Sports-A-Holics: Get Ready to Pitch It, Swing It or Shoot It in the Smoky Mountains
By Shelia Ogle © 2012, All Rights Reserved
Do you suffer from the baseball bends when you go on vacation? Does your back get stiff from a lack of links? If you're a sport fanatic, fear not! The Smoky Mountains of TN give you lots of opportunities to pitch it, shoot it or swing it while you're here.
The Tennessee Smokies - the area’s premier Minor League baseball team - hosts more than two dozen evening home games in July and August. Watch them square off against opponents from Jacksonville, Pensacola, Chattanooga and more.
Smokies Park is a new open-air stadium that delivers all the high-tech perks such as a huge LED display that gives real-time stats. But it also retains a charming down-home feel – especially when you look beyond the outfield. There's nothing like the sight of the Great Smoky Mountains to provide the ideal backdrop for a night of hot dogs, cold drinks and a fastball down the third-base line.
The Tennessee Smokies organization is geared to safe, clean family fun with a spirit of play for every guest. Don't be surprised to find yourself joining in the grand tradition of singing along to "Rocky Top,” which is played before the start of each game.
Passionate for Paintball?
The Smokies' premier paintball field is just 15 miles from Pigeon Forge, which means you can take in a fast tourney between stops at Dollywood.
The spacious outdoor “woodsball” environment is set up with natural and manmade terrain that facilitates a strategic attack on your opposition. But it’s all in the name of fun with plenty of safety features and even an onsite pro shop so you can outfit yourself like a true paintball warrior. You can also play laser tag on the field thanks to new technology that retrofits your paintball gun as a laser tag unit. If you’re into the sport of airsoft, you can book private field times on Saturday mornings.
No matter what courses you play at home, you’ve never encountered a setting for golf like that in the Smokies. You’ll find several courses, ranging from scenic to championship to putt-putt in Gatlinburg, Sevierville, and Pigeon Forge. All of them take full advantage of a soaring mountain view that will make it hard to keep your eye on the ball.
Your choices can include a course designed by Gary Player and named one of the “Top Fifty Golf Courses in the South.” Its front nine takes you through a leisurely stroll in the valley while the back nine challenges you with a more mountainous encounter.
Other courses are housed on lush resort properties or in easy-to-access public and municipal grounds. You can challenge yourself on links such as the legendary #12, "Sky Hi” – a 194-yard drive that drops 200 feet from tee to green.
Whether you’re in the mood to cast a fishing line or thrill the kids with a horseback ride through the mountains, you’ll find the sports that fit your interests in the Tennessee Smoky Mountain region. Summer is an ideal time to log off the computer and head out for fresh air and family fun.