It has been FAR too long since I have added a blog post here, which means that it has been FAR too long since I have been able to play disc golf. But believe it or not, it has been 45 days since I was admitted to the ER in Kellogg, Idaho with what turned out to be a kidney stone (along with one other problem), and I still have not passed that stone! I ran out of pain meds forty days ago too…so every day, it has been either feel bad, feel terrible, or wonder whether I need to have my oldest daughter drive me back to the ER here in Coos Bay, Oregon. 🙁
I don’t say that looking for any type of pity party! Life could be a LOT worse, or I could not be alive at all! Though struggling with my usual issues *AND* struggling with a kidney stone (that my doctor in Coos Bay says is a “3.5” versus the “2.5” they told me I had in Idaho) has come close to breaking me over the past few weeks.
All that said? This morning I decided ENOUGH! So I asked my daughter if she wanted to drive down to Bandon, Oregon to check out some beaches, as well as the disc golf course at Bandon City Park. I heard that the course was pretty good from the few local players I am getting to know, but the main thing I was after was a +1 in my Courses Played Collection. That, and showing that darned kidney stone that it isn’t the boss of me. So we hopped in the car and headed the half-hour South to Bandon.
I will admit to having a LOT of rust after not being able to play in several weeks! That, and my form is garbage at the moment, due to the chronic pain in my right side. But that was one of the most fun rounds I have played in quite a while. Why? Because uncharacteristically, Libby asked if she could play too! So I got to be her guide and focus more on teaching her the basics of her form instead of focusing on my pain. And after a few holes, she showed immediate improvement!
We talked about the X-step. We talked about how to grip the disc. We talked about how to rip the disc, tight and fast, across our chests. And what started out as lots of right-to-left “rainbows” turned into fast, low, straight shots down the fairway. In the above photo (Hole 13), she was putting a little extra “mustard” on it too. 🙂 And I think we got a star-par on our card on Hole 14! It was a lot of fun, sharing the fairways with Libby!
Bandon was a lot of fun to play! However, there were a couple of fairly serious safety concerns with the course design. Hole 10 was uncomfortably close to a fairly busy street through the park. And Holes 11 and 16 made you throw your tee shot over that same busy street! There were two of us playing, so one could serve as a spotter while the other threw their tee shot, but what if I would have been playing alone? Those tee shots seemed like your typical “player design.” Adding 75-100 feet to a tee shot to make the holes harder! But at what cost? If a person happened to be driving by in their car or truck right as a player started their X-step, their vehicle could be smacked pretty hard by a disc! And if their driver or passenger-side window was down right as an “unidentified flying object” came flying at 60+ MPH right at them? That could end up being a trip to the emergency room. 🙁
If not for those egregious safety concerns, I would have rated that course as above average! It had a nice mix of open and heavily wooded. Short and long. But with at least three holes where discs, disc golfers and vehicles would be crossing paths with one another? Ugh. Easy issues to resolve with a little experienced course design help! But I just wonder how long it will be until a vehicle is damaged and/or a person is injured out there?
I managed to play the course pretty well considering my kidney stone, shooting a -3 and an estimated round rating of 931! I owe Holes 8 and 17 MUCH better tee shots, however, as taking fours on those par 4s did NOT feel good. Holes I should have got my threes, even with the howling wind! Next time, Holes 8 and 17….next time.
Magic Number = 40 (1,960 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.