Since I had good luck revisiting East Clayton Park yesterday (after striking out in my attempt to play it on September 5), I thought I would see if I could visit the other course that I wasn’t able to play that day: Zebulon Community Park, in Zebulon, North Carolina. And as luck would have it? I was able to get that other eighteen-hole course played today as well.

Playing "Not Smart" - Tonn's Travels
Course Map and Welcome Sign at Zebulon Community Park in Zebulon, North Carolina.

I really enjoyed playing Zebulon! Lots of wooded holes and tighter lines to hit in order to post any kind of a good score. The course also had length, to the tune of 6,439 feet over eighteen holes off the White tees, so you needed to be accurate AND long off the tee! My tee shots were a little hit-and-miss, and I dialed it back to try and make sure I at least hit all my fairways! But my ProLine Squalls were spot-on this morning, allowing me to card a -3 (54) and an estimated round rating of 994. Which made me incredibly happy.

Playing "Not Smart" - Tonn's Travels
Shot of the putt/approach I had left as I approached the Hole 18 basket in Zebulon, North Carolina.

When I started the round and looked at the various hole lengths and pars, I set a goal for myself of shooting a 54 on the round. If I executed on the tee and in my approach game, and my putting wasn’t terrible? I thought that a 54 was possible. I managed deuces on Holes 5 and 7, while escaping with Par 4s on Holes 4, 10 and 17. So standing on the Hole 18 tee, I had a BIG right-to-left anhyzer that I needed to try and make around a 280-foot corner. My tee shot wasn’t terrible, but instead of staying on its glide path as an anhyzer? It flattened out and stayed well-right of the basket. So I was laying 53, with the above shot remaining to finish my round.

Looking at that shot, the smart play was obvious: lay my disc up below (right) of the basket, make my 8-10 foot putt, and be happy finishing with my par. But par on Hole 18 would leave me with a final score of 55. So I decided to do something I NEVER do: run my putter at the chains from ~75-feet away. Up a hill. With nothing to keep my disc from rolling 30+ feet below the basket if I missed chains and it caught an edge. But I was thinking: “I’ve come SO close to achieving my goal of a 54 on the round…I’ve gotta try and go for it!” So I didn’t listen to my instincts, then put my left foot behind my marker, exhaled, and let it rip. And as luck would have it? My Steady BL crawled over the catcher portion on the left edge of the basket and went in…never touching chains. I got my 54 on the round!

I laughed, realizing how lucky I was, dodging a potential long nightmare putt back up that hill (that could have easily wound up further behind me if I missed that putt too)! But mostly I felt a little proud of myself for taking a rare risk on the course and then being rewarded for it.

Playing "Not Smart" - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 2 tee at Kentwood DGC in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Riding on the high that was my 54 at Zebulon, I went back to the house to catch up on work. But then after getting on top of things a little faster than I thought I would, I decided to sneak out and play another quick eighteen in Raleigh at Kentwood DGC. A VERY short, quick round (4,085 feet over 18 holes), I hooked up with a local over the last 10-11 holes and had a lot of fun! A guy who was still learning the game, but already had some solid skills on the course, it was another chance for me to wear my DGA Ambassador hat and talk up the company and their plastic. It was also a chance for me to show him what you can do with a Squall in your hands. 🙂 I managed a -9 (45) on my round, for an estimated round rating of 939. But “good enough” to have the guy I was playing with think I knew what I was doing on the course. Even though if I was on my game, I probably should have been able to shoot at least a -12 or -13.

Magic Number = 169 (1,831 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" - 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.