Today was mostly a travel day, as I needed to make sure and get to Grand Rapids, Michigan by late afternoon for some responsibilities with my work at mapformation. That said, I did manage time to squeeze in three courses on my way to Grand Rapids. My first course was Bourissa Hills in New Carlisle, Indiana. A fun nine-holer that was made even more fun by actually seeing the sun for the first time in days, I made what was my best shot of the trip so far. A 350-foot tee shot on Hole 2, down a hill than back up a bit of another hill, landing my Undertow about seven feet right of the basket for the deuce. Which had a few people in the park, attending a youth football game, look at me strangely after I did my best Howard Dean impersonation from the Hole 2 tee. 😀
After Bourissa Hills, I was feeling pressure to pick up the pace, so I reluctantly scrapped plans to play an eighteen hole course in Kalamazoo (Michigan), playing a nine-hole course at their Central High School instead. An interesting little course, though Holes 8 and 9 had me scratching my head. As you will see in the photo (above), it was another hole on the trip where you are playing over roads. And worse, playing over a road where you could not see traffic coming from the left. I wondered how many vehicles have been hit by discs since that course was installed. Hopefully only vehicles, and not people walking, running or riding bikes. 🙁
After Kalamazoo, I got up to my conference hotel as quickly as I could. And I decided I had enough time to sneak in a short 18 hole course. So I headed out to Jaycee Park for a VERY quick (35-40 minute?) round. I played that course very well, and 2-3 cards of locals were a little shell-shocked at how well I was playing…how quickly I was playing. Managed a -8 (46) while essentially “stopping and popping,” allowing just enough time to set my foot behind my disc, exhaling, and throwing my next shot. I’ve noticed in the past few years that when I am playing fast, not taking time to really think about what needs to happen (or think about what could go wrong), I tend to play very well. It is playing with other people who need to take 30-60+ seconds just to decide what disc to throw, not to mention needing to simulate a release of their tee shot, approach or putt before they actually release their disc, when I tend to struggle with my game.
Not much disc golf will be played over the next few days, as I will be busy exhibiting and attending a conference for work! But another three new courses played on the day is positive yardage. Felt good that I had the time to sneak that many in.
Magic Number = 572 (1,428 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.