I am incredibly blessed. As in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, a business partner of mine called recently to say that he had thousands of dollars of work for me to complete for a government agency down in Tennessee. And after talking with that government agency about timing and logistics, they had one specific requirement that I would be forced to comply with…take it or leave it: they wouldn’t allow me to fly to/from the job site. I had to drive.

I teased my contacts that they would FORCE me to spend 2,200+ miles behind the wheel (round-trip), taking in some disc golf courses every few hours along the way. And that, while it was a GIANT “inconvenience” for me to be able to play said courses essentially on their dime? I would “reluctantly” agree to those terms. But they would owe me, darnit! 🙂

So this morning, I set off on another disc golf, er, WORK road trip. Making it as far as Keokuk, Iowa in the process. It took me hours to get to an area with a new course I could play, and then the weather wasn’t cooperating. But by the time I made it to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, the planets aligned to have me be able to FINALLY play the four courses in Mt. Pleasant on my trip.

I had driven through Mt. Pleasant probably 3-4 times in the past…but never at a time I could stop for a few hours to play their courses. But today was the day I finally got to check out Iowa Wesleyan University DGC, East Lake Park, The Woodland Trail DGC and Riverview DGC.

On the road again: Course collecting in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa - Tonn's Travels
View from the grounds of Iowa Wesleyan University in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.

I always try and find the positives in the courses I am playing if I can, so I thought some of the sculptures and the well-maintained grounds at IWU were nice. It wasn’t a course I would probably want to return and play, however. East Lake Park was a lot more fun. A chance to “air things out” and put my skills to the test. And I played it pretty well! To the tune of an ego-building estimated round rating of 1015 (a 50 over 18 holes). Though I am sure an actual GREAT disc golfer would have shot more like a 43-45. 🙂

The Woodland Trail was not an enjoyable experience. Walking trails for fairways, lots of bugs and itch weeds, and holes that hadn’t been maintained for a while. But a course is a course! So I was at least happy to add that to my Courses Played collection.

On the road again: Course collecting in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa - Tonn's Travels
Sign near the Hole 1 tee at Riverview DGC in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.

Riverview DGC was a much better way to end my day. The rough was thick/fierce, so I dialed things WAY down to make sure I landed in the fairways off the tee. My -2 (25) was a lot less impressive as a result (an estimated round rating of 918). But after talking with and helping some locals search for a lost disc in the rough? After they had been out the previous day or two looking for that same disc, to no avail? I REALLY didn’t want to leave any of my DGA plastic behind on the first day of my trip.

Tomorrow it’ll be on to Illinois…hopefully calling it a night somewhere in Kentucky or Tennessee.

Magic Number = 448 (1,552 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

Derek Tonn Profile Picture

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.