Today was a great day on two fronts! It was a chance to get back to a course (Blue Lake Regional Park) that I reluctantly had to miss/skip the last time I was in town in 2019. I just did not have the time to get to every course I wanted to play! But it was also a chance to meet and throw a couple of rounds with DGA superfan (and unofficial ambassador) Chris Graham, along with his good friend Jordan Lewis.
Chris and Jordan were a lot of fun to play with! Nice guys, with the right attitude toward the game (“The player that has the most fun wins,” a la Steady Ed Headrick). Chris also had a DGA disc I had not gotten my hands on as of yet: Catrina Allen’s new proto fairway driver (which has since been named the Vortex). It was fun to hold! But I was too chicken to want to ask if I could give it a throw or two…as I did not want to accidentally hit a tree or signpost and leave a nice mark/dent on it for Chris to then rightly demand that the redheaded, left-handed joker who damaged his Vortex figure out a way to get him another one. 😛
Blue Lake was a MONSTER! 10,470 feet over eighteen holes. And not only long? But all the locals play the course as all areas that are not mowed are out of bounds! So now any distance-challenged redheads not only needed to squeeze every foot of distance they possibly could out of every tee shot…they also needed to be hyper-accurate in where they land all of those tee shots. Or more accurately for me? Tee shot #1, “tee shot” #2, maybe even short “tee shot” #3…
I played the course better than I expected, managing a +8 (77) and an estimated round rating of 962. I asked Chris how that measures up to most local rounds out there, and he said that any round in the single digits over par is generally considered solid. I think I had three (or four?) OB penalties in there too. Two I couldn’t have helped with the way things went, 1-2 more that were simply bad luck. So if Chris says a +8 is solid, and DGcoursereview.com says it was a 962-rated round? I’ll feel good about my round. I don’t think I could have shot better than a +3 or +4, even if I played a “perfect” round! So a +8 on a course that averages 582 feet/hole, with OB EVERYWHERE?! Not too shabby.
After finishing up at Blue Lake…AND wishing I could have found a good hot tub…AND wishing I could have been on the receiving end of a great deep tissue massage (LOL), Chris, Jordan and I continued on to Troutdale, Oregon to play twelve holes at Confluence DGC, That course was a far cry from Blue Lake (as most courses are)! Yet it was fun too. I’m not sure if I was simply whooped from the beating Blue Lake put on me, but I played Confluence terribly! Bad tee shots, missed putts, etc. I managed a -1 (35) for an estimated round rating of 885. One of my worst rounds of this trip so far. Chris and Jordan didn’t seem to mind, however, as we were having fun talking disc golf, DGA, and a bunch of other things. I’ll just stick to the story of pretending that Blue Lake sucked every last ounce of energy out of me…and that I had nothing left in the tank. But anyone who knows me and knows how I have regularly played 72-100+ holes in a day knows that is balogna (hehe). 🙂 I just had a BAD round. Though I still had a lot of fun, thanks to two great guys on my card.
After being M.I.A. from my wife and daughter for most of the past three days, I think I’d better lay low on the disc golf front for most of the next day or two. MAYBE sneak in a shorty or two! But spend more time trying to reconnect with my family.
Magic Number = 73 (1,927 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.