Do folks come to the Great Smoky Mountains to play disc golf? Well, mostly no.
But if you have anyone in your family like my husband, they have probably packed their shiny, plastic discs in hopes of finding a place in the woods to throw them.
The good news is, if you want to try to play disc golf around the Smoky Mountains, you do have some options while you’re visiting.
Is disc golf easy?
I enjoy the sport of disc golf because I see it as having a low barrier of entry.
Is it easy? That depends on your definition.
Yes, it’s easy to purchase an inexpensive starter set, find a public course and play for free. It’s something the whole family can enjoy together. I’ve seen families with kids of all ages enjoying the outdoors together during a round of disc golf.
I’ve even seen parents strap their infants to their chests while they play a few rounds.
Now, is it easy to make par, or better yet, a birdie? That takes a surprising amount of skill, and it’s definitely harder than it looks. But the challenge is what keeps it fun.
Is disc golf expensive?
Disc golf has a relatively low cost to play. You can usually find a starter pack of discs for around $30, and playing on a disc golf course is generally free to the public.
If you’re like a husband, you may own a lot of discs, which can become expensive over time.
Are there disc golf courses in the Smoky Mountains?
The Smokies has a handful of disc golf courses that are open to the general public.
I’ve always said that I enjoy playing disc golf because it’s basically a game and a hike, all in one. Naturally, the mountains provide beautiful scenery while you play.
So without further ado, here are the best places to play disc golf in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and the surrounding areas:
1. Walters State Community College (Sevierville, TN)
The course at Walters State is close to the heart of the mountains, located conveniently in Sevierville, Tenn. As you play, you can see the beautiful Smokies in the background.
This course is overall very flat and open. It’s a great course for beginners and families.
If you’re a more competitive player, you may be disappointed to know that there are no tee pads here, and the baskets are pretty low.
However, you will find layout maps at every hole.
This course has 9 holes that consist of mostly par 3’s.
If you’re a competitive player, you might be underwhelmed at this disc golf course. Still, in my opinion, it’s a nice little course with long holes and beautiful scenery.
2. Mills Park Disc Golf Course (Gatlinburg, TN)
In my opinion, Mills Park is the premier choice for disc golf if you want to play in the heart of Gatlinburg.
It’s conveniently located near the Pittman Center, and it has the perfect mix of shade and open fields.
This course was also recently redesigned in the summer of 2021.
Most of the holes are under 300 feet, but I found this course to be really challenging. The first couple of holes are very woodsy, and a bit intimidating.
I recommend using brightly colored discs on this one so you don’t lose any.
Overall, it’s a really fun course to play. We even met some staff members along the way who were testing out the course, and they mentioned that some new features are being added throughout the summer.
The course has nine holes, which are mostly par 3’s.
And as an added bonus, restrooms and picnic tables are available on site.
3. Panther Creek Park Disc Golf Course (Morristown, TN)
As an important note, Morristown is at least an hour drive away from the heart of the Smokies. But if you’re a serious disc golfer, it may be worth the trip.
Panther Creek is a beautiful park away from the hustle and bustle of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
This course is on the west side of town, making it a little closer to the heart of the Smokies.
And as a championship level course, it has a full 18 holes that are both challenging and long with higher elevations. Many of the holes are par 4’s and 5’s.
4. Cherokee Park Disc Golf Course (Morristown, TN)
Also located in Morristown, but on the east side, is Cherokee Park. As another fan favorite in East Tennessee, this disc golf course features 18 holes with some wooded as well as open areas.
The first half of the course is pretty open, making this course a little more beginner friendly than Panther Creek. The hills help to make it fun to play, and it’s beautifully maintained.
The Cherokee Park course mostly consists of par 3’s and 4’s.
5. Clayton Disc Golf Course (Alcoa, TN)
Once again, Alcoa is a little bit out of the way if you’re in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg (about an hour drive), but it’s not completely unreasonable to head this way if you have a serious craving for a good disc golf course.
As another championship-level course, Clayton Disc Golf Course has dual baskets and is a fan favorite. The tee pads are concrete with some having turf.
It has 18 holes, with the first nine being heavily wooded. The back 9 are more open and long.
Wherever you decide to play, the UDisc mobile app is a great tool to help you find disc golf courses near you and keep track of your score.
Have you played disc golf in the Smoky Mountains? Let us know in the comments!