Today involved more driving that disc golf, though I still managed to get 68 holes played across six new courses. It felt a bit like “cheating” though, as it involved three nine-holers and a five-holer, in addition to two 18s. But they are all courses, I suppose, and I’ll make sure and get several more 18s played over the next couple of days.
My first course on the day has been on my list to play for the past couple of years: Jackson Park in Hendersonville, NC. People have told me: “It’s the best course in the area!” I stopped there two years ago, hoping to see for myself if it lived up to the hype, but was met with a locked gate at a closed park. But today there was no locked gate, so I could finally see for myself what the course was like.
Two holes into the course, I caught up to a guy throwing 2-3 discs off each tee, practicing. I said it was my first time playing there, and he said: “Oh man, it’s the best course in the area!” 🙂 I laughed, saying I had heard that multiple times before, and was seeing for myself if that was true. But as I made my way around the course, I had to agree. Jackson Park IS the best course in the area! And I had one of my best rounds of the trip so far…shooting a -8 (50) off the white tees, for an estimated round rating of 1047. More like 960s-970s, but STILL! I crushed it…which is always fun when playing a quality course.
After Jackson Park, it was on to Waynesville DGC in Waynesville, North Carolina. And it was there that I encountered the least safe hole design I have seen on this trip. I actually didn’t believe the Hole 1 tee sign was in the right place at first…thinking someone had moved it there temporarily or ??? But nope. As best I can tell, that is how the hole was designed. In the photo above, take a slight left at the man at the umbrella, then go another ~115 feet up and to the left. With that walking trail, which comes around the corner from the left, being heavily utilized by local walkers, runners and cyclists.
I refused to throw a tee shot on that hole at all, placing my disc in the grass just past the man with the umbrella for “shot #2,” as it wasn’t worth risking hitting someone with my disc. 🙁 What a terrible, UNSAFE hole design! I told folks after I played that someone is going to lose an eye or some teeth on that trail one of these weeks, if they haven’t already. I managed to shoot a -6 (50) over “seventeen and a half” holes, but was shaking my head the entire round. Wondering how a hole like that was allowed to be installed. And did I mention the large shelter (that had 20-25 people in it) immediately to the right of the walking trail, mostly hidden from view by a few bushes?
After Waynesville, I said goodbye to North Carolina and headed into Kentucky for the rest of the day, with stops at Dixie Park in Lexington, James Lane Allen Elementary in Lexington, Sandersville Elementary School in Lexington, and Georgetown College in Georgetown. None of which were great or remarkable! But none of which had anything close to as terrible/unsafe as Hole 1 in Waynesville.
After Georgetown, the sun was getting low in the sky, so I decided to call it a night in one of the area hotels, so I could start fresh in the morning. Seeing if I can push as far as at least Peoria, IL tomorrow, as I have a little unfinished business on a few of the courses in that town… 🙂
Magic Number = 366 (1,634 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 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.