Clinton’s first disc golf course is now open and free for use at the Carden Farm city park.
The six-hole course adjacent to the Carden Farm Dog Park off Riverview Drive in South Clinton opened in late November, and is available for play from 7:30 a.m. to dark every day, said Clinton Recreation Director Jason Brown.
The gates to the course parking area are open until 9 p.m. each day, but it’s not really possible to play disc golf in the dark, he said. But as the days get longer moving toward summer (and Daylight Savings Time), the later people will be able to play, Brown said.
“Technically, it has six holes, but each one with long and short baskets,” Brown said. “That makes it essentially two sets of six holes. You can play each hole twice, using first one then the other basket.”
Disc golf is a new sport around here, so not a lot of people are familiar with it yet. The city of Norris opened a nine-hole course in 2021.
The game is played with rules similar to those of golf, but it involves throwing a concave plastic disc, also known as a frisbee, toward a basket, trying to get the disc into the basket with as few throws as possible.
According to the Wikipedia entry, “The sport is usually played on a course with nine or 18 holes (baskets). Players complete a hole by throwing a disc from a tee pad or area toward a target, known as a basket, throwing again from where the previous throw landed, until the basket is reached.
“The baskets are formed by wire with hanging chains above the basket, designed to catch the incoming discs, which then fall into the basket, for a score. Usually, the number of throws a player uses to reach each basket is tallied (often in relation to par), and players seek to complete each hole in the lowest number of total throws.”
The game is played in about 40 countries, Wikipedia notes, adding that as of March 2022, there were 90,916 active members of the Professional Disc Golf Association worldwide.
Clinton’s brand-new course is receiving recognition already, Brown said.
“I’m getting some feedback that it’s a pretty tough little course,” he said. “Six holes kind of limits how much yardage you can have, but we’ve made it challenging. For now, this is as much as we can do. We wanted to put it around the dog park to keep things pretty natural.”
Upon entering the dog park area, there is a road that turns off to the right up a hill that leads to the disc golf area and its parking lot. The gate that blocks the road is left open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.
“We’ll probably see some disc golf groups coming out, and we will have some tournaments,” Brown said. “I think we can still improve some things, and we still have some brush to clear.”
Brown said the disc golf course is the latest activity added to the area of the dog park, which opened in November 2020 and sits along the Clinch River on a 17-acre piece of property deeded to the city by the Tennessee Valley Authority.
The dog park actually is split into two separate sections, a three-acre area for large dogs and a two-acre area for smaller dogs.
“There is a walking trail from the bottom parking lot around the perimeter,” Brown said. “We have also put trails inside the two dog parks. The trail goes down by the river, which is pretty cool, and we’ve got a little opening there. We’ve also got a trail that connects the bottom and top parking lots.
“We still don’t have a bathroom and power over there [at the dog park],” Brown said. “We would like to add those next. I would love to have some kind of amphitheater over there, too.”
The dog park has been popular from the start. Even on this past Monday morning, there were several people already out exercising their dogs at the facility.
“It’s amazing to me how many people go to the dog park,” Brown said. “And I’m amazed at all the different breeds of dogs, and how well they seem to get along.”
The Carden Farm Park is at 401 Riverview Drive, off Carden Farm Drive, which turns off of Clinch Avenue near the south end of the new Clinch River bridge in South Clinton (at the Clinch Market & Deli).