It has been a few weeks since I was able to get out and enjoy a little disc golf. Bad weather, a busy holiday schedule, ice and bitter cold has kept me off the course, for the most part. So when my wife said she was taking our daughters up to see her sister for the weekend, and the weather forecast in early January was for sunny skies and temperatures in the mid to upper 40s Fahrenheit? Well, I knew it was time to change that.
My first stop on my first course collecting outing of 2019 was to Wild River Disc Golf Course in Mapleton, Iowa. A relatively new course, the playing conditions there for early January were nearly perfect. Apart from a little mud, as well as locals placing garbage bags over all nine sets of chains, I presume to protect the chains from rusting in the Winter? Though in all the hundreds of courses I have played during Winter months, I had never before seen this technique employed to protect baskets. But even with garbage bags over the chains, the baskets caught discs just fine. So I enjoyed a quick, fun round.
I started out with two quick deuces, and then on Hole 3, my tee shot found nothing but chains. Or should I say…garbage bag? 🙂 The 19th ace of my life, and no one to share it with! I got to share an ace with my oldest daughter on my home course several years ago, as well as two aces with locals at Golf Island Disc Park on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. But nearly every other ace I have ever made has come with me playing alone. That doesn’t make them any less special! It’s just a lot more fun when friends or family are around to share in the fun.
After my -7 (20) in Mapleton, I headed up to Sioux City, Iowa, to play a new course that had opened since I had previously played every course in the area: Leif Erikson Park. A short course, it played a bit tricky with bad footing (mud, ice). Managed a -3 (24), but a good player, on a good day? Should probably be shooting a -6 (21) or better.
My next stop on the afternoon was Screamin’ Eagle Disc Golf Course in Irene, South Dakota. Temps were still in the 40s, but there was quite a bit more snow on the ground than I found in Iowa. The footing wasn’t great, but I managed to slip and slide my way to a -4 (23). That is a course where a 20 or even 19 is definitely possible, however. So I left thinking about easier deuces I let get away from me on Holes 3 and 5. Along with longer makeable deuce putts on Holes 8 and 9.
My final course on the day was at Southeast Tech DGC in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. A place I had disc golfed before, when this course’s predecessor was still in the ground. This new course had similar elements to the former design, though it was definitely a new course layout/design from what had been here previously. I managed a -4 (23) in less than ideal footing as the sun was getting low in the Western sky. So after finishing up my round, I started my 2+ hour trek home.
It was great to get back out on the course! Had been far too long. Here’s to hoping I’ll get more chances to play, as well as more great weather, in the weeks ahead.
Magic Number = 510 (1,490 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 our “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.