A Mixed Bag: Tonn’s Travels
Photo by Erika Witzke, CTA City of Columbia (Missouri), Parks and Recreation.

Well today was a day to remember at A Grand Disc Golf Experience in Columbia, Missouri. Getting to rub elbows with some of the most influential people in the sport (including John Houck and Dee Leekha) at a C-Tier commemorating Mike Harrington playing his 1,000th course, as well as wrestling with some of my own competitive demons. And, in effort to get the less fun stuff out of the way first:


  1. My putting.  In short, it was embarrassing. I missed five putts inside of 20-25 feet during the 18-hole event.  One of which resulted in a roll-away that created a SECOND missed 18-20 footer, for my first three putt in longer than I can remember.  Not sure if it was nerves, as today was my first sanctioned event in years!  But it was brutal.


  1. My 79 on the blue (long) tees at Harmony Bends, the world’s top rated course, was about 20-30 rating points lower (922) than I am used to shooting (940s-950s).  Though one of the local players, after he asked for my score, said that he knows very few players who can crack 80 off the long (Blue) tees.  Still, all I could think about were the five missed putts being the difference between not only shooting my “typical” rating…but being the difference between third place and winning my division (four off the lead).


  1. I had an absolute blast playing with Mike Harrington, Steve West, and Ted Keith.  Such a great group of guys, who made the experience a fun one.  And I had such a good time talking with John and Dee…even taking a few minutes to take some selfies with Dee.
A Mixed Bag: Tonn’s Travels
Dee Leekha and I having a little fun after the C-Tier celebrating Mike Harrington’s 1,000th course played at Harmony Bends disc golf course in Columbia, Missouri.
  1. For how bad my putting was today, I was consistently running gaps with my Undertows, Hurricanes and Squalls that showed that I do actually know how to play this game!  🙂  Including an impossibly tight alley with my Squall that just missed the Hole 18 basket from a couple hundred feet out that John Houck caught on film.
  2. After the round, folks added up the scores and showed that I finished fourth in the MA40 division.  A testament to just how difficult the course’s long tees play (that a 79 over 18 holes could place).  But after Mike (Harrington) re-checked scores, it showed that his 77 should have actually been a 79…putting us in a tie for third in the MA40 division.  But with the incorrect score, he said he needed to assign himself a two stroke penalty, which would technically give me third place in MA40.

  3. I got my “couple seconds of fame” on Columbia’s ABC news affiliate after the event, as they were at the tournament interviewing Mike on his big day.  Look for me about 23 seconds into the news story here: http://www.abc17news.com/sports/disc-golf-extraordinaire-makes-history-at-columbias-harmony-bends/736378603

  4. I was able to play another one of Steady Ed’s designs in Columbia from 1979 after the tournament with Steve West (Albert Oakland Park – Upper), as well as two other courses as I headed toward my hotel for the night.  63 more holes played today.  Though I was feeling it, even before Harmony Bends, having played 238 holes over the past 72 hours.  Anyone have a Rascal Scooter or hospital bed I can borrow?  Only half-kidding.  Ha!

Magic Number = 641 (1,359 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.

About Derek

Derek Tonn Profile PictureDerek 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.