I’ve crossed a lot of “To Dos” off my list on this trip so far. Getting over 1,600 courses played. Helping introduce several kids with epilepsy to the wonderful sport of disc golf. Knocking out a few more courses in the Cincinnati and Indianapolis metros, 10+ courses played in South Carolina, playing a few more of Steady Ed’s designs, etc. But today? Today was the day I got to cross three more To Dos off my list:
To Do #1. Playing a few more courses in Peoria. I’ve played a few courses in Peoria in the past. But with so many good courses to enjoy in such a small metro area? I’ve been anxious to get a few more played. So that one of these trips, I can eventually say that I have played ALL the courses that Peoria has to offer.
My first course on the day was a monster: Northwood Park in Morton (Peoria). 9,255 feet over 18 holes, and lots of technical lines to hit off the tees and fairways besides! With one 1,000+ foot hole (#12) and one 900+ foot hole (#16). Par is listed as being 64…but I think anything under 72 would be a pretty good score on this one. And I played it much better than I expected! I took a bogey-5 on Hole 10, and a bogey-6 on Hole 12 (nothing like throwing three drives on a hole, then STILL having long approach shot on shot #4, ha!). But other than that? I took a par on every other hole…to card a +2 66. I am very proud of that score, as I worked for every par. There were six easier threes on the course (which still require you to execute effectively off the tee to get said pars), but to shoot in the 60s on a wooded course over 9,200 feet in length? That’ll be a fun memory.
I should have shot a +3 (67) on the round, but on the 961-foot Hole 16, I drained a ~100-foot approach shot from the side of a hill to card the lucky par-5. When I hit chains, I let out a little yell and fist-pump…but the only other folks on the course to enjoy that shot with were a couple of squirrels, startled by the noise a redheaded human was making. That is one I wish I had on video though. A ~100-foot throw-in for par, on a 961-foot hole at a championship caliber course.
After Northwood, I drove a few miles down the road to check out Megiddo in Morton (Peoria). A much more “human” 5,660 feet over 18 holes, this course fits my style of play very well. Wooded, elevation changes, lots of technical lines. And I played it accordingly, carding an even par (56), for an estimated round rating of 985. Two deuces (6, 14) and two bogey-4s (11, 15). I probably should have finished a few under par on this one, since it suits my style of play so well! But I still felt good coming away with a 56.
After Megiddo, I headed Northwest to check out Northwoods Community Church in Peoria. I had in my head that I designed the tee signage at this one! However, when I arrived at the church, I could see that the sign designs were not mine. Oh well! It was still a good excuse to play another new course. I played it well too, a -3 (24) for another estimated round rating of 985.
To Do #2. Playing at least 50 courses on this trip. After worshipping for nine holes at Northwoods (#frisbetarian), I decided I had better put some miles on the car before playing another eighteen holes in Williamsfield, IL. Before leaving on the trip, I had told DGA’s General Manager, Scott Keasey, that I wanted to play at least forty courses on this trip. I think he thought I had a screw or two loose, thinking I could play forty courses in ten days (while also driving ~2,800 miles, spending a day giving a clinic in Winston-Salem, NC, and also spending a day or two with family in South Carolina). So I decided I needed to try and prove to him that his suspicions about me having screws loose were correct, via playing 50+ courses, instead of forty. 🙂
I had to jokingly take the picture above, to prove how tired I was. I WAS tired! But it was a good tired. One of those feelings when you realize how much you’ve accomplished, and feel proud of the effort and accomplishments. I still had a lot of energy in the tank though, carding a -6 (49). I needed to leave a bit of energy in my tank, however, as I still had ONE MORE “To Do” to try and cross off my list today:
To Do #3. Play a couple of courses in the Quad Cities area. After sneaking in one more short nine-holer at Wiley Park in Galva, Illinois, I made the push toward Quad Cities. Quad Cities is one of those areas with a lot of courses, not too far from home, that I just haven’t had much time to explore. So I decided on this trip that I would try and get at least 1-2 of those 18s played before I went home.
I’ve been looking at Richmond Hill Park on my map of unplayed courses in UDisc for years. Staring at me, whispering “play me” every time I look at the Quad Cities area. 🙂 Well today, I was going to swing through Geneseo and finally get that course played. And it was a lot of fun! The wind made it tough, and I ended with a thud (bogey-5 on Hole 18). But I had fun, and the -7 (48) was a respectable score (930 estimated rating), considering I had now played ninety holes on the hot, humid day.
Now it was time to get at least one more of those 18s played in Quad Cities. And since I had played all of my 90 holes in Illinois so far, I thought I would top 100 holes played on the day, all in Illinois. And after looking at my map of unplayed courses, I decided that I would explore Camden Park – I in Milan, Illinois. I’m glad I stopped there, as it was a lot of fun! I was wringing the sweat out of my shirt and shorts, dripping sweat on my glasses most of the round. But I didn’t care, as I was in the process of crossing another “To Do” off my list.
I played Camden I well, to the tune of a -6 (49) and an estimated round rating of 967. I thought about playing another course or two, with a bit of daylight left. But we needed to be to at least Cedar Rapids, IA tonight, so between that and my having already played 108 holes in 90+ degree temperatures, I thought I should probably be an adult and live to fight another day.
If I can get on the road early enough tomorrow, I MIGHT be able to sneak another nine-holer or two in on my way back home. We’ll see…
Magic Number = 351 (1,649 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.
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 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.