After 220 holes played the previous two days, and being wet for a majority of the past four days, I was feeling both physically and mentally fatigued as I got dressed and planned my route to knock out several new courses played in the Kansas City metro in the rain today. I will admit to not being in the greatest of moods. Knowing I would be wet as soon as I left my hotel. Knowing my shoes would be soaking wet within a couple minutes of my stepping off of concrete/asphalt. So today unfortunately was one of those days that course collecting felt more like a job than a joy.

Grinding it out in the Rain - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 1 tee at Prairie Center Park in Olathe, Kansas.

My day started at one of the last 18-hole courses I hadn’t yet played in Olathe: Prairie Center Park. My lack of enthusiasm for going out in the rain for the fifth day in a row devolved into frustration as I learned that the place I was told to park for the course was over 200 yards from the ACTUAL place to park, ~15 feet from the Hole 1 tee (I’ve since fixed things in that directory). 🙁 So after a chance to get soaking wet during my 200+ yard walk, only to temporarily wave the white flag of surrender while seeking shelter for 10-15+ minutes while the skies opened up and it rained, HARD? I wasn’t in the best of moods.

And then, after Hole 11? I got to play “try and find Hole 12 (in the pouring rain).” It’s not the course’s fault! But I think I walked over a mile looking for the Hole 12 tee by the time I found it. GRRrrrooowwlll! Those are the moments on the course collecting trail where you occasionally have the fleeting thought of hastily arranging a fictitious press conference to announce your retirement from the sport! 😀 But after working to find my happy place after the round (a +6 61, with an estimated round rating of 929), cooler heads prevailed. As they always do.

Grinding it out in the Rain - Tonn's Travels
View of the Course Map and Welcome Sign at California Trail DGC in Olathe, Kansas.

Things did get a little better after I left Prairie Center Park and made my way to California Trail DGC. I was already as wet as I could be, so I couldn’t get any wetter (ha). That, and it was a shorter nine-hole course, so no wandering around for hundreds of yards trying to find the next tee/hole! I didn’t play the course very well, however. To the tune of a -1 (28) and an estimated round rating of 904.

Grinding it out in the Rain - Tonn's Travels
Course Map and Welcome Sign at Prairie Pass in Overland Park, Kansas.

Still soaking wet, I made my way to Prairie Pass DGC in Overland Park, Kansas. I was looking forward to it, as it was a shorter 18-hole course that I thought I could play well. And I did play it well, to the tune of a -8 (46), and an estimated round rating of 967. Only I kept having the nagging feeling as though I had been there before. And when I got back to my hotel room tonight?! Yep. It was one of the very few times I have made a mistake in not recording a course played in UDisc (that I had recorded a round played in So instead of three new courses played on the day? I was back down to two. Sigh. One of those days…

Grinding it out in the Rain - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 1 tee at Heritage Park in Olathe, Kansas.

Feeling pretty worn out and beaten up, my day immediately became much, MUCH better upon arriving at and playing Heritage Park in Olathe, Kansas. What a phenomenal course! Easily one of my favorite 2-3 courses I have played in Kansas. And even better? I dug down deep and found some physical and mental strength I didn’t know I had to play the course very, VERY well in the rain! I shot an even par 54 at the course, which doesn’t sound like much! But off the long tees, in the rain? That estimated round rating was a 975. By far my best round on the day, and one of my best rounds of the trip so far. By the time I was heading to the car at the end of my round? I had a spring in my step and a smile on my face. Thank you, Heritage Park! I needed that attitude adjustment.

Grinding it out in the Rain - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 1 tee at Chisholm Trail Middle School DGC in Olathe, Kansas.

My good mood continued at Chisholm Trail Middle School DGC in Olathe, Kansas. I didn’t shoot as well as I could have, but I played that nine-hole course well…to the tune of a -7 (20) and an estimated round rating of 960. Though while I was in a much better mood than this morning, I was starting to feel more than a little tired. I decided to sneak one more eighteen-hole course in at Gardner, Kansas before getting back to my hotel room to take a warm shower and get out of my wet shoes.

Grinding it out in the Rain - Tonn's Travels
View from one of the holes (the only one I remember with an artificial turf tee) at Gardner DGC in Gardner, Kansas.

Gardner was a tough course to end on. 7,821 feet over 18 holes, an average of 434.5 feet per hole, in the rain. It was slippery (made me nervous with my IT band injury). And it was difficult to navigate and find the next holes/tees. If I was a local and knew where everything was? It would have been a lot more fun. But as a newbie, not knowing where I was going from hole to hole? In the rain? Being tired and hurt? Let’s just say this was a course I was happy to grind out, play once, with no plans of ever returning. I didn’t play it terribly, to the tune of a +1 (59) and an estimated round rating of 948! But after seeing how disc golf in Kansas can be in Heritage Park? I was VERY happy to get those eighteen holes behind me and make my way back to my hotel.

Only five new courses played today. I thought it would be six, until I realized that I had played Prairie Pass before! But 90 holes played under those conditions was enough.

Magic Number = 219 (1,781 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.

About Derek

Grinding it out in the Rain - Tonn's Travels

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.