No course collecting the past couple of days, as I have been busy singing the praises of Disc Golf Association at the 2018 annual conference of the Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. It has been such an honor being able to spend two days promoting not only DGA to hundreds of event attendees, but also introducing several people to the sport of disc golf for the very first time.
I think those of us in the sport forget sometimes that there are still millions of individuals around the United States alone who have no idea what those strange-looking metal objects with chains are in their city/county parks! So being able to talk about the basics of playing the sport, teaching individuals about the different types of discs and grips, teaching people the X-Step? Is a lot of fun.
It was an interesting conference, seeing all of the products that are being promoted to Physical Education teachers at K-12 schools throughout the region. It was also a lot of fun seeing a number of those products being demonstrated in two large “gym floor” areas. Floor hockey, rollerskating, a game similar to volleyball played with something similar to a tennis racquet, etc. And then there was me, “banging chains” while making literally hundreds of 15-20 foot putts over the two-day event. Using the noise and motion to draw people over to our booth to learn a bit more about the sport and DGA’s products.
I really enjoyed getting to know a number of the other vendors as well! Camps, universities, even the Chicago Bears, in addition to all of the companies promoting their specific products and services. And other than one other exhibitor who was selling 7-8 Quest discs with their company’s name on them? We were the only disc golf presence at the event.
Of course, not everyone in attendance was interested in disc golf! But for the folks that were, I was able to make several positive connections. Tell folks all-about Steady Ed, and his mantra of “the player that has the most fun wins” while we’re teaching kids and adults a sport that they can enjoy for a lifetime. For a fraction of the cost of golf or other sports.
It always takes a few months to know how you do at a conference, specific to quality leads and sales! But I did my darnedest to represent both DGA and the sport in a positive light, and will hopefully be able to have a few of those conversations at the event lead to additional opportunities to grow the sport. #IAHPERD18
Magic Number = 514 (1,486 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.