After yesterday’s productive day, I needed to make the approximately 300-mile trip back home. And with four additional courses I had yet to play between me and “the 56087?” Well, you know what I had to do. 🙂
My first stop on my trip home was at Mill Race Park DGC in Atkinson, Nebraska. A fun course, plus I got to say hello to a very old, very friendly dog as he wandered over to me on Hole 6, looking for a little love. The only thing I didn’t like had nothing to do with the course itself! Rather, it was the wind. The wind was HOWLING, as it had been all weekend. And even a simple 8-10 foot putt could be an adventure. So you can imagine how I felt as a LHBH player on the Hole 5 tee (pictured above). I think I threw my tee shot at LEAST forty feet to the left (East) of that water…to make sure I wouldn’t be leaving any of my discs behind in Nebraska. I only managed an even par 27 (estimated 896 rating on the round). But playing in what felt like a hurricane?! I’ll take it…along with a full bag of discs.
After Atkinson, it was on to Stuart, Nebraska to check out Stuart DGC. It was a pretty typical/average course (as 75+ percent of the courses I come across are). Not awesome, not terrible. But my main memory from that course is sinking a long deuce putt on Hole 7 into a fierce headwind, standing ankle-deep in water. I just cannot seem to keep my feet dry on the course in 2020, darnit! Anyone know of any great stay-dry sock manufacturer who is looking for a middle-aged redhead to help rep their great products (so said redhead doesn’t die of hypothermia or pneumonia)? 🙂
After Stuart and nearly an hour of blasting the heat in the car on my ankles/feet to dry them out, it was on to Wagner, South Dakota, to check out Wagner DGC. South Dakota’s longest nine-hole course at 4,972 feet, and another course (along with Hillview DGC that I played yesterday) where I got to design their tee signage. I was excited to play the course and see how our signs were holding up. The signs looked great! But the course was a bit of a disappointment. Basically, a big open field with several criss-crossing fairways, with the longest hole in South Dakota (Hole 3, at 1,080 feet) running adjacent to private property. With Hole 4 running adjacent to a fenced-in area that one needed to throw their disc around (at a right angle) once you near the basket. Three dogs barking at me the entire time I was on the course, one of whom ran hundreds of yards over to me to make sure I knew I wasn’t welcome, took what I had hoped would be a fun experience and made it feel like a bummer. Which is too bad, as if that is how most locals feel while playing the course? Most locals won’t play the course.
After leaving Wagner, it was back into Nebraska along the Southern shore of Lewis and Clark Lake to sneak in one more course: Weigand DGC in Crofton, Nebraska. I liked this course too…it was a good one to finish my trip on. Though I have the nagging/gnawing memory of taking a bogey-four on my last hole (Hole 9), after screwing up my approach. It wasn’t a complete choke-job, as the wind was HOWLING! But approach shots are the best part of my game, so to send my approach shot sailing 8-10 feet into the thick brush to the right of the circle made me frustrated with myself. Giving myself no chance at the par-three. Needing to settle for a safety from deep in trouble to 7-8 feet from the basket, to make sure I at least got my bogey-four.
So with that, I called it a course collecting weekend! Ten courses over two days. Two in Iowa, seven in Nebraska, and one in South Dakota. The trip went about as well as it could have, and the only thing better would have been someone turning off the wind machine. Now I will go back to sitting in my office in Springfield (Minnesota). Day-dreaming about my next trip and courses I can play…
Magic Number = 455 (1,545 Courses Played)
About Tonn’s Travels
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.
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.