This morning, I woke up on a mission. I was going to play McVay Rock State Park a little South of Brookings, Oregon. But I was also going to return to the State of California for the first time in a couple of years, to play as many as THREE additional new courses in Crescent City. Seeing if I could hang a “+4” on my Courses Played Collection.

Sneaking Into California - Tonn's Travels
View just to the left of the Hole 1 fairway at McVay Rock State Park near Brookings, California.

McVay was sort of a Jekyll and Hyde type of course. A couple stunning, tough signature holes! Several “blah” or boring holes, and one (Hole 5) that you needed a machete to try and play. 🙂 Hole 1 was absolutely beautiful. More than beautiful! And if you missed your drive off the tee a little left of where you wanted to go? The photo above is what awaited you. Hole 9 also finished feet in front of where you might go from the fairway and above some greenery down on to the beach below. For us ex-pat Midwesterners? My heart still skips a beat (nearly nine months later). Even the thought of playing a little disc golf on the beach.

Sneaking Into California - Tonn's Travels
View of the Hole 5 basket at McVay Rock State Park near Brookings, Oregon.

There were lots of opportunities to lose discs at McVay, and by the third hole, I was already wet from my feet up to my knees (wet grass), so I played things VERY conservatively. I shot an even par 28, for an estimated round rating of 915 (sigh). But all of my discs were still in my backpack after the round. So after that nine-hole warm-up, it was on to California!

After making it to Crescent City, my enthusiasm quickly turned to disappointment. I arrived at Joe Hamilton Elementary, only to find the entire course sitting behind locked fences. The course description in UDisc made it sound as though that course was playable outside of school hours and on weekends. But the way things looked? I didn’t want to risk having the police called on me…wondering what a middle-aged disc golfer was doing creeping around on school property. So I left and headed to Randy Hatfield DGC, a little East of the school.

Sneaking Into California - Tonn's Travels
View of the Hole 6 basket at Beachfront Park DGC in Crescent City, California.

The directions to Randy Hatfield had me drive into a juvenile detention center, with lots of fences and barbed wire on both sides of the gravel road. And I never did see a tee, sign or basket. Ugh. 0-for-2 in Crescent City! So feeling discouraged, I headed to Beachfront Park. And when I arrived, I saw lots of DGA Mach VII baskets! But I also saw hundreds and hundreds of cars participating in some type of car show parked on top of several of the course’s fairways. I thought about shaking my fist at the disc golf gods in the sky (ha)! But instead, I decided to make a little lemonade and play eighteen of the 24 holes on the course that were still playable.

Sneaking Into California - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 17 tee at Beachfront Park DGC in Crescent City, California.

The course was an interesting mix of short and long, technical and wide-open. With a couple of basket placements that make you want to check the tide chart…to make sure you are playing the course at low tide! 🙂 Seriously, a few of those baskets hang precariously close to the water’s edge (15-20 feet?). Miss your lines a little left/right/long? And you might need a snorkel to get your disc back.

Sneaking Into California - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 22 tee at Beachfront Park DGC in Crescent City, California.

Of the eighteen holes I played? I managed to shoot a -3 (52). I don’t have an estimated round rating for the round, but I am guessing it was somewhere in the 920s or low 930s. Again, I played the course VERY conservatively. After only getting to play 75% of one course in Crescent City, instead of getting to add three new courses to my Courses Played Collection? The very-LAST thing I wanted to have happen was to come home with a lighter backpack (lost discs).

So we’ll need to be satisfied with a +3 in my courses played on the trip to Brookings. It has been painful in 2022. Creeping and crawling my way toward 2000 courses played! But I suppose three new courses is better than zero. Just not the five I had been hoping for.

Magic Number = 31 (1,969 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 Into California - 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.