Today was a big milestone for me. After pushing SO hard, for SO many years, I can now say that I am within 100 disc golf courses of doing something that only two players in the ~45-year history of the sport of disc golf have ever done: Play at least 2,000 different courses around the planet. It really is quite incredible to think about. The tens of thousands of miles behind the wheel. The tens of thousands of hole designs (well-over 25,000, if you count the courses where I have played both “short” and “long” tees). The handful of dangerous situations I found myself in. Using probably six of my nine lives, so far, on venomous snakes (five rattlesnakes and one cottonmouth). Though I’ve only had a gun pulled on me once (don’t tell my mom…ha!). And stories that would probably allow me to write a couple of books…or at least bore people who don’t really like travel or disc golf to the point of sleep/tears. 🙂

Tjader Acres #1900 - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 2 tee at Tjader Acres in Siren, Wisconsin.

But as I get a little closer to my goal of 2,000 disc golf courses played, I’ve wanted to make sure that I pay closer attention to the milestones I am able to achieve. Try and have them be important to me…special. So as I knew I would be up in Northern Wisconsin the past few days, I had a few options for courses to consider as my #1900. But the more I thought about it? The more I knew that course needed to be Tjader Acres.

Jon Tjader is a guy I have gotten to know via social media, and Jon is one of the few people on Planet Earth I have found who has as severe a case of wanderlust as I do. Jon seems to live to travel. To soak up as many new experiences while meeting as many new people as he can. For however much this blog might inspire other disc golfers to find new places to play in new parts of the(ir) state or country? Jon inspires me. Seeing him posting photos from a variety of countries on several different continents. Yet he also finds the time to nurture and grow his 27-hole gem in Northern Wisconsin. An amazing person!

Tjader Acres #1900 - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 15 tee at Tjader Acres in Siren, Wisconsin.

I had told Jon that Tjader Acres was on my shortlist of potential courses to consider playing for my #2000 in 2022! But the way my life is going in recent months, I am thinking that I might not be in the Upper Midwest this time next year. And not wanting to risk not being able to play Jon’s amazing course before I might be living hundreds of miles away? I thought I could do the next best thing and make sure his course was my #1900. Bragging the course up as a MUST PLAY to anyone who takes the time to follow my blog.

I knew the course would be good! But after 4-5 holes, I realized that the course was going to be even better than I expected it to be. I can only imagine the thousands of hours of work and effort it has taken to turn that beautiful property into one of the most beautiful courses in Northwestern Wisconsin! And there is no “Parks and Recreation Department” sending out crews to work on the course! There are no taxpayer dollars helping to buy equipment or pay for those thousands of hours of maintenance! That is all Jon, and whatever friends and family he can pull together to help him. Absolutely incredible…what he has accomplished!

Tjader Acres #1900 - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 20 tee at Tjader Acres in Siren, Wisconsin.

I had hoped to be on my game and play Jon’s course really well this morning, but it was just not in the cards. I left too many deuce opportunities uncashed…needing to settle for an even-par (83) over 27 holes. The estimated round rating (991) looks fantastic! But that is an inflated, artificial number, and I should have been at LEAST -3 or -4 on my round. Though I did at least park my deuce on Hole 20 (above), leaving my ProLine Tempest three feet short of the basket after weaving it through several trees.

Tjader Acres #1900 - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 4 tee at Oak Park Community Church in Blaine, Minnesota.

After thoroughly enjoying myself at Jon’s AMAZING course, I decided it was time to turn and head for home. Though before I got there, I had one more new course I could play on my way: Oak Park Community Church in Blaine, Minnesota. It was a typical nine-hole recreational course (anything would have seemed average/ordinary after playing Jon’s amazing course), though safety issues on Holes 4-9 put a damper on my mood. Multiple chances to cross into private property, hit vehicles, etc. I LOVE what the church is doing, using disc golf as part of their outreach and ministry efforts! But Holes 4, 7 and 9, in particular, are going to damage vehicles and/or cause players to need to chase after their discs in places they aren’t supposed to be. I shot a -7 (20), for an estimated round rating of 953. But I didn’t even try to get close to the Hole 9 basket, as there was ample opportunity to hit several cars parked in the adjacent parking lot.

1,901 courses down, at least 99 more to go! Although my wife and youngest daughter are already asking what my next goal (after 2,000) will be. To which I respond: “Let me see if I can get to 2,000 without the wheels falling off first…then we’ll talk about what might come next.” 🙂

Magic Number = 99 (1,901 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.

About Derek

Tjader Acres #1900 - Tonn's Travels

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.