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Porterdale finally gets its disc golf course
The area of Yellow River Park where the disc golf course will be located. - photo by Gracie Miller

Rules of Disc Golf:

-Disc Golf is played like traditional “ball” golf. One point, or stroke, is counted each time the disc is thrown and when a penalty is incurred. The goal is to play each hole in the fewest strokes possible, and the player with the lowest total strokes for the entire course wins.
-Each hole begins with a tee throw that must be completed within or behind the designated tee area.
-The lie is the spot where the player’s previous throw has landed and is marked with a mini disc or a turned over thrown disc. The player should throw from directly behind the marked lie.
-The player with the least amount of strokes on the previous hole is the first to tee off on the next hole. Then the player whose disc is farthest from the hole throws next.
-Fairway throws must be made from directly behind the lie.
-A dogleg is one or more designated trees or poles in the fairway that must be passed as indicated by arrows. Until the dogleg is passed, the closest foot to the dogleg must be on the lie when the disc is released.
-A hole is successfully completed when a disc comes to rest in the basket or chains.
-Any disc that comes to rest above the ground is considered an unplayable lie.

Since the restoration of the Mill Lofts a few years ago, the city of Porterdale has worked continuously to revive its community by bringing new amenities to its residents and to attract more visitors.

The latest addition to the community is the new Yellow River Disc Golf Course, which is the product of money raised and resources donated by several Porterdale citizens.

When the idea for the course was present to the city council, not many members of the council were aware of the sport.

“We invited someone to come and talk to the council who actually is involved in planning disc golf courses,” said Porterdale Mayor Arline Chapman. “He came twice, and it was a learning curve for all of us because not too many of us on the city council were familiar with disc golf. So listening to him and, of course, going on YouTube to watch them playing disc golf gave me a better idea.”

Disc golf is a cross between golf, Frisbee and hiking. It is played much like traditional golf, but instead of putting a golf ball into a hole in the ground, players toss a disc into an elevated basket.

After learning the ropes, the council members realized how popular the sport is and how it could be used to attract new visitors to the city.

“It’ll be an opportunity for us to get some more folks down here to enjoy the Yellow River Park and what we have to offer in recreation,” Chapman said.

The city council then launched a GoFundMe account in 2015 in search of sponsors to help them reach their goal of $40,000 to cover the costs of the course. Upon reaching the goal, the city’s Public Works Director Robert Witcher began planning the layout of the course. He scouted through the woods and around the Yellow River Park to design a course that would be challenging for the disc golf players.

As the baskets go up around the park, the city is preparing itself for the course’s debut. According to Chapman, the Speakeasy will have a set of the discs that people can rent in exchange for a deposit. Once players are done with their discs, they can return them to receive their deposit back.

“We will be the only disk golf course within 20 miles of here. That will draw people from McDonough, Madison, Athens, Atlanta,” Council Member Tim Savage said in an interview last year.

“I think that we have a real magnet here for millennials as well as retired people,” Chapman said. You have quite a few recreational options here. You have small homes on small lots. You have the Mill Lofts to live in. We’ve got several new little restaurants where people are gathering. So it has a tremendous amount to offer, and the fact that we’re so compact, it just seems to fit the trend that these demographics are looking for.”

The officials of Porterdale have worked to modernize its community, and the disc golf course will help to continue moving that plan forward.

“We’ve just been very open to change, and we’ve turned a bunch of rotten lemons into really good lemonade,” Chapman said.

Though the recent weather has delayed setup, residents can expect the new disc golf course to open within the coming weeks.