Still feeling good and puffing out my chest just a little bit after sinking a pretty amazing deuce on Hole 18 at Zebulon Community Park a couple days ago, I’ve had a harder time getting out on the course the past couple days. Work’s been busy, plus we’ve had a few other things we’ve needed to take care of. But this morning, after getting on top of tee sign designs and other email for work, I decided I could sneak out to “bag” one more nine-hole course in the Raleigh area: Jack Marley Park in Angier, North Carolina.

Playing Not Smart II: The Less Smart - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 4 tee at Jack Marley Park in Angier, North Carolina.

The front half of the course was okay, but the back half of the course had all-sorts of safety issues and conflicts with other amenities in that park. 🙁 I was there at a time when not many people were around, and I think I had three tee shots where I could have seriously hurt someone (or damaged a vehicle). Not good. I managed to shoot a -3 (24) for an estimated round rating of 938. But I had to ease off my shots on at LEAST three holes, to make sure I didn’t hurt anyone (or damage their property).

Playing Not Smart II: The Less Smart - Tonn's Travels
A slimy, wet “pit of mystery” at Jack Marley Park in Angier, North Carolina.

I was frustrated during this round too. I threw one of my most trusted ProLine Squalls on the Hole 2 tee, which landed about 10-12 feet short and right of the basket. But when it hit the ground? It hit something hard (a rock or ???), went up on its edge, and proceeded to roll down a gentle hill about 30-35+ feet until it went out of site, into the area you see shown in the above photo. 🙁

I must have rooted around in that slimy pit of ??? for at least fifteen minutes, using a stick to try and feel ANYTHING that felt like a disc in that thigh-deep liquid! But after covering what seemed like every inch of that area and not finding my disc, I reluctantly threw in the towel and continued my round.

By the time I got to Holes 6-7, I kept thinking: “What would a ‘Not Smart’ person do?” Specific to that Squall? 🙂 Why, they would take off their socks and shoes and climb into that slimy pool of mystery liquids. Rooting around with their feet until they felt something that felt smooth (like a disc) and pushed it over toward shore! Hopefully not encountering any of six venomous snake species who call North Carolina home in the process.

So after I finished my round, I walked back over to Hole 2, took off my socks and shoes, mentally got my affairs and will in order (ha), and jumped into that thigh-deep pool of mystery. I was committed now, so I was staying in there until I found my disc, darn it! And after about three minutes, I felt something smooth under my left foot. So I gently pushed it over toward the shore of the pool, reached down with my left arm to see what it was, and there, in my hand? My lost Squall. Hooray!

I quickly hopped out of the pool, put my socks and shoes back on, and jokingly thought that I need to keep doing this “not smart” thing more often…as it has really paid off over the past ~48 hours. I doubt I will REALLY do it though, as I know I was merely lucky. Both at Zebulon and here in Angier. But it sure is nice, still having all four of my Squalls in my bag on this trip.

Magic Number = 168 (1,832 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

Playing Not Smart II: The Less Smart - 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.