One of the chronic challenges with course collecting is squeezing in new courses in limited time, with limited funds. Some people think I must be “semi-retired” or wealthy, playing as many courses as I do. But the opposite is true. I tend to work 55-60 hours per week, with barely a few months of money in the bank as insurance or a reserve against sales with my business drying up. That said, I am always looking for opportunities to “kill 3-4 birds with one stone.” Chances to accomplish multiple To Dos, with every trip I make. With every dollar and hour I have.
Today was no exception, as I needed to drive up to Minneapolis St. Paul to do an airport run, picking up two family members after they made a recent trip to Los Angeles. Three courses had opened in the greater North metro area since I had last played every course available. So I left home a few hours early to complete my airport run, allowing enough time to play all three courses.
My first stop was at Wildwood Springs 9, a new course in Dayton, Minnesota. I must say I was pleasantly surprised at the fun and variety of those nine holes. A great way to start my day! The wind made it tough, so I held back on the tee (as I did not have much/any time to waste searching for discs in the rough). But I enjoyed my round, and enjoyed talking with the man who lives across the street from Hole 9.
My second stop was at Riegel Mammoth DGC in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin. A heavily wooded course in the beginning, and some wide open “prairie-style” holes to finish, I really enjoyed that course too. Although my funny memory on the day came as I was walking back to my car. A pack of middle school-aged kids on bikes saw me with my pack of discs, when one of the kids smiled and shouted: “Just say no to drugs!” Apparently disc golfers he knows might have a bit of a reputation? Either that, or he has heard how addicting disc golf can be?! 🙂 I wish the vast minority of disc golfers who use marijuana wouldn’t give the impression to the rest of the world that one hundred percent of disc golfers do the same. But in that context? Those kids and I enjoyed a bit of a quick laugh, and I got to do a quick bit of “evangelism” for the sport of disc golf.
My final stop on the day was another “course that doesn’t exist.” Association Retreat Center DGC near Osceola, Wisconsin. I wasn’t sure what I would encounter, as UDisc said the course was “private.” But private in course directories can mean just about anything. From on private land but open to the public, to at a school or church but available to play outside of school/worship hours, to “all trespassers will be shot,” ha! But I decided to be brave and check things out, first stopping by the office to talk with staff. Letting them know I am a Board Member with the Disc Golf Foundation. And as Chair of the DGF’s Course Development Committee, which recently expanded our Matching Baskets Program applicants pool, I have been trying to gather more information on properties such as camps, retreat centers, etc. who are offering disc golf to their constituents (since we anticipate more Program applications from these types of properties in the future).
Staff on-site couldn’t have been nicer! They told me that, due to liability issues, only registered campers or attendees of events on their property are allowed to play their course. I told them that I would make sure that information got out in places such as UDisc and DGCourseReview …so that other disc golfers didn’t show up expecting to play. But they also said that, given the fact that I was on a bit of a fact-finding mission for the DGF, that I could play a quick round and check things out.
I played as quickly as I could, taking photos to help me remember what I was seeing for future DGF discussions. I also reported back to office staff before I left, then kept my promise after I got home. Making sure to clearly state in the DGCR course description that only registered campers or attendees of events are permitted to play the course. I hope that helps them to not have as many disc golfers showing up at their property, expecting to play.
A successful trip! And one fewer day (and a lot less gas) needed to knock three new courses out in the future.
Magic Number = 589 (1,411 Courses Played)
About Tonn’s Travels
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.