Today was a great day! I was able to play seven new courses across three states, enjoying 83 holes of disc golf in almost perfect Summer weather.

Making My Way Across Iowa, Illinois and Indiana - Tonn's Travels
View from the Course Welcome Sign at Dankwardt Park in Burlington, IA

After a quick nine holes to start my day at Drulis Park in Middletown, Iowa, I made my way to Burlington, Iowa, to get a look at some old tee signs I am in the process of replacing at Dankwardt Park. It’s not often I get a chance to see the tee signs I will be helping to replace a few weeks after I play a course! But Burlington, Iowa is a client of DGA’s, and as of my writing this post, we are probably within a couple days of sending final artwork to our sign fabricator. Pretty neat!

Burlington was a nice town! Dankwardt was a great park, and the town was full of interesting architecture and scenic views of the Mississippi River. And while I was playing Dankwardt, a few of the locals told me that there was a little course hiding in the woods just to the Northeast of Dankwardt, at James Madison Middle School. The course was rough, a work-in-progress (like Big Rock in Pella, IA from yesterday). But I found all the baskets and think I played it the way it was designed to be played…and a course is a course is a course! Even if it isn’t a course I would ever want to return to play in the future.

After leaving Burlington, I headed for Bushnell, Illinois, to play what I thought was going to be a nine-hole course! When I got there, I discovered that it is actually only a four-hole course! But see my “course is a course is a course” comment from above. 🙂

Needing to play a “real” course after two sub-par experiences, I then headed for Canton, Illinois to play at Big Creek Park. I LOVED Big Creek Park! Well kept. Elevation changes. A mix of wooded holes and open bombers. I thought about how lucky locals in the Canton area are to call that their home course! Reminded me a lot of Riverside Park in St. Cloud, MN, the first course I ever played with baskets.

Making My Way Across Iowa, Illinois and Indiana - Tonn's Travels
View of the Course Welcome Sign and Map at Dodds Park in Champaign, IL.

Feeling happy after enjoying Big Creek Park, I decided I had better chew some miles behind the wheel…pushing as far as Champaign, Illinois before decided that I needed another disc golf pit stop. Dodds Park DGC answered the call, and I enjoyed another fun 18 holes at this course as well. The wind had kicked up between Canton and Champaign, so I didn’t enjoy my round quite as much at Dodds, but that wasn’t the course’s fault! I managed to shoot a -3 (51), posting a modest estimated rating of 932.

After my quick 18 at Dodds, I decided that I had better put in a LOT more miles behind the wheel. It kills me, driving past courses I have yet to play! But I needed to be somewhere between Indianapolis and Cincinnati before I called it a night, so I pushed all the way to Indianapolis before taking another break. This time for just a quick nine at Raymond Park DGC before hopping back in the car and making it to Shelbyville, Indiana for the night.

Seven courses played on the day was good! I wish I could have played 1-2 more. But in the history of traveling around the continent, course collecting, I think I have yet to have a single day where I DIDN’T wish I could have gotten 1-2 more played. 🙂

Here’s to hoping for another fun, productive day tomorrow!

Magic Number = 391 (1,609 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

Making My Way Across Iowa, Illinois and Indiana - 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.