It had once again been much too long since I had been able to put work aside and travel to Parts Unknown to enjoy a little disc golf! But planets aligned today after our oldest daughter wanted to celebrate turning twenty by checking out a few things in Eugene, Oregon. So I had to ask her, in my sweetest, meekest, friendliest voice: “Would you mind if I checked out a couple of disc golf courses while you girls are enjoying a little retail therapy?” She said: “No…bring your discs!” In part to make me happy, in part to keep the rest of the folks in attendance from feeling miserable, seeing how miserable I was trudging through aisle after aisle of things I wouldn’t want to buy if you gave me the money to do so! 🙂 So after getting them to Store #1? I was off to find my first 18-hole course on the day.
My first course today was Stewart Pond, on the West side of Eugene. Only three other players were on the entire course, so I was able to play it rather quickly. And I came *SO* close to getting what would have easily been the longest ace of my life. Hole 4 (shown above) was 389 feet using the current basket placement. And I decided to give my ProLine Tempest all I had on the tee.
The grunt I made when I let that disc go could probably be heard all the way over in neighboring Springfield (Oregon), but I let loose a laser that never got more than 10-15 feet above the ground. The disc flew fast and straight, probably twenty feet left of the basket the entire flight. And when the disc was about pin high? It hit the ground, taking a big skip to the right…hitting the tree 7-8 feet from the basket. Had that tree not been in the way, I might have hit chains. But of course, after hitting the tree, my disc caught an edge and rolled a good 35 feet down a hill and left of the basket. So instead of a potential ace, I had to settle with the par 3. But that tee shot had me walking on air for a few holes.
The course was pretty long for me, measuring 6,626 feet over eighteen holes. But my ProLine Tempest decided to carry me in my round…consistently getting me out there over 350 feet off the tee. That helped me get to a -2 (54) on the round, for an estimated round rating of 952.
After meeting back up with my crew for lunch, I was on to dropping them off at their next retail store, while I quickly headed off to Alton Baker Park in Eugene. As opposed to Stewart Pond, Alton Baker was crawling with disc golfers! Probably at least 7-8 groups of players making their way around the course. I was able to jump ahead of a few groups after 4-5 holes, then hooked up with a nice group of women who were kind enough to let me join them for 3-4 holes. They had skills! 🙂 One of them said she has thought about turning pro, while another took me to task on Hole 6 (above), getting her deuce while I left my putt under some branches about 4-5 inches low. They were a lot of fun to play with! But I knew I was playing too slow to keep my promise that I wouldn’t have my travel mates standing around waiting for me. So I reluctantly played the last half of my round alone.
I managed to finish with a -3 (53), for an estimated round rating of 937. I should have gotten that deuce on Hole 6, but otherwise played mistake-free, BORING (ha) disc golf. But boring is just fine with me…as it means the same number of discs going home with me after each round, and most players needing to take a few chances to try and beat me.
Another +2 in my course collection! Thirty-four more courses until I reach a milestone I never would have thought imaginable. Here’s to hoping I get a bunch more new courses played in the weeks ahead.
Magic Number = 34 (1,966 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.