After quite a bit of “quality time” with my hotel room’s hairdryer last night, I had been hoping for bright sun and dry ground today, as I pushed my way into Illinois and Iowa. Unfortunately for me, the weather had other ideas. “Squish, squish, squish.” More wet, stinky feet all day today…beginning just West of Indianapolis.
My first course played on the day was The Ridge in Danville, Indiana. The directions to the course actually have you park up by the Hole 9 basket, which was a pain in the beginning, but nice at the end of the round. Though as I was finding my way over to Holes 1-3, I made a woman jump about 3-4 inches off the ground when a wet redhead in dark clothes with a dark backpack (of discs) quietly emerged from the woods right as she happened to be walking by. I quickly apologized for her using one of her nine lives on me, then we ended up having a very friendly conversation. I still feel a little bad about her being given quite a scare (not knowing who was coming out of the woods near her, or what their intentions might have been). But all’s well that ends well, I suppose. I only managed a ho-hum even par (27) in the mud and standing water, for an estimated round rating of 908.
I didn’t remember before I arrived at the course, but this is one of the dozens (upon dozens) of courses where I have helped DGA create tee signs over the years! I couldn’t resist snapping a quick picture to prove I was here! 🙂 A fun conversation starter, the next time the contact for the course happens to call us looking for additional assistance.
My next stop was West Bridge Church in Danville. The rough was JUST long enough where I decided to sacrifice my (good) score in exchange for not needing to worry about wasting several minutes searching for tee shots and/or losing discs. My -5 (28), for an estimated round rating of 887, looks pretty sub-par as a result! But my course collector rating still got a +1 boost! And after only eighteen holes on the morning, I was already soaking wet.
My next course on the day, Rockville Lake Park in Rockville, Indiana, was MUCH, MUCH better, carding a -10 (44) and an estimated 965 rating. Though I was caught off-guard with how expensive it was to spend ~45 minutes of my time checking out the course ($7?). Oh well! I guess that’ll mean another “lupper” (instead of buying lunch and supper) for this cheapskate! 🙂
After Rockville, it was time to try and dry out a bit in the car and see if I could push for Peoria. And by the time I made it to Hopedale Park in Hopedale, Illinois, I was mostly dry. Though within a hole or two, I was back to being wet again. I shot a -7 (37) on the twelve-hole course, for an estimated round rating of 933. But the highlight of my round was a nice chat with one of the park workers who had been mowing the course (even in the rain with standing water). A really friendly man…who originally wanted to ask me if a disc he found (by another company who shall remain unnamed, hehe) was mine. I said no, but that if it had a name and number of the back, he could call the owner to return it. But the disc had no ink…so he asked if I would take it with me, to find some kid or beginner who might enjoy it (since he said they have a few dozen lost discs in their shop that no one has claimed, and he didn’t want to add one more). I will do my best!
The rain just would not let up, so I decided to try and get another course or two in Peoria the next time I come through town. Instead, I headed over to Monmouth, Illinois to play a nine-holer that I had missed on a previous trip. Monmouth Park was actually fun! I wasn’t enjoying my wet feet and the slippery conditions. But there were some good, fun shots out there. I managed a -9 (25) for an estimated rating of 928.
After Monmouth Park, I decided it was time to try and play one more course in Quad Cities. And the one course that has been at the top of my list in that metro for a long time is Camden II. I had played Camden I a year or two ago, but it was nearly dark when I finished my round on that course, and I didn’t want to get 4-5 holes into Camden II with it quickly getting dark. So I drove to the park, popped the trunk, and noticed several locals looking at me while I headed over to the Hole 1 tee at Camden II.
After my tee shot hit the ONE tree it needed to avoid to clear the ditch/water to set up a par three, I understood why. Just getting down to my disc (which fortunately was JUST in-bounds) was a several-minute production. Including me falling flat on my back (on a small stump) and sliding 6-7 feet before I could stop myself from falling/sliding another 7-8+ feet! Ouch. I think the locals thought I was crazy for trying to play Camden II in such treacherous conditions. But for anyone who knows me? You know how stubborn/determined I am. So I limped my way through the remaining 17.5 holes, half-covered in mud. Falling a second time a few holes later. It was a round where I was playing “to the pain,“ a la the movie “The Princess Bride.” But I finished my round, darnit! 🙂 An underwhelming +9 (67) with an estimated round rating of 881! But it felt like a 1,000+ rated round, considering the playing conditions. And in my defense, I think all but one of the eighteen baskets were in their long(est) positions from the tee.
I then made my way to my hotel for the evening, just across Interstate 80 from the world’s largest truck stop in Walcott, Iowa. Now to spend some quality time with my room’s hairdryer…
Magic Number = 262 (1,738 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 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.