After having about three hours to become familiar with my new office space as Director of the Small Business Development Center at Southwestern Oregon Community, College on Monday, I quick zipped up The 101 (I gotta say it like a person who lives on the Pacific Coast now, since this is home) to attend a three-day conference for work at Salishan Coastal Lodge in Gleneden Beach, Oregon. It is one of the most luxurious places that I have ever stayed, with a giant comfortable king-sized bed and a fireplace in my room. I think Pebble Beach Resorts has it beat! But after that? Salishan might be #2 in my list of nicest accommodations I have ever had.
What a wonderful facility, and the conference with approximately twenty other people to support my efforts to do the very-best job I can to support entrepreneurs and small business owners along the Oregon Coast was amazing. I left that conference feeling empowered and invigorated…ready to get back to my office and start doing the work that needs to be done! But before I turned South to head back toward home, there was one eighteen-hole course that I wanted to play: Neskowin Creek RV Resort in Neskowin, Oregon.
Neskowin Creek, from the standpoint of being close and easy to get to, was sort of in no man’s land for me. A little TOO far from Hillsboro, Oregon when I was there this Winter for a housesit, a little TOO far from Coos Bay now that I am calling that area of Oregon home. But since I needed to be at Salishan for work, it was within a half-hour of that property. So I was determined to cross it off my Unplayed Courses Map in UDisc.
The course itself was a little rough around the edges. Uneven tee boxes, a handful of baskets that were shared by two holes, etc. But the staff at the property couldn’t have been more nice and helpful. Going out of their way to make sure I had a current map of the course, as well as going out from the office with me to explain some recent improvements they had made to the design. I really appreciated that, as it made the course much easier to navigate.
My funny memory from my round at Neskowin Creek came on Hole 14. One of the nice employees was out doing some grounds work on the property, so he stopped to watch me play that hole. I thought I would try and put on a little show. Seeing how close I could get to the basket, 357 feet away. With the wind today, I needed to put a little EXTRA “mustard” on the disc to try and come anywhere close to 357 feet off the tee. So as I completed my X-step, planted my left (front) heel/foot to try and get a little EXTRA torque on my drive, my foot slipped on some chips and mud. So instead of a nice, powerful drive that never got more than ~15-20 feet off the ground? I threw a GIANT rainbow. WHEEEE!!! With my disc landing barely 250-feet from the tee.
So as I am walking toward my disc, feeling embarrassed at my terrible tee shot, I heard clapping. It was the staff person. And as I got closer to my disc, he said: “Great shot!” At first I thought he was being sarcastic, which made me feel even MORE embarrassed at how ugly my shot was. But then I realized he was being sincere. So I mustered-up a sheepish “thanks,” quickly parked my 100-foot approach shot, and felt glad I didn’t choke my approach or miss my putt. 😛
I suppose a lot of people who play the course might be thrilled throwing their tee shot 250 feet into the middle of the fairway. So “great shot” is relative! But at this point in my life, with all of the experience I have with a disc in my hands, I felt as though I should have been putting from inside Circle 1. Which helped me readjust my perspective on my round a bit. I managed a -9 (45) for an estimated round rating of 915. To me it was the opposite of a great round. But I need to remember that even shooting a 145 on that course? I am blessed to have the opportunity to play at all. To have the ability to walk. To have the ability to disc golf on a sunny afternoon, on my way back from an amazing facility as a part of a conference that I got to attend because of a job that I love to do.
So I slipped a bit on one tee and threw what I thought was an embarrassing tee shot in front of an audience. So what?! 🙂
Magic Number = 41 (1,959 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.
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.