Work has been kicking my behind this past week! I told my wife that I wake up at 5:45am, turn on my computer, and it is time for lunch! Send a few emails, make a few phone calls, and it is time to heat up some pasta at 6:00pm! 🙂 I don’t know if I can remember a time in my life where the days fly by as fast as they have on this trip to Oregon. That’s good (keeping busy), particularly when you’re self-employed! But my goodness am I tired.

At any rate, after six days without being able to touch my discs, I said: “ENOUGH!” It was time to get out on a disc golf course and re-connect with my passion. And in keeping with a promise with one of the first people I reached out to after I learned we would be coming to the Portland metro this Winter? I contacted Matt Ford, to see if he would be willing to throw a round or two with me.

McCormick Park - Tonn's Travels
RipitGrip “PDGA Lie Zone Marker”Green.

Matt is the owner of RipitGrip, a product designed to help players not slip and slide in wet and muddy conditions on the disc golf course. I wish I had one of his PDGA-legal RipitGrips in Wennerberg Park and Wortman Park a couple of weeks ago…as I was slip-sliding EVERYWHERE! 🙂

McCormick Park - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 4 tee at Yankton Community Fellowship DGC in St. Helens, Oregon.

Before Matt and I got together this morning, I wanted to sneak in a quick nine holes at Yankton Community Fellowship DGC in St. Helens, Oregon. That nine-hole round turned out to actually be a five-hole round…since some of the holes/baskets no longer seem to be present on the property. The photos of the course in made it look like a nice, short, fun nine! But I’m guessing that the course is either in the process of being pulled or will not exist a few years from now, as it is merely a shell of its former self. Bummer.

McCormick Park - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 6 tee at McCormick Park in St. Helens, Oregon.

After that bit of a disappointment, it was on to today’s main event: meeting with Matt and playing at McCormick Park in St. Helens, Oregon. When I met Matt in the parking lot, I also got to meet a couple of his friends that he brought along to join us. It was a fun card, a fun group of guys! I held my own too, to the tune of a -1 (61) over eighteen holes, for an estimated round rating of 974.

McCormick Park - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 14 tee at McCormick Park in St. Helens, Oregon.

I had a funny sequence of events happen on Holes 12-13. On Hole 12, I ran my third shot (on the par 4) right at the basket from a little over 100 feet away. My ProLine Squall flew on a perfect gentle hyzer line, up a bit of a hill and slammed into the basket’s chains…only to hit the edge of the catcher, fall out and roll about 25 feet down the hill, away from the basket. SO close! But at least I was able to save my par.

Thinking about what could have been as I played Hole 13, I ended up a little over 100 feet away from the basket on my third shot (another par 4), only with a lot more trees and a bigger, rockier hill between me and the basket. So I got out that same ProLine Squall, set my feet, exhaled and let ‘er rip. The Squall had eyes as it dodged trees, went up the hill and slammed into chains AGAIN! Only this time, it stayed in the basket. 🙂 I was happy, though I also thought how cool it would have been to sink back-to-back 100+ footers with an audience. Have folks think I am MUCH better with a disc in my hands than I actually am. Ha!

McCormick was a lot of fun! That, and the RipitGrip Matt gave me to play with saved my bacon on a couple of shots in the mud during my round. I told Matt I am going to carry that RipitGrip around with my backpack going forward…and I will! A great additional tool to help me play my best out on the course collecting trail.

Magic Number = 64 (1,936 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

McCormick Park - 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’s (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.