After saying my goodbyes to Paul, Cristina and Mike this morning in Michigan, I began the process of pushing for Chicago. I had a tough decision to make: play a few more courses in Michigan? Or play 2-3 of the courses in the Chicago metro that have been staring at me for a few years (wondering when I was going to play them). But after thinking things through, I decided to head for Chicago, then play whatever courses I had time for before meeting up with my oldest daughter for another meal and more conversation.
My first stop after making it back to the Chicago area was at Pulaski Park in Hammond, Indiana. A bit off my usual beaten path whenever I am in Chicago, I thought that today would be the PERFECT opportunity to cross it off my To Play List. And it was! Though I could have REALLY used a restroom! And despite my body letting me know that nature was going to need to call soon?! 🙂 I played that course really well. To the tune of a -12 (47) and an estimated round rating of 1009.
After finishing up at Pulaski Park, it was on to Forsythe Park in Whiting, Indiana. Another eighteen-hole course that was not along any of my usual roots to/through Chicago, with all of its public restrooms in the park being locked (making me play with an EXTRA sense of speed/urgency, ha!). The wind was kicking up a bit, making several of the tee shots more than a little difficult! But I held my own, shooting an even-par 55, for an estimated round rating of 940.
I was glad there were 3-4 other people in that park, fishing in the adjacent waters. As it was the type of course where if someone had wanted to cause me a bit of trouble, I would have mostly been on my own. I felt safer as my round went on, and by Hole 18, there was a group of 4-5 guys who had just started playing Hole 1! But the course was giving me “bad vibes,” for some reason. i.e. A guy who looked like he was in his early 20s, who was sitting on a bench in the middle of the course, looking angry, like he might be inebriated. He didn’t show any indication of wanting to mess with me! But like I said, I was getting a bad feeling in this park, and was more than happy to walk back to my car to be on my way.
My final stop on the afternoon, before meeting up with Libby for a veggie burrito at Flaco’s Tacos, was at the nine-hole course at Illinois Institute of Technology DGC in Chicago. A very urban course that played between buildings on campus, where I still don’t know if I was legally parked, it had a lot of potential safety issues. There were a few holes where I needed to throw my tee shots 40-50 feet left/right of my desired target, in order to avoid any potential disc v. student issues in the green space. But it was a quick, fun nine…so long as you sacrifice score for safety. And I ended up shooting a -10 (21), for an estimated round rating of 1064. More like a round that was in the 940s/950s, in my estimation! But we’ll take the bit of an ego boost before having one more day to play a few new courses on my way back to Minnesota tomorrow.
Magic Number = 112 (1,888 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.