Today I was back on the road. This time for a half-day trip North to the suburbs of Portland, Oregon, to attend the Oregon Manufacturers’ Summit in Tigard. After having a few days to rest after last weekend, I had a bunch of energy and wanted to make another strong push to play as many new courses between Coos Bay and Portland as I could! And by tonight, typing this from my hotel room, I can now say that I have reduced my magic number to 2,000 disc golf courses played into the single digits. 🙂
My morning started by playing a quick warm-up nine at the Oregon State Hospital facilities near Junction City, Oregon…also known as Pitney DGC. I played the heck out of that wide-open recreational course too. to the tune of a -8 (19) and an estimated round rating of 1035.
After that quick nine holes, it was on to one of the two “must play” courses on my day: Willamette Park in Corvallis. Regional players in Oregon have raved about that course, and now I can understand why. It’s been around since 1999, and it is one of the better courses I have now played along the Interstate 5 corridor. 5,972 feet over eighteen holes, the course has just enough trees and variety to test your driving and technical skills as a player. My favorite memory from this round was my catching up to a foursome as they were getting ready to tee off on Hole 17. I rared back and gave my ProLine Torrent a rip on the 279-foot Hole 16 tee…having my disc come skidding to a stop 6-7 feet right of the basket. “Nice shot” …they said as I got within earshot. 🙂 That made me feel good, and they ended up letting me play Hole 18 with them to finish the round. Nice guys! I finished with a -2 (52) and an estimated round rating of 994.
After finishing up at Willamette, the guys said I should head to Adair Park next. Conveniently enough? That was EXACTLY where I was heading! A little longer than Willamette, measuring 6,066 feet over eighteen holes, I actually surprised myself at how long and accurately I was throwing my Torrents and ProLine Squalls off the tee! That round was the best round I’ve played in a LONG time. Only 23 putts over eighteen holes, shooting a -6 (49) for an estimated round rating of 1027. Time to announce my retirement from SBDC work and mapping to turn Pro?! Ha…nope. Because for every round like that, I probably have 3-4 rounds where I can’t throw it 30-40 feet as far, and miss 4-5 putts a GOOD player needs to make. 😉
After that ego boost, it was on to Monmouth, Oregon to check out a nine-holer at Western Oregon University. I wasn’t sure if it was a disc golf course or a cross-country course…as I had to play my entire round over/under/around tape that identified a cross-country course! 🙂 It made me a little nervous, as I didn’t want anyone around campus to think I was throwing discs and walking where I didn’t belong. I played the course a little EXTRA fast as a result, shooting a -1 (26) and an estimated round rating of 957.
After the quick nine at WOU, it was time to be substantially underwhelmed at MINET DGC in Independence. Imagine sticking several safety hazards, several missing tee signs, and a couple of “mystery” baskets hiding in some woods between a busy road and a mowed area with three additional baskets, and that is the disc golf course in Independence. 🙁 I’m sure it is simply due to the course not being properly maintained in a while, but all I could do is play the holes with tee signs that had baskets that seemed to make some sense, then play the rest of the course as more of a safari round, trying to guess what the course designer(s) might have been thinking. For how I think it is supposed to be played? I shot a -2 (43) over fifteen holes. But that course is a mess. A mess, AND a potential injury and lawsuit waiting to happen on at least a couple of holes, as best I can determine.
After the underwhelming experience in Independence, I got to finish my afternoon on the much, MUCH better Dallas City Park in Dallas, Oregon. A course that is a lot of fun! A few issues here and there, but if I were a local, I think that would be a course I would frequent on a regular basis. Another nice mix of just enough trees and technical lines to make it more than a “big drive contest,” I posted another lofty score on this one: a -10 (44) for an estimated round rating of 1025. RAWR (lol). 🙂
I do need to come clean in my disc golf confessional to admit that I nearly lost my cool when I got to Hole 15, however. Two younger guys, probably ~18-20 years old, were playing a bit slow in front of me for a few holes. Then after they finished on Hole 15? They decided that the right/best thing to do would be to empty their respective backpacks (probably 30-35 discs between them) by “putting” from the Hole 15 basket to the Hole 17 basket. The whole time knowing that I was standing up on the Hole 15 tee…waiting for them to clear the hole. 🙁
If I am completely honest? It was one of those times when I was glad I was wearing all of my DGA gear. As I would NEVER say/do anything that would represent the company in a negative light out on the course. But I was frustrated. Frustrated, and a little angry. As I must have been standing up on the Hole 15 tee for at least 10-12 minutes, waiting for them to clear the hole. They knew I was there too…just deciding that the thing to do would be to mess with the senior citizen behind them, who was exhausted and still needing to drive more than an hour to his hotel until he could rest before a big day of meetings in the morning. Ugh.
But that bit of unpleasantness aside? Playing Dallas City Park allowed me to drop my magic number to get to 2,000 courses played to nine. 1,991 courses played in my life….that’s INSANE! I thought getting to 500 was insane. Then I KNEW that getting to 1,000 courses played was definitely insane. 🙂 But nine courses from playing my 2,000th course? Someone might need to drive me back to the State Hospital near Junction City and commit me against my will…
Magic Number = 9 (1,991 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.
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’s (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.