I won’t lie…my 48-year old body was telling me to stay in bed, drinking (and eating) out of a straw and whining about how much my __________ hurt after yesterday’s 9+ mile expedition in the snow! 🙂 But being in a land of unplayed courses, I found my way into a nice hot shower, got dressed, and talked myself into another 45 holes of disc golf before heading for home.

Thanks for a fun weekend, Des Moines! - Tonn's Travels
View of the course welcome sign at Becky Zallek DGC in Des Moines, Iowa.

My first course on the day was Becky Zallek DGC in Des Moines. What a fun course! I’ve been told that the course is prone to flooding, so Winter would be the ideal time to play it. And the course did not disappoint! I managed to shoot a -3 (53) on the round, for an estimated round rating of 945. I’ll take it, considering the slippery footing! Several risk/reward shots off the tee too, which made the course fun to play.

After my round at Becky Zallek, I headed over to the Des Moines VA…to see if I could play the nine-hole course on their property. It was interesting, as UDisc said the course is permanently closed, while DGCourseReview said the course is available to play for the general public, so long as players are respectful on the course, which is located on Federal property. I arrived at the course and saw a lot of construction fencing near a lot of the baskets. That, and the course was very difficult to navigate, so I played it as a sort of “safari round,” not being 100 percent sure of the flow from hole to hole.

After playing at the Des Moines VA, I headed over to Grandview Park, what I was told is the most heavily-trafficked course in Des Moines. The course lived up to its reputation, as I think I saw more people on the course than I saw on the other eleven courses I played on the weekend, combined. I started my round by hooking up with a recent transplant to Des Moines from Los Angeles, as well as a guy whose grandparents own a resort in Northern Minnesota. They were very nice, and showed me how to play the front nine. Then after Hole 9, I was on my own (as most locals play the course 10-18, then 1-9). And by Hole 12, I had caught up to a “sixteen some” that had started on Hole 10 when I teed off on Hole 1. 🙂 They let me play through on Hole 14, and I finished very strong…deucing 6 of the final 7 holes on the course.

I thought about seeing if I could muster the energy for one more round at Ewing Park (7,488 feet over 18 holes)! But I was already exhausted, hurting, and hoping to make it home before dark. So I decided to leave Ewing for another trip. After starting the weekend with 14 unplayed courses in the Des Moines metro, I headed for home with only three unplayed courses in the metro. I felt good! I mean mentally good…as my left shoulder, bicep, and elbow were on fire (from 147 holes of disc golf that were almost entirely played with my upper body, since an X-Step was impossible via all the snow). But that is the type of GOOD pain I will take any chance I can get it.

Thanks for a fun weekend, Des Moines! We’ll be seeing you sometime in the future, to knock out those three remaining courses I didn’t get to.

Magic Number = 468 (1,532 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.

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