I was able to get another six courses played across Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina today, making my way to Winston-Salem, NC in effort to offer a “Disc Golf 101” clinic to kids with epilepsy ahead of the Electric Disc Connection C-Tier fundraising tournament for Epilepsy Alliance North Carolina. 72 holes on a beautiful, albeit hot and humid, Summer day in the Southeastern United States.

My day started at Newport Park in Newport, Tennessee. A shorter recreational course, I was able to use it as a warm-up round to loosen-up my achy everything (shoulders, ribs, sternum, lower back, hips, knees….it’s tough getting old, LOL), turning in a -5 (23) on the card for an estimated round rating of 999. It was my last round with my mom in-tow on my way to North Carolina, as I was dropping her off at her sister’s house while I “take care of business” in Winston-Salem. 🙂

After saying “Hi” and “Goodbye” in Greer, South Carolina, I made my way to Michelin DGC in Spartanburg, SC. I wasn’t 100% sure I was supposed to be on this corporate campus. But upon entering the main gate, I saw a sign for visitor parking with the course on my left. So I decided to risk a friendly visit with security guards (that never happened…it must have been okay for me to be on the property) and play a quick nine holes. The course was swampy after some recent rain, but I turned in a respectable -2 (26) on the card, for an estimated round rating of 956. Still not entirely sure that I was supposed to be on the property, however, I made a quick bee-line for my car, and only was able to relax after I was outside the gate.

Back in the Carolinas - Tonn's Travels
View of the Hole 13 basket at Rankin Lake DGC in Gastonia, NC.

After Michelin, it was time to add a few courses to my collection in North Carolina. My first stop on the afternoon was at Rankin Lake DGC in Gastonia. I had driven past this course 2-3 times in the past, as I was in the Charlotte area. It never worked to stop, so I made SURE I would get the chance to play it today! The course was also a little swampy (recent rains), and playing with wet feet is the opposite of fun. But apart from going “squish-squish-squish” with every step, I really enjoyed the course! I played it well too…carding a -4 (53) for an estimated round rating of 1004. Lots of shots in the trees, elevation change, etc. My kind of course!

A little behind in my schedule at that point, I decided I had better drive to Winston-Salem ASAP, then play whatever I could find to play before dark. I knocked out Sunrise United Methodist Church in Lewisville, along with Bethel DGC in Winston-Salem, before making my way to one of the “must play” courses in the area: Johnson Street Park.

I had heard a lot of good things about Johnson Street in the past, and the course lived up to the hype! Locals must love it too, as that was the most crowded course I have encountered on this trip so far. Another course that is my style of play (wooded, elevation change, etc.), and I played it well…to the tune of a -8 (46) and an estimated round rating of 974. I chatted up a few of the local players during my round, and really wish I hadn’t needed to play it as fast as I did! I hate racing through better courses, as it takes a bit of the fun out of it. Though I still had a lot of fun.

Now it is time for sleep…as I’ve got an early, long, busy day with the EANC tomorrow! I can’t wait.

Magic Number = 377 (1,623 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

Back in the Carolinas - 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.

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