Today I had the opportunity to play with an incredibly interesting Oregon local named Russell Howard, who likes to go by the nickname “Malum.” A person who has worn all sorts of interesting hats in his professional career, and who has jumped into disc golf with both feet (while yelling CANNONBALL!) as one of his new passions over the past 3+ years. Someone I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know on the course, as well as over lunch.

Disc Golfing with "Malum" - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 3 tee at Wheatland DGC in Gervaise, Oregon.

Malum and I were able to share eighteen holes of disc golf this morning at his home course, Wheatland DGC in Gervais, Oregon. I will say that after having the opportunity to play that course in the Winter? I was thankful that I had the opportunity to play the course this time of year. 🙂 That course had some tight lines and thick rough! And I can only imagine how much narrower those fairways (how much thicker that rough) become in the Summer.

Disc Golfing with "Malum" - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 12 tee at Wheatland DGC in Gervais, Oregon.

We both tried to play the course cautiously in the areas where we could get ourselves into deep trouble in the rough, then attacking baskets when the opportunity presented itself. I had two terrible approach shots (Hole 1 and one of the holes on the back nine, I cannot remember), as well as one bad missed putt for deuce on Hole 6. But I ended up shooting a decent +2 (61) on that very challenging course, for an estimated round rating of 947.

Disc Golfing with "Malum" - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 12 tee at Keizer Rapids Park in Keizer, Oregon.

After saying farewell to Malum after sneaking in a quick lunch between rounds, I continued on my own to Keizer Rapids Park in Keizer, Oregon. The course was surprisingly difficult to find in UDisc! The park the course was supposed to be in was actually not where you need to go to park and play the course. I must have wasted at least twenty minutes walking around by a boat launch and a dog park until I eventually noticed that a road into the park kept going a bit further to the West. And after eventually going past the park and getting on a very bumpy gravel road into the course’s parking area, I found my way to the Hole 1 tee.

Keizer was a lot of fun! The course was a lot more of the same I’ve seen here in Oregon: heavily wooded, narrow fairways. But then after the front nine, the course opened up a bit more with chances to “air things out.” AND a few chances to lose some discs in the water (as can be seen in the photo of the Hole 12 tee above).

Disc Golfing with "Malum" - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 18 tee at Keizer Rapids Park in Keizer, Oregon.

I played the course better than I played Wheatland, to the tune of a -4 (51) and an estimated round rating of 964. I also was able to get my deuce on Hole 12 (that photo above)! Though after I let my ProLine Squall out of my hand on the tee, I had a bit of a moment of panic…as I had thrown the disc a little flatter (and further left) than I had intended to. Mentally, imagine thinking: “NNNOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” as you watch a disc fly out of your hands (ha). But after using all of the body English I could muster, PLEADING with the disc golf gods to turn that Squall to the right? My prayers were answered and my Squall landed right on the edge of the top of the hill next to the basket, pin high. WHEW.

Fifty-eight more courses to go to reach a goal I thought might be unreachable several years ago. Three others have gotten there in the past year or so. Here’s to hoping I have enough left in the tank to become #4.

Magic Number = 58 (1,942 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

Disc Golfing with "Malum" - 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.