After calling it a night in Chillicothe, Missouri, my plan was to drive into Southern Iowa today. Playing 5-6 courses, finding a hotel, and then playing 3-4 more courses tomorrow on my way home. However, I woke up very sore from the previous three days of disc golf. And being sore, combined with the fact that the wind was absolutely howling out of the South (making disc golf not even fun, if one can believe it), I decided to wave the white flag of surrender and push for home a day early.
As folks who know me will attest to, however, I am stubborn. 🙂 And I was not going to miss playing at least a couple more courses on the way home. Trenton, Missouri was my first stop, and considering the wind? I played it well. -6 (48) over 18 holes. I thought: “Maybe I can still gut it out…wind be darned?” However, any thought of fighting through the pain and wind was quickly beaten out of me on my second course of the day: Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa. 7,460 feet over 18 holes, and even a 7-8 foot putt was an adventure in the wind. My score of 60 wasn’t actually that bad, all things considered! But it was the polar-opposite of a fun experience. Not because of the course, but because of the wind. And if “the player who has the most fun wins?” Copyright: Steady Ed Headrick? I lost. So I decided to call it a day. Although not before putting on my private investigator hat and checking out one more rumored nine-hole course in Iowa, to confirm it actually existed (different course directories had different information): Cedar County Park near Creston, Iowa.
I was expecting a typical “prairie golf” course at a county park in Iowa: short, mostly open, few challenges apart from the wind. However, the course was a pleasant surprise! Right out of the gate, you’re asked to carry water off the Hole 1 tee. Holes 2 and 3 were fairly boring/typical of other courses in the region. But then the rest of the course was surprisingly wooded/technical. With water coming into play again on Holes 5 and 9. A fun little recreational course…and a nice way to finish my disc golf for the weekend.
As I was getting ready to tee off on Hole 5, I heard grunting and “oink, oink” behind me. I turned around to see a pig walking up to me, nudging my leg with its wet snout as if to say: “hello…will you be my friend?” I’ve seen a LOT of things on disc golf courses over the years, but this was my first pig. I told it “hello” and gave it a friendly pet on its head. And it proceeded to grunt and oink, keeping within 15-20 feet of me the rest of my round. Giving me a sad look when I finally got in my car and left the park. Thanks for the company and friendly “conversation” during the last half of my round, Mr./Mrs. Pig! You shall forever be remembered via being the featured image for this post.
Magic Number = 638 (1,362 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.
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