Today was one of those fun opportunities I get to have a few times per year, presenting a disc golf workshop to approximately twenty Parks and Recreation professionals at the 2019 Annual Conference of the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association. A friend of mine, who has had me develop a few different sets of tee signage for the courses in his town, who also had me re-design one of the courses and help him replace older homemade baskets with some great new DGA Mach Xs, asked if I would be willing to present a 45-minute talk about the sport of disc golf to his colleagues at the MRPA. Being a perfect opportunity to sing the praises of the sport I love, as well as the company I love to represent? I very quickly and happily said yes. And the session I offered at today’s conference went about as perfect as I might have hoped.

Talking Disc Golf...with a little Course Collecting on the side - Tonn's Travels
Cover of the 2019 Conference Guide for the Minnesota Recreation & Parks Association annual conference in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.

My presentation was entitled: Introducing and/or Improving the Sport of Disc Golf in Our Parks,” and we covered lots of basic concepts for creating safer, more enjoyable courses for users of city, county, regional and state parks to enjoy. My session was supposed to last 45 minutes, and I came in at 46 minutes…just about perfect. And session attendees seemed to really enjoy (and learn from) the content. My favorite comment came from one particular Parks Director in the Northern MSP Metro. After the session, he told me: “I had never considered safety to be as important of an issue when designing and installing disc golf courses into parks until this session…and I really appreciated you passing around examples of disc golf discs to look at. It was the first time I had ever held a disc in my hand, and now I have lots of good information I can use when we’re considering the creation of a new 18-hole course in one of our parks next year.” EXACTLY the type of outcome I had been hoping for…though now I hope I’ve also sold him on how that potential new course needs DGA baskets in it! 🙂

Talking Disc Golf...with a little Course Collecting on the side - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 6 tee at Windrose Park in Elko, Minnesota.

Before my presentation at MRPA, I also took the “long route” to the meeting by going through Elko, Minnesota, so I could check out a new tiny nine-hole course that opened in that community a few months ago: Windrose Park. Weighing in at only 1,340 feet over nine holes, every hole is essentially a “par two.” But a course is a course is a course, so I was FINALLY able to add course #1520 to my course collection. FAR too long since my last new course! But not being able to drive since May 29 has made course collecting so difficult. Thank goodness my “chauffeur” for the day didn’t mind swinging through Elko on our way up to Minneapolis.

Magic Number = 480 (1,520 Courses Played)

About Tonn’s Travels

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

Derek Tonn Profile PictureDerek 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.