2022 has been such a strange year. One of the best years of my life, and one of the worst, hardest years of my life at the same time. What has made it great? Getting to call the Pacific Ocean home after about 35 years of wanting to do it. Getting a great job where I can make a direct and significant positive difference in people’s lives at a college with a great supervisor, who has my back and is always looking for more ways to support me. Getting into a new, smaller home (a fantastic chance to purge/cleanse all of the clutter that had accumulated in our physical AND mental/emotional environment), with a small, beautiful yard that will never need to be mowed…and no sidewalks to ever be shoveled! 🙂
What has made 2022 terrible? My health has NOT been good. On top of the typical issues with epilepsy and the effects of the venous angioma between the two hemispheres of my brain, I spent nearly three months in agony while trying (unsuccessfully) to pass a kidney stone before they mercifully took it out of me by force. But I haven’t stopped hurting since they did surgery to remove it…and have since added Achilles tendinitis to my list of ailments. 🙁 I’ve been working FAR too many 12-14 hour days juggling the equivalent of two full-time jobs, and the more money I make? The more money we spend. My body/brain is SCREAMING at me to slow down…but I can’t. Too many people are counting on me, and unless/until we stop spending money at the pace we’ve been spending it? I am trapped on that treadmill that seems to move ever-faster.
But…ocean? 🙂 When I am not working far too many hours, the scenery and recreation absolutely can’t be beaten. I’m just beat…and need a break. Which relates to disc golf. Disc golf, to me, is the #1 form of stress relief in my life. A chance to relax and recharge. Which has been the worst part of juggling two jobs and (more) health issues…not having the time or health to play even 10% as much as I want to. But the planets aligned for me yesterday, via work bringing me down to Curry County in southwestern Oregon. And needing to travel a couple of hours from home? Well darned if there weren’t two disc golf courses along the way that I hadn’t yet played. 😀
My first stop on the day was at Port Orford DGC. About an hour from where I live, it is the closest disc golf course to home that I hadn’t yet played. A super-shortie at 1,381 feet, I actually was surprised at how technical it is! 150-200 foot holes that were no gimmie deuces!
I was tight on Hole 1, as I literally hadn’t thrown a disc in weeks. Left myself too long of a putt to get my deuce, then made a couple other mistakes off the tee on Holes 5 and 8 to finish with a meager -6 (21) and an estimated round rating of 902. But my course collector rating went up by +1, so all was good.
My next stop on the afternoon was at Buffington Park in Gold Beach, Oregon. Gold Beach was the site of my first (of a half-dozen) meetings for work, and I pulled into town with about an hour to spare! So knowing how fast I typically play when I am course collecting and playing alone? I thought I could manage a quick eighteen holes and still make it on time. The saying down here in Curry County: “No Hurry in Curry,” wasn’t true for me today…which was my undoing.
On Hole 3, I had a heck of a time finding the tee box. And when I did, it was not clear which basket in the distance I was throwing to. So I got out my trusty max-weight ProLine Squall that has been with me for years, flicked a safety a couple of hundred feet down a hill into what I thought was the fairway, then went to retrieve it to throw shot #2 on the hole. Only when I got to the bottom of the hill, I saw tough terrain, tall vegetation, and water. My heart sank, as my Squall was nowhere in sight. I frantically searched where I thought it must have gone for a solid five minutes, to no avail. And if I was going to make my meeting on time, I needed to keep moving. So I reluctantly left it behind.
Losing that disc flustered me…and I didn’t get my game back in order for a few holes. I eventually settled down though, but I did not end up shooting a good round in Gold Beach either. A -2 (52) isn’t TERRIBLE, considering the circumstances and how rough and difficult to navigate the course was (after only recently being expanded from ten to eighteen holes). But I’m better than that, and should have shot at least a -5 or -6. So going home without one of my favorite discs that has been with me the longest added insult to injury.
[Edited to Add] I am SO happy to report that the next morning, I had about thirty minutes before my first meeting of the day. So I drove back to the course, on the chance that I might be able to find my Squall before needing to head the two hours North toward home. And lo and behold? After about ten more minutes of searching? I found it…a solid fifty feet from where I thought it should be. Must have rolled away or ???, but it is now safely back in my backpack.
All that said? Adding a +2 to my “Course Collector Rating” feels good. It’s been too long…FAR too long! Now I just need to figure out how I can get a few more work trips scheduled to Eugene. And Salem. And Bend. And Roseburg. And Medford…. 🙂
Magic Number = 36 (1,964 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.