I feel bad. Guilty. It has been too long since I’ve posted on this blog. 🙁 But it’s been a tough row to hoe. After 85 days of pain, our local hospital and urology department FINALLY decided to take pity on me and remove a stone from my right ureter, along with a few cysts from my kidney on June 30. The stone was bigger than they thought, so I am thrilled to have it out of me! But the really demoralizing thing is that I haven’t stopped feeling pain. Over two weeks since the surgery, and I still feel constant dull pain in my right side…as well as the occasional strong pain. I have another appointment on July 20, to see what might be up. But after being in pain since April 6? My patience is wearing thin.
The pain sucks. But what sucks, even more, is how it as slowed my march toward 2,000 courses played to nearly a stop. One new course played the entire month of May? One new course played the entire month of June? I feel like I am shirking my duties as a DGA Ambassador. So today, pain or no pain, I forced myself to head to the second-closest unplayed course to my new home in Coos Bay, Oregon: Camas Valley School DGC in Douglas, Oregon.
I had heard mostly negative reviews of this course in a very small town nestled on the other side of the coastal mountain range. A twelve-hole course that many people said was difficult/impossible to navigate. Being at a school, late afternoons, weekends and Summer was also the only time to access the property! Since I had the day off from full-time job #1 today (paid time off…what a novel concept, ha!), I decided that if I was going to head anywhere, it should be 63 miles to this course.
When I arrived at the school, I had a heck of a time trying to find baskets. Thankfully, two maintenance workers happened to be outside their office…so I walked over and asked them where the disc golf course on the campus might be. They said that it wasn’t much of a course anymore. That several of the baskets had been pulled due to recent construction. They also said they weren’t thrilled with the idea of me walking around in the middle of areas where they were installing all sorts of features for some adjacent ball fields, as well as areas with freshly poured concrete!
That’s when I did something I HATE to need to do: I name-dropped. I told them my name, said I was a sponsored player with DGA…the company that created the sport! I then said I am on a quest to reach 2,000+ courses played, and happened to be passing through the community. Then I said could I PLEASE play the course, in my very-best ” Minnesota Nice” way, saying that I would be in and out of campus in under thirty minutes! 🙂 They looked at each other and said: “Okay, sure…no problem.” Thank goodness for the Minnesota Nice and “huckleberry charm,” ha!
For a twelve-hole course, I looked EVERYWHERE for twelve baskets. I only found eight. None of the baskets were numbered, and there were no clear signs of any tees. So I reluctantly played the course as more of a “safari round.” I sort of figured out what I think the flow was. But since I could not find four of the baskets, I had no idea what holes I was actually playing. From where I THINK tees should have been, I ended up shooting a -4 over eight holes. But apart from DGCourseReview.com listing hole distances for eleven of twelve holes as a “hint?” I had no idea where the baskets I was looking for might have been.
After I finished playing the eight holes, I found the two maintenance workers, thanked them again, and told them I only found eight baskets. They said that sounded about right…as they have “extra” baskets in a shed that they can use to replace some of the heavily damaged baskets on the course. Of course, I had to tell them that if they ever need/want to replace any of the baskets with better equipment, I know “a great company in California” who could help them with that. 😉
It was an underwhelming experience. Driving 126 miles (round-trip) to play something that barely passes as a course. But the important thing was getting off the bench and back into play. So I feel less lame as an ambassador for the greatest disc golf company on Earth. Here’s to hoping I get more courses played, and SOON!
Magic Number = 38 (1,962 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.