After enjoying the conversation (and the butt-kicking, ha) on the fairways at Leigh Farm Park in Durham, North Carolina yesterday, I was thinking that I would need to play eighteen holes alone today.

Sneaking In Two More Courses - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 1 tee at Southern Community Park in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

So I headed up to Chapel Hill this morning, to enjoy a quick round at Southern Community Park, my 1,850th disc golf course played in my lifetime. Today was the day that I officially kept my promise to DGA of ending 2021 with at LEAST 1,850 courses played. 🙂 A self-imposed goal, I said I needed to get to at least 1,850 courses played in order to have a solid chance of reaching 2,000 courses played by the Fall of 2022. I had hoped to reach 2,000 courses played by the Fall of 2021! But epilepsy (no driving for seven months) and then COVID-19 had other ideas.

As I got to the third hole, my phone rang. It was Eric Vandenberg, asking if I might want to head up and play eighteen holes at the very private IBM Research Triangle DGC in Research Triangle Park. I told Eric I would get there as soon as I could finish my current round. So after hustling through the remaining fifteen holes, finishing with a -6 (50) for an estimated rating of 990, I hopped in the van and made my way to IBM.

Sneaking In Two More Courses - Tonn's Travels
View of the Course Map and Welcome Sign at IBM Research Triangle in Research Triangle Park, NC.

Eric warned me before the round that we *SHOULD* be okay playing at IBM, but he couldn’t be 100 percent certain. It is meant to be played by only employees and their guests. However, he knows the person who designed the course (who we ended up meeting and talking to in the parking lot after our round), and as long as we were respectful and just went about our business over eighteen holes, we should be fine.

As we were getting ready to play the course, a security vehicle drove by our vehicles…probably to see what we were up to. We waved at them, and they didn’t seem too concerned about our presence! So it seemed we were A-OK to sneak in a quick eighteen holes.

I didn’t play the greatest. I struggled to a -1 (53), and an estimated round rating of 906. But I sunk a couple of LONG shots. One from near the edge of circle-2, the other from at least 125+ feet from the basket. Maybe Eric thinks I can play disc golf after all?! ???? Though I am at the point in this trip where my everything hurts (back, shoulders, ribs, sternum, ankle, Achilles, etc.). 39 courses in 31 days…including 23 courses of 18+ holes. TO THE PAIN, LOL! #PrincessBride

I have struggled while playing with Eric. I think it might be the combination of his being a player with superior skills, and the fact that I am used to playing a majority of my rounds alone? Whatever the case, my scores are probably a lot closer to the scores I would shoot if I were playing in sanctioned leagues and tournaments…having that bit of “tourney pressure” added to every shot, with people watching.

I’ve now played every public course there is to play in the Raleigh-Durham metro area! I might be able to sneak on to another private course (with permission) before we leave, and rumor has it that Eric and I will be heading up near the Virginia border to play a couple additional courses with Lowe Bibby on Sunday! But like The Borg from Star Trek: The Next Generation, I’ve all but exhausted everything I am able to play in this area…so it’ll be time to head to other solar systems to drain the unplayed courses out of them in the days ahead. Assimilate….assimilate…

Magic Number = 149 (1,851 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

Sneaking In Two More Courses - 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.