Getting out and about to visit new courses has been tough since being recently diagnosed with epilepsy and placed on a no driving restriction by the State of Minnesota until at least mid-September (while folks make sure the anti-seizure medication is doing its job). That said, I was lucky in having a new disc golf course open just a half-hour down the road from me in recent weeks, and was able to hitch a ride to New Ulm, Minnesota this afternoon, to check out a new nine-hole course at Martin Luther College with its course designer.
Luther Hollow DGC is a short, recreational course (I would call it a “Red” design, in course design speak of Red, White, Blue and Gold, to indicate its intended player base and difficulty), designed by staff and students at Martin Luther College. Steve Balza at MLC has been my main contact at the institution over the past several weeks, as I was blessed to have the opportunity to work with Steve on the creation of tee signs for the new course, along with a large course map and welcome sign that will hang near the parking area and Hole 1 tee.
I’ve struggled with my form, focus and vision a bit since starting my epilepsy medication, so I told Steve not to expect much from me in my playing ability. But after an underwhelming tee shot on Hole 1, I actually played the short-but-technical course much better than I had anticipated. I hit 100 percent of my putts inside of ten meters, ran every gap off the tee that I aimed for, and ended up carding a -5 (22), which Steve said is the new (known) course record. It would have been a -6 (21), but I missed the mando “island green” on Hole 5, needing to settle for the circle-3 on the card.
The tee signs on the course look great! And the new course map and welcome sign looks great too! Even though I didn’t have a hand in the course design or basket order for this one, it is nice to help a “neighbor” do what they can to put their best foot forward as the course is gradually introduced to the general public. It was nice to play better than I expected too…as wearing my “Team DGA polo” and throwing 100 percent DGA plastic, one never wants to underwhelm on the course! So setting the new course record while not feeling well made me feel as though a few more folks around MLC might think: “now what discs was that red-headed guy from Springfield throwing when he played our course?!” 🙂
The closest new course to home for me is now 96 miles to the Northeast, Riverfront Regional Park in Fridley, Minnesota. We’ll see if I can find an excuse to head up that way over the next several weeks.
Magic Number = 485 (1,515 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.