Draining Discs at The Sinks

Written by Ben Greenwell

The wooden sign at The Sinks. Photo by Ben Greenwell.

You may be surprised to know, but there’s nothing quite like sinking a hard rubber frisbee into a chained basket in the woods. Just don’t get upset if you lose your disc in a sinkhole. Disc Golf is one of the fastest growing sports, and the number of courses around Chattanooga make it extremely accessible for beginners and players returning to the game.

“The Sinks” is one of those courses, located just outside downtown Chattanooga. Established in 2015, the course is aptly named for the many sinkholes on the compact property, which fill up with water without fail after a rain. Founded under nonprofit and volunteer work, the course is a collaboration amongst disc golfers who wanted a professional course close to home, like Jake Nye, one of the original founders.

Jake Nye poses next to the chained basket fora photo. Photo by Ben Greenwell.

“Cloudland Canyon opened a course I think in 2002, and a group of us met up there and started doing a really little barebones club, but when we got this property, it really started coming together.”

Nye says, “I tell people who don’t know anything about it, it’s like taking a small hike, except you’re doing something while you’re hiking.”

According to Nye, “The Sinks” is a unique course because it is challenging and intricate enough for professionals, but accessible enough for amateurs. 

“We’ve developed quite a few players out of Chattanooga that have gone on and do pretty well in tournaments, and a good bit of that is because they learned to play on a wooded course and take straight shots, and there’s a lot of value to that.”

The course is frequented by locals and newcomers alike, including Joey Lutz, Semi professional Disc golfer. A regular at “The Sinks,” Lutz competes in the doubles tournaments held every Sunday and is sponsored by the local Chattanooga brand, Full Flight. Lutz has recognized an influx of players over the past few years as many people are getting started disc golfing.

Joey Lutz poses with one of the discs from the local brand, Full Flight. Photo by Ben Greenwell.

“It’s exploded over the last six years–I mean the number of players. I started in 2010 and the number of players in the PDGA (Professional Disc Golf Association) has tripled from about 50,000 to well over 150,000.”

Although these are nationwide numbers, the rising popularity can also be recognized at “The Sinks,” whose parking lot stays full almost every day as people visit the course. Nye can tell there is a growing community.

“You’ll see families come through, play, and then ten years later you’ll see the kids come out without their parents anymore and play, which is kind of cool,” says Nye.

This course has been bringing people together for years. The maintenance and adaptability of the course is constantly attracting pros from out of town and newcomers addicted to the sport. If you ever find yourself out at “The Sinks” just know that you’re surrounded by prospective teammates and friends who want to help you learn.

Ben Greenwell discusses digs into the sport of disc golf. Audio by Ben Greenwell.

Meet The Storyteller

Ben Greenwell is writing for Rising Rock as a junior, pursuing his bachelor’s degree at UTC. Able to bring a fresh look to the table, Greenwell employs a wide set of skills to adapt to any situation with a knack for making people comfortable and a drive to secure information. Outside of UTC he’s an aspiring cook and gardener with interest in  culture and the outdoors. He’s also passionate about soccer and covering sports news. You can contact Greenwell at, svw599@mocs.utc.edu.

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