As I woke up this morning, I realized that I was sitting four courses shy of having played 1,800 in my lifetime. And what was neat is that I had exactly four new courses between me and home that I had yet to play! People like to celebrate milestones, such as me playing my 100th course in Nebraska earlier on this trip (the fifth state, along with Minnesota, Iowa, California and Wisconsin where I have been able to do that), or playing over 100 holes in a day, which I think I did 3-4 times on this trip…I am too tired to remember, ha! But I think only two, maybe three other players in the history of our sport have ever reached 1,800 courses played. So I had to take a minute or two to think about that after I made my last putt on the day (on this trip) in Manning, Iowa.

1,800 Courses Played - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 9 tee at Littlefield Park in Exira, Iowa.

My morning started at Littlefield Park in Exira, Iowa. A beautiful little nine-hole course in a park setting that was adjacent to a small campground (I had to wait my turn for quite a while for the men’s restroom as several dads and sons were going about their morning routines after a good night’s sleep). For such a small park, I was amazed at how much hole length and challenge had been worked into the course! I only managed a -1 (27) on my round, but it still generated an estimated round rating of 936. Very fair, in my mind. As I didn’t shoot the lights out, but there were many holes where you needed a long, very accurate tee shot to have any chance at a deuce.

1,800 Courses Played - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 4 tee at Legion Park DGC in Audubon, Iowa.

Next it was on to Audubon, Iowa, for a quick nine at Legion Park DGC. Another fun little nine, I had chipped a little more of the rust off my shoulder/knee/hip and gotten more of the sleep out of my eyes…to the tune of a -4 (24) and an estimated round rating of 976. I think it was more like a round in the 920s-930s, but I’ll take the minor ego boost. 🙂 I should have probably shot at least a -6, but it’s okay. Another +1 to my Courses Played Collection.

1,800 Courses Played - Tonn's Travels
Course Map and Welcome Sign at Pleasant View Park in Dunlap, Iowa.

My third stop on the morning was Pleasant View Park in Dunlap, Iowa. This was definitely my favorite of my four courses played on the day. The course was a little rough around the edges, and 1-2 of the holes had some safety issues that need to be addressed. But the amount of variety of shots/holes they packed into a smaller nine-hole recreational course was impressive! And I just liked the park as a whole. I could have played better (-5, 22, 919 estimated rating). but after 58 courses played in eight days? I had long-since stopped caring about top-notch execution of every single shot. My “everything” hurt! 😀 So the priority was to get all the holes played on the course, then make it back to the car.

1,800 Courses Played - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 1 tee at Manning DGC in Manning, Iowa.

My final course on the day, on this trip, was Manning DGC in Manning, Iowa. My worst round on the day, with a -3 (24) and an estimated round rating of 872. But I limped my way back to the car feeling a GIANT sense of accomplishment! Over 1,500 miles behind the wheel and 59 new courses played. Meeting Tyler Brickley with DGA and shooting a bit of a promo video for their tee sign product that also gave HUGE props to the course collecting community (and a few course collectors, in particular). Taking a large chunk out of my unplayed courses map in UDisc in the Kansas City metro. Dozens of new disc golfers met that I shared the fairways with. Probably 75-100 more photos added to the DGCourseReview course directory. No serious health issues (aches and pains I can manage…having a seizure, or vertigo, or ??? with nobody I know around to help me, hundreds of miles from home, is much more difficult). And NO LOST DISCS (bringing all of “my babies” home after having SOOOO many opportunities to lose discs in the tall grass, brush, trees and water).

So that’s a wrap! 🙂 Quite a trip, but I have so many cool memories and new experiences to cherish as a result. I could have done without all the rain! But needing to face being wet for 6+ days and still hanging a HUGE number of courses played makes it that much more special. Not many people I know are stupid/stubborn enough to put up with those types of conditions and keep plowing forward for hours/days on end.

Magic Number = 200 (1,800 Courses Played)

How it All Got Started: Tonn’s Travels >>
A main purpose of this blog will be to share information, helpful tips and tricks (everything from health and fitness to methods for saving money while you’re out “bagging courses” of your own), and ideas for better, safer course design. But I am also hoping to inspire others with my passion for the sport, via the stories I can share about all of the interesting experiences I have. All of the interesting people I meet. All of the amazing courses I am blessed to have the opportunity to play. If I can inspire even a handful of individuals to get off the couch, get “out of their bubble” or “security blanket” and explore more of this big, beautiful planet we all call home? Then I will consider this effort a success.

About Derek

1,800 Courses Played - Tonn's Travels

Derek Tonn is a member of the DGA’s Ambassador Team. His company, Mapformation, LLC, has been DGA’s partner in the development of disc golf tee signage since 2012. The longer our two companies have worked together, and the more Derek has gotten to know all the great folks at DGA, the more he has wanted to formally sing the company’s praises. The more he has realized that “Steady” Ed the father of disc golf and the modern-day Frisbee vision for the sport and his company perfectly describes his own interests and priorities related to disc golf, and the more Derek has recently been encouraged to share his story.