Three Ridges makes Top Ten, Parks and Rec is hiring

Mike DonilaOur Town Outdoors

First, a big shout out to Knox County’s own Three Ridges Golf Course for making the Top 10 list of awesome municipal courses to play in Tennessee per GolfDay, a nationally recognized ratings index for golf courses. In fact, the 18-hole Three Ridges, located at 6101 Wise Springs Road, came in at No. 4!


“We are lucky to have this asset in our park system,” said Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. “It is a unique offering that really contributes to the quality of life here in our community.”

Three Ridges features a grass driving range with targets and putting and chipping greens with two bunkers. The county owns the course and operates it under the Knox County Parks and Recreation Department’s umbrella.

“I’ve got a great staff and it reflects with the service that you get here,” said Mark Brown, who oversees the operation. “I think they all really deserve the credit for this honor.”

Three Ridges is a favorite for a lot of local non-profits, which typically raise between $500,000 and $600,000 each year through their various tournaments. The course also hosts its own annual events, including a two-player scramble and a father-son tournament. In addition, about a dozen middle and high schools call the course home, and Brown allows the students to play for free.

The operation also oversees about 10 state and national events and hosts four weekly leagues for men, women and seniors. Brown also offers a number of incentive packages for local residents including senior program discounts; pro shop item discounts; and a player development program for children.

In other great Parks and Recreation news, the county plans to build a $2 million greenway connector from Clayton Park to Halls Elementary School. The project also calls for filling in several notable sidewalk gaps throughout the area and eventually creating the missing link that joins the exiting greenway system located on either side of Maynardville Highway.

Half of the funding will come from an almost $1 million state grant the county recently received as part of the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Multimodal Access Grant program, which was created to support the transportation needs of pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users through infrastructure projects that address existing gaps along state routes.

“We’ve had a lot of safety issues in this area,” said Mayor Jacobs. “Improving the safety is a priority for the community, and it’s one for us as well.”

I will have more information on the grant and greenway in the coming weeks.

Also, I’ll have more information next week about some more parking lot and signage improvements at The Cove at Concord Park. Keep reading this awesome column to find out more!

In the meantime, the parks and recreation crews have been hustling. Or as the department’s superintendent of maintenance, Jason Halliburton, says: “We’re shaking sticks at everything!”

Work started on the soft toss batting cages at Ball Camp Park, but our carpenters are waiting on some of the needed hardware, which hasn’t shipped. As I’ve noted previously, a lot of parts and pieces are on backorder throughout the country due to shortages as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the meantime, the carpenters installed a new roof on one of our maintenance facilities.

The Concord Park crew has been super busy during the past month, and I did touch on some of it in last week’s column. They fixed the dock at Carl Cowan Park after a floating portion broke away from the main dock; they worked on the irrigation at the CBFO fields – changing 11 heads; they are grooming baseball and softball fields; and mowing and weed eating all over the place.

Also, this week the Concord Park folks will begin cutting overgrowth by the walking trails at Carl Cowan Park and cleaning and hauling driftwood near the boat ramps. All our mowing crews are mowing and going and our electrician is getting price quotes for electrical boxes that need to be replaced throughout the parks system.

Some knucklehead broke a toilet at Clayton Park this past weekend, so that will have to be fixed. Oh, and another knucklehead removed the sign from Carl Cowan Park – the day after we put it up – and chunked it. A neighbor called to let us know that they found it in a nearby mudhole.

Of course, we’ve got our crews in Beaver Creek, working on the 44-mile-long Knox County Water Trail.

On the recreation side, adult and youth softball registrations are ongoing. Tournaments are going at the Sportspark on the weekends, and we have a youth soccer camp next week at US Cellular Park. Flag Football starts Aug. 14, and then tackle football starts Aug. 16. We are looking forward to a Rec coordinator position starting and doing special events and things for our department.

Always, we’re looking for umpires and part-time workers on the parks and recreation sides, particularly with folks who can clean and mow. The pay is $12 per hour. Apply here.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention all the great work that the Knox County Engineering and Public Works Department did this past week. Here’s a snapshot:

  • Grassy Creek Development – Construction of new stormwater drainage pipe, new turn lane and new retaining wall
  • Woodhollow Lane – Paving excavation ditch for stormwater pipe installation
  • Smith Lane – Asphalt resurfacing

Enjoy this carousel of photos from this week’s projects.

Mike Donila is communications director for Knox County government.

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