If you want to generate hours of discussion and some occasional (albeit always respectful and friendly) debate among course collectors around the planet, simply ask them one question: “What counts as a course played?!”

For some players out there? Anything that locals say is a course counts as a course. From object courses and tonals to courses that only exist for 2-3 days in their history (temporary courses at events) are included in their course count. For other players out there? Only courses that have targets with chains and catchers count. No object courses, no tonals, no cones! How can folks not have MAD love and respect for cones and all the cone-heads that LOVE to play them to this day? 🙂

For me? I’ve tried to keep it as simple as I can: If DGCourseReview.com and/or UDisc say it’s a course? I count it as a course. If they don’t? I don’t. Although UDisc is much more liberal in what it allows into its directory (temp tourney courses and more “backyard” courses than I could count), so tie for me has always gone to DGCourseReview.com in determining my OFFICIAL course count.

What Constitutes a Course Played?! - Tonn's Travels
View from one of two baskets at Okabena Practice Area in Okabena, Minnesota.

Why do I mention all of this on a cold, sunny, windy February afternoon? Because this morning, I had the opportunity to sneak down to tiny Okabena, Minnesota to try and verify if a two-hole Practice Area truly exists. And it does. So I marked it as being played, promptly added two photos from the area into its Media section of the practice area’s record, and DGCourseReview promptly adjusted my Courses Played count from 1,534 to 1,535.

Now, before folks think that is cheating and throw a yellow hankie on the field, I think of my 1,535 courses played in my collection, and only approximately ten of those Courses Played have been practice areas. Meanwhile, I have probably played at LEAST 30-40 courses that I do not count as Courses Played in my collection, while almost every other course collector I know puts an asterisk next to their DGCR Courses Played number, artificially adding dozens (and dozens) of courses not found in the directory to their collection. I think it all evens out in the end! But for my own Courses Played number? I want every single place I’ve played to be listed in DGCR…no asterisks! So that is what you will find in my Courses Played total on their site. With my UDisc Courses Played total lagging behind, due to a few dozen courses I had played being extinct prior to UDisc existing.

It did make me laugh, however. The irony of seeing a sticker from The Barbarian’s​ Sanctuary Disc Golf Club (BSDGC) added to the top of one of the baskets (in my cover photo for this post). There you have a fun nine-hole disc golf course located about as far from me as Okabena, only I cannot count it in my official Courses Played count, because the owner of that private property has not wanted the course to appear in DGCourseReview’s directory! So a practice area in Okabena? Is a course. While Tyler Helmke’s fun course on his private property is not. It doesn’t make a lot of sense! But at least I don’t have “Courses Played* in my official collection. 😉

Oh, and before I forget, Tyler: I found a BSDGC stamped Wraith without a name or phone number on it in Okabena. [sarcasm] I’ll trade you one round on your course and you (or me) adding your course to the directories in exchange for said Wraith! Ha. [/sarcasm]

Magic Number = 465 (1,535 Courses Played)

About Tonn’s Travels

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

Derek Tonn Profile PictureDerek 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.