An additional nine holes are going into a riverfront disc golf course.
The first nine holes of The Levee, a disc golf course on property leased by the Savannah Riverkeeper, were installed in 2022.
“This design is based on women disc golfers,” said Tonya Bonitatibus, the organization’s executive director. “Men love to sling (the disc) really hard and get the distance. This is a very technical course. Only having short distances and tight holes, it makes it a very good practice course and a good beginning course. It’s an awesome place for someone looking to become a serious disc golfer. It really does great work on the short game.”
The course has been a dream of hers for several years. She first asked about putting the course in while Deke Copenhaver was the city’s mayor. He finished his two terms in 2014. He liked the idea.
The property needed a lot of work before that could come to fruition.
“This was once an abandoned or forgotten piece of property,” she said.
It had been the city’s old traffic and engineering shop. The building was filled with black mold, and the roof leaked. Prior to that it was a car graveyard. It sat abandoned and people simply used it as a dumping ground for everything imaginable.
Some of the signs that were left behind in the shop have become part of the disc golf course.
Over the years, the community has come to the site to help with its clean up.
“We negotiated a long-term lease (with the city), and we’re slowly turning it back into a recreation hub for the community,” she said. “Eagle Scouts, the MCG Dental School, Augusta University Biology Club, Aquinas High School, the Latter-Day Saints – we get big groups of volunteers,” she said.
Students from Aquinas created signs for the course and installed them in the summer of 2022.
The idea for the disc golf course came because of Bonitatibus’s ex-husband.
“My ex-husband played a lot of disc golf. If you create a disc golf course in the seediest of parks, run it through the woods, and you will find almost instantly the use of that park will begin to change,” she said. “Pendleton King Park is a perfect example of that. What used to go on in the woods was questionable. Now families go there. There’s a disc golf course and it’s thriving.”
About two weeks ago, patches of land were being cleared to make way for the next nine holes.
The first nine were finished in March 2022.
“I stopped the building of the course at that point. We run an environmental non-profit. We’re not land maintenance people. I wanted to spend the time to figure out how we were going to maintain it. I spent the summer and the winter working on math,” she said. “Now we’re beginning to move to the next phase.”
She’s hopeful for a summer completion of the second phase.
One of the holes will tee off on the levee itself and give golfers a great view, she said. Another tee will be under the Bobby Jones Expressway bridge leading into South Carolina. She’d love to have artists paint murals on the bridge’s piles to show their view of the Savannah River.
Disc golfers can find the course on the Udisc app.
Bonitatibus believes that the course can have a big impact once it’s finished.
“It’s one mile from the Boathouse. It’s essentially in downtown Augusta, but nobody knows about or pays attention to us,” she said. “By taking this property and revitalizing it, turning it back into a recreation asset, we can take land that was abused and turn it into something great and spur redevelopment.”
Charmain Z. Brackett is the publisher of Augusta Good News. Reach her at email@example.com.