I’m not sure how many times I have mentioned this in my blog, but of all the places I have disc golfed around the continent (as well as a bit in Europe and Hawai’i), my favorite place to play is in the “hollers” of Appalachia. All the elevation changes. Thick woods. Small creeks (cricks?) winding their way down said mountains/hills. It is about the most beautiful place in the country for letting discs fly. And after two and a half days of driving, today was the day when I knew I would get to enjoy a few more courses in this disc golf paradise.
My morning started early, at Dunbar City Park in Dunbar, West Virginia. A short but fun nine, I carded a -7 (20) for an estimated round rating of 924. A decent start on my day, being caffeine-deprived. 🙂 When I was just finishing up my round, I bumped into the park caretaker who asked who I was and where I was from (friendly chit-chat). And then he told me: “If you’re here in town, you need to check out Wine Cellar…the best course in our area! Plus we just got it all mowed/trimmed for a tournament there tomorrow morning!” I told him it was next on my list, and asked if there were any “local” directions that would be better than how Google Maps was telling me to get there. Then I was on my way.
I made my way to the parking lot for Wine Cellar, then immediately had deja vu. “I’ve been here before!” But it wasn’t on my list of courses played in UDisc…so I thought I must be remembering a different, similar course. Though as I made my way past the actual old wine cellar (the course’s namesake) and to the Hole 1 tee, I could not shake the feeling that I had played this course before!
I actually played Wine Cellar pretty well! An even par 58, for an estimated round rating of 961. Though I kept having that feeling of deja vu. And when I got to my destination tonight?! I discovered that I HAD played the course once before. Only it never made it into my UDisc list of courses played. I was sad that I didn’t get to add a +1 to my courses played collection…but then felt happy, being able to play a great, fun course a second time.
My next stop on the day was Twin Oaks Disc Golf Course in Crab Orchard, West Virginia. Built on a winery, the folks at this property put a lot of love/care into the course. When I pulled into the parking lot, one nice man asked how he could help. And when I said I was here to check out their disc golf course, he smiled and told me to enjoy myself…telling me about a few recent improvements they had made to the course. And it was a lot of fun to play! “Holy LONG, Batman!” 🙂 3,811 feet over nine holes was just about more than this 50-year old epileptic could handle…ha! But my putter was surprisingly money on the round, with me only needing nine putts to finish at a -1 (29) for an estimated round rating of 1010. And when I finished, 3-4 more employees came up and asked: “So what’d you think?!” If I lived in the area, this would be the type of course I would play often. Not only for the challenge, but for how friendly and welcoming all the employees are in showing off the fruits of their labor.
After enjoying my time at the winery, I headed into Beckley, West Virginia to check out a small five-hole course at West Virginia University Tech. For how friendly and inviting the winery was, I got the exact opposite feeling after parking where UDisc said to park for that course. Street parking that was open to the public, but nearby residents did not seem happy to see me (at all). I thought I would play those five holes as quickly as possible (-3, 938 estimated rating), then “get out of Dodge.” And by the time I had gotten back to my car, a large truck had appeared in the middle of the narrow street, all but preventing me from getting out of the parking space. As if to say: “We don’t like ‘yer kind around here.” 🙁 I did my best to wiggle my car out, back and forth, until I could get out of the parking space and leave. But I did not feel welcome there.
My last stop on my way to Winston-Salem (have I mentioned how excited I am to be in Winston-Salem tonight, with gas still in my tank) was at Carroll County DGC in Hillsville, Virginia. A short nine at only 2,374 feet, I showed that course who’s boss, to the tune of a -7 (21) and an estimated round rating of 1010. Only fifty holes played today, but I wanted to dial it back a bit…trying to leave as much in the tank as possible for tomorrow. Pun intended. 🙂
Magic Number = 278 (1,722 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.