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Disk golf flies into Porterdale
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Porterdale is looking for sponsors for the holes on the proposed disk golf course at Yellow River Park. The campaign to raise $40,000 to build the course with a web site “GoFundMe”.

A Facebook page about the course was recently launched and, according to Council Member Tim Savage, received over 100 “likes” in 24-hours.

“We’re at the very beginning,” Savage said. “We already spoke to the designer of the course. We know the budget, we were hoping to find sources to fund it.”

Savage said the $40,000 needed is to pay for equipment. The course itself will be built by the public works department, most likely during the winter season.

Disk golf is played much like golf. Players start at a tee and throw the disk and try to get it in the “holes” or baskets along a marked course, and the player with the lowest number of tosses, wins.

The difference, Savage said, is that a disk golf course is much more environmentally friendly.

“Disk golf is played on less of a well-manicured course,” he said. “It’s more wild, and the more obstacles the better. On our course, we have trees and rocks that wouldn’t need to be moved. On a golf course, you’d have to clear trees [and fairways]. It makes it great for our park because we want to keep it natural down there.”

Course designer John Ritger submitted a proposal for the course to the city council and mayor last year, who agreed to move forward with the project. The proposal calls for the 18-hole course to lead off from Yellow Park near the smoke stack area. Unlike other courses in the state, the Porterdale course would begin and end in the downtown area, benefitting local businesses and food and beverage establishments.

Savage is hoping it will even generate disk golf related business, “Maybe a disk golf rental shop,” he said. “That’s one of the main things I’m hoping for—that it will increase business and foot traffic.

“Within six months of our opening, we’ll have an estimated 200 people coming to our city to play disk golf according to the designer and studies,” he said. “We will be the only disk golf course within 20 miles of here. That will draw people from McDonough, Madison, Athens, Atlanta.

“If we can get those people to come to our city, it will help our businesses grow,” he said. “And when people see the houses here, they could fall in love like everyone does and decide to buy a house and rehab it. It increases the value of the city and it increases home values.”

The sponsorship program offers different four tiers of investment. Tier 1 starts at $2,000 and the donor can have two granite markers inscribed with a company logo or name placed at the sponsored hole. Tier 2 starts at $1,000 and donors can have a single marker placed at the goal. Tier 3 starts at $500 and information about the company or family is displayed at the kiosk at the start of the course. Tier 4 begins at $100, and donors can place a paver inscribed with a logo or name along the path towards the sponsored hole.

An all inclusive tier, called a co-brand sponsorship tier, is also being offered to the individual or company that donates the full $40,000 needed. The course would be named in honor of the donor.

If a private vendor funds the course, Savage said, “it would be a 50/50 endeavor between the investor and city and would be called the ‘such-and-such’ Yellow River Disk Course. $40,000 to have your legacy attached to a park.”

A four-person committee—Savage, Ritger, City Manager Bob Thomson and resident Will Dunn--developed the layout and sponsorship level information. Once was presented to the council, Savage said, “we’re ready to launch.”

The course would be free to the public. For more information about the course and about sponsorship levels, visit the Yellow River Disc Golf Course web site or Facebook page.