few years ago at “the Sinks” in Chattanooga. Phillips became Junior World Champion last summer in Milwaukee. “I really like hole No. 18.” He shot a 100 for the 36 holes played in the first tournament held at the High Point course.
Having been designed for traditional golf, the High Point course only needed a few minor changes to be ready for the March 8 Tag Tournament, which quickly became known as the Chattanooga Ice Bowl II, since there already is a winter tournament held in Chattanooga during early February.