Today was a good day on the disc golf course, though I had to say goodbye to an old friend in my backpack of discs. My morning started at Middle Creek DGC in Apex, North Carolina. A fun, beautiful short course (4,823 feet) off the white tees, I really enjoyed myself on this one!
The course started with a rare “Hole Zero,” as after the original course design was completed, they must have come back and added a 19th hole, just outside the trees where the course started. I ended up shooting a -5 (52) on the course. DGCourseReview.com only has records for eighteen holes at that course, and I wasn’t quite sure how to add a “Hole Zero” to the course record! So we’ll just say I shot a -5 (49) in DGCR, for an estimated round rating of 971, then add a note about my par 3 on Hole Zero in the notes on my scorecard.
My second nineteen-hole course on the day, Jones Park, is where I needed to say goodbye to an old and trusted friend. I didn’t play the course the greatest, shooting an even par 59, for an estimated round rating of 928. And on Hole 9 (pictured above), I ended up putting one of my ProLine Undertows in the pond. 🙁
It had been nearly twenty-six months since I had lost a disc, ANY disc, on the course collecting trail. Because if a hole looks as though it will offer a significant chance of losing a disc in the tall rough, water, whatever? I will generally lay up off the tee and live to fight another day. But on Hole 9 at Jones Park, there was really no way to lay up (as you can see). And since I had elected to play the long tees for my round, I didn’t want to go over and play the short tee for the hole…as that wouldn’t have felt right.
My plan was to throw my Undertow straight and a little left of center, having it stall and fall right once it reached the other shore of the pond. I threw the shot EXACTLY as I had intended to! But then, as the disc flew within about thirty feet of the opposite shore, it clipped a narrow branch I couldn’t see from the tee, ricocheted right and? Splash. About 20-25 feet out from the edge of the pond, never to be seen again. I had thrown that Undertow probably 2,500+ times over the past four years…an incredibly reliable fairway driver! But now it was gone, and there was nothing I could do. So I guess I’ll need to call one of my other Undertows up to the Big Leagues (from the minors) to take its place.
On such a long road trip, and me only having the discs in my backpack? It gave me a bit of a moment of panic too. “What if I start losing several discs? What if I lose ALL my Undertows? ALL my Squalls?” That isn’t likely, since it had been over two years since the last time I lost a disc! But still, it would be tough to finish the trip without the main disc(s) I use to do my thing. So I’ll probably try and play a little extra careful for at least the next week or two (with only three Undertows left, and four Squalls).
Magic Number = 172 (1,828 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’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.