Before I start, let me just say that it has been a LONG three weeks! Over ten inches of rain and serious flooding on the course I hold most near-and-dear to my heart here in Springfield (Minnesota). So bad, in fact, that we might not be able to enjoy disc golf in our community for the rest of 2018. That, coupled with a busy Summer season at work, along we me being talked into running for elective office for the first time here in our county (www.derektonn.com), and it has been tough to find time to sneak away to play some new courses. Although when the planets aligned this morning (my wife and youngest sneaking off to have a day to themselves, while my oldest wanted to hang out at home with our cat…in between naps (for the two of them, ha!), I was finally able to head up to Gaylord, Minnesota to see with my own eyes the long-rumored course on the Northeast end of their town.
Gaylord DGC was a project that was entirely designed and managed by locals, right down to the installation of homemade baskets. Baskets that I was disappointed to find will usually drop your putter out the bottom after every made putt. The tee pads are also interesting, being about 3′ x 2′ squares of gravel…some of which are placed mere feet from the previous basket (as in the photo below). But I am guessing that the course doesn’t get a tremendous amount of traffic, so for locals to have a place to let a little plastic fly after work or on the weekend? It’s okay.
Not having been able to play disc golf in over three weeks (flooding, work and/or campaigning did their collective best to conspire against me), I expected to struggle. But I was throwing my Undertows and Squalls like I’d been playing hours per day, every day, during the entire month of June! I mis-fired off the tee on Hole 5, and I missed a 25-foot putt for deuce on Hole 6. But other than that, I was able to collect my deuces on every hole…even giving the Hole 8 basket a VERY close-shave off the tee. It’s a course where good players could shoot an 18 without TOO much effort! But I was plenty happy carding a 20, rust and all.
I’ll need to get rid of all that rust, as I’ve got several disc golf trips planned in the months ahead! Madison, Wisconsin on July 20-22. A nice driving trip to/from Kansas City, Missouri for a Disc Golf Foundation board meeting from August 15-20. A driving trip to/from Grand Rapids, Michigan from September 26 to October 4. And a driving trip to/from Norfolk, Virginia from October 13-23. Lots of opportunity to play new courses over the next four months! Hopefully work, campaigning, health and weather will cooperate.
Magic Number = 632 (1,368 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 our “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.