On Saturday morning, before the sun became too darned hot, Kevin Turner worked with a handful of members of the Chattanooga Flying Disc Club pouring concrete making a new tee box for the disc golf course at Camp Jordan.
The popular disc golf course _ one of only two 18 hole golf courses in the area _ has been closed as developers working on the Bass Pro Shops excavated dirt from the park. The dirt being excavated just happened to be in the middle of the disc golf course that was built in 2012.
“People have been waiting for this a long time,” Turner said as he slugged down bottled water and toweled sweat from his head. “In a week or two this course will be playable.”
Turner and his group said they didn’t believe the disc golf course _ much like regular golf except the object is to throw a flying disc into a chain basket in the fewest number of attempts _ would be closed for two years. He said disc golf aficionados were hoping the course would be out of commission for maybe a year. That stretched to almost two.
Turner said that bad weather slowed down the developer’s removal of dirt and there was the usual miscommunication between all parties. The word to begin reconstructing several of the holes was provided two weeks ago, he said.
“The city has been very helpful,” Turner said. “I told Stump (Martin, Director of Parks & Recreation) a couple of Thursdays ago that we wanted to start and he had materials for us on Monday.”
Turner said that the City of East Ridge is providing the concrete _ no small part of the project as one tee box took 23 bags of Quikrete _ while members of the Chattanooga Flying Disc Club are providing the muscle.
Seven of the 18 holes need to be revamped, Turner said. On Saturday, club members made a big dent in the project.
Turner said another work project is scheduled for this coming Wednesday, Aug. 3. The work will begin at about 5 p.m. and go until 8:30. He is asking anyone who wants to help to meet near the first hole which is close to RV parking lot and the canoe launch. Bring gloves, water and pruning tools if you can.
Having the Camp Jordan course out of commission put a lot of pressure on the only other 18-hole disc golf course in the area, “The Sinks,” which is just off North Access Road in Hixson, said Coltin Calloway, a disc club member. Having the second course will also allow the Chattanooga Flying Disc Club to host sanctioned tournaments.
Turner said first-rate tournaments bring in substantial money to a community in the form of lodging, food and gas to local merchants. Turner estimates the economic impact of one tournament held at Camp Jordan to be about $70,000.
Turner said that there are 300 to 400 people in the area who play disc golf. There are nine-hole courses at Jack Mattox Park in Ringgold, at the base and on top of Signal Mountain, one near the Shepherd community and another in the Orchard Knob area.
Officials with the club said the Camp Jordan course could be playable in several weeks, however, they are planning a “Grand Re-Opening” for the fall or early winter.
If you are interested in volunteering on Wednesday, contact Turner at (423) 309-1685. You can get more information about the Chattanooga Flying Disc club by visiting its Facebook page.