One of the things I always try and do when I am out on the course collecting trail is to play enough eighteen-hole courses to make me feel as though I’m not “cheating” in bagging lots of short nine-holers! That said, a course is a course. And if I have unplayed courses in front of me during my travels, I’ll play them…whether they’ve got three holes or 30+ holes!
Today was one of those days that made me feel as though I was “cheating,” since every single course on my route toward Kansas City had nine holes:
1. North Bend High School in North Bend, Nebraska
2. Brainard DGC in Brainard, Nebraska
3. Pawnee Lake DGC in Emerald, Nebraska
4. Southeast Community College in Milford, Nebraska
5. Campus Life DGC in Lincoln, Nebraska
6. Berean Church in Lincoln, Nebraska
7. Whispering Pines Disc Golf in Bennet, Nebraska
8. Fuller Park DGC in Pickrell, Nebraska
9. Marysville DGC in Marysville, Kansas
10. Lakeview Sports Complex DGC in Marysville, Kansas
11. AER DGC in Seneca, Kansas
People see/hear that I played eleven new courses in a day, and they are testing me for steroids, and/or seeing if I have alien DNA! 😛 But in the Summer months, when it is daylight until after 9:00pm? Ninety-nine holes in a day is nothing. I’ve played as many as 165 holes in a day in the past (again, in Summer months), so 99 holes is nothing special!
One of my funny memories from today was driving into the park at Pawnee Lake. I got to the pay station at the entrance to the park, and was about to roll down my window to pay the park entrance fee. As I was doing so, a high school boy yelled: “You’re good,” and gestured me through. No fee! Thinking I might actually have money to afford lunch today (ha), I heard one of the two high school-aged girls he was with say something muffled that sounded like: “He’s supposed to have a pass!” But I was already 20-30 feet past the pay station by the time those words registered in my head. So I assumed that when I was sitting as a prisoner at my court hearing, I could plead for mercy…saying that the boy told me I didn’t need to pay for a pass (then hope one or both of the girls he was with would corroborate my story). Ha! I was a little nervous playing that entire round though. Wondering if an adult park staff member would show up, only to see a Toyota Camry with Minnesota plates not having a park pass above their steering wheel. And when I saw an adult in a park truck talking with the kids at the pay station? It made me even MORE nervous! But as I made my way back to the car after my round, there were no police waiting for me, guns drawn. 🙂 So I continued along my merry way.
I also had a deja vu experience at Whispering Pines Disc Golf in Bennet, Nebraska. That course did not exist in the directories I had looked at prior to my trip, and the information I could locate about the course was “sketchy,” at best. I finally determined where in the community the course was generally located. But all of the satellite imagery was old. Meaning I had a 50/50 guess as to where the course actually was. I guessed correctly on the parking location in UDisc and DGCourseReview.com! But I guessed incorrectly on where the tees and baskets were (which has since been corrected).
As I drove into the community and turned on the street where the course was located, I couldn’t help feeling as though I had been there before! Only to later realize that what I was actually remembering was the Street View imagery in Google Maps, showing what that area looked like prior to disc golf and paved walking paths being introduced into what is now a park. It was a weird feeling, however. KNOWING I had been to a place hundreds of miles from home, only having never been there.
My favorite photo on the day (above) was at Fuller Park in Pickrell, Nebraska. I just like the way that church sort of towers over the fairway and circle/basket area below and to the right of it, on “my” side of the street. I also had a good conversation with 3-4 locals, who I helped look for a lost disc. We came up empty in our search for that disc, however. I would have stayed longer to help look even more…but I still had three more courses to play before dark.
Calling it a night in Holton, Kansas tonight! Here’s to hoping for a few eighteen-holers along my route tomorrow…so no other course collectors roll their eyes at me and wonder if all I play are nines… 🙂
Magic Number = 242 (1,758 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 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.