I got up at the crack of dawn this morning, in part so I could try and play two more courses on my way home that are miles (and miles) away from other unplayed courses. It is tough to justify spending 4-6 hours driving round-trip to only play a course or two. So playing a couple of those courses on my way home from North Carolina was a great way to be more efficient.
Course #1 on the day was Beech Nut DGC in Hudson, Iowa. It was a fun little course, playing among several holes of golf in a small town. I was the only one around with the sun barely up in the Eastern sky, and I showed my age after playing 108 holes the previous day…limping to the barn with an even par (27), and an estimated round rating of 929. I didn’t play terrible! But I didn’t play well. But playing well wasn’t the primary reason for being there.
My second course on the morning, and my final course on my trip, was Rose Creek Park, a little Southeast of Austin, Minnesota. I’ve been anxious to see this course, as I had worked with the Eagle Scout who designed it on his DGA basket order. Other designers in Minnesota wanted me/us to “force” our way into the design process…to make sure that the course was safe, maximizing the use of available land, etc. But after talking with the Eagle Scout on a couple of occasions, it was clear that the design work had already been completed. They were simply waiting to get the right baskets ordered and installed.
There were a few things about the design that didn’t make a lot of sense to me. Hole 2’s long “C-shaped” fairway…that everyone will try and cut the corner of (only to meet knee to waist-high rough), then get frustrated losing discs. Hole 8 throwing at the Hole 7 tee (which almost every player will try and “cut the corner” throwing over top the adjacent tennis courts). Hole 9 playing alongside the park’s parking lot…bringing vehicles directly into play on the hole. But for a small town, and what I assume is a lightly-used park, it’s “okay.” Okay could have been a lot better! But in the now 1,651 courses I have played in my life? I have yet to play the PERFECT course.
Rose Creek puts a bow on my course collecting trip! I am SO thankful for the health and finances to be able to afford to make a trip like that. I am also thankful for having a traveling companion (my mom) to keep me company across 2,400 of those 2,800 miles. And most of all? I am thankful for DGA supporting me in my course collecting efforts! Here’s to hoping I’ll have a couple more course collecting trips in me before the snow flies, and I am holding up signs for all of my clients in the Southern United States which read: “Will map for food and lodging, anywhere warm…” 🙂
Magic Number = 349 (1,651 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.